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The DIA season is reaching its final stages and the playoff seeding is really taking shape. All of the conferences except the Red River have been decided while several teams are still fighting for the final spots in the post season.
In the Mid-South both Life and Lindenwood won against Clemson and Davenport, respectively. Life put up 93 points while the Lions sent a team devoid of starters to Michigan. Lindenwood still came away with a 31-10 win, showing their depth as a team.
Arkansas State took on Indiana in a friendly. After falling to NDC last week, Indiana struggled again against a battle tested Red Wolves team. ASU got out to a lead early and never looked back with a 48-14 win.
“It was a good win for us against a very well coached team. Indiana was physical and played with a lot of confidence. A win against a good team like Indiana should give us some momentum we hope to ride into the playoffs,” said ASU coach Blake White.
The only other conference affiliated game took place between Penn State and Army. The Nittany Lions defeated Army 22-21 in the fall and this game turned out to be just as close. Army led for most of the game, with Jon Kim leading the way with 15 points.
The game got a little crazy in the 69th minute after a Mitchell Sanderson try for Army. The Black Knights led 36-31 but a converted try by PSU gave the Nittany Lions the lead in the 73rd minute. Kim retook the lead with a penalty in minute 78. In a wild finish, the Penn State forwards turned Army over inside their own 22 and won a penalty at the 81st minute and nailed the kick to win.
“I think its a great way to end knowing that we have the ability to close out a game in the final minutes and fight back to win. I think it showed some real resilience from our team,” said Penn State coach Justin Hundley.
Out west, several games had big consequences on the playoffs. Central Washington kept its hopes alive with a 48-36 win over Utah Valley. Central is on the outside looking in at the moment and will likely need a big performance at home against BYU next week to have a shot at the playoffs.
“We are improving every game and played some good rugby on Saturday but also struggled at times to really dominate the way we should of. This weeks fixture vs BYU is critical in order to sneak in the playoff door so we are excited to throw everything at it and dictate our playoff chances,” said CWU coach Todd Thornley.
Grand Canyon defeated Cal Poly 31-26 in a mid week clash. This effectively ended Cal Poly’s hopes for sneaking into the playoffs and added another notch to GCU’s belt. Currently, Grand Canyon is slated to take on Life as the 15 seed.
In the only other game featuring a playoff team, BYU blitzed Utah 77-3 to capture the Wasatch Cup after a year hiatus from the contest.
Next week will determine the fate of all playoff teams.