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In its first year in Division II since moving up from DIII, Philadelphia-Whitemarsh continued its march through the North with a 49-14 win over Media. With three wins, PW ties Wilmington in the win column and sets up a battle for the division lead next week in Philadelphia.
“The game started sloppy and slow, but as the game went on, we got into our zone and started getting a feel for the game,” said PW fullback Tim Antoian. “At the start of the second half, Media came out firing pretty hard. We were able to keep our composure, play our game and strike back at them. In the second half, we started running on them.”
Media opened the scoring with a try by Brian Hay and a subsequent conversion by Jared Frymoyer in the sixth minute. After the Media score, PW took the lead with back-to-back tries by center Eric Miller and wing Andrew Stinson in the 17th and 20th minutes. Antoian converted the second try to build a 12-7. PW added a penalty kick by Antoian in the 29th minute, and with no time remaining, wing Brian Engle capped off the half with a try to increase the lead to 20-7.
Coming out of the half, PW poured on the pressure, amounting to four more tries. However, the half didn’t start well for PW as eightman Matt Stauffer was yellow carded in the first five minutes. Being a man down didn’t faze PW, as they scored twice with tries by flanker Tim Foley and Antoian, who also converted both of his kicks. Once back to full strength, Antoian added another penalty kick and Engle scored his second try in the 62nd minute. Media put in a try, but it was not enough to impact the score. PW punctuated the victory with a late try by hooker Cesare Coscia to win the game in a runaway, 49-14.
On the change to DII this season, Antoian stated, “In DIII, there’s a very big difference in skill level. In DII, every single week is a big game. There aren’t really any softer or weaker teams. It’s going to be interesting more towards the end of the season when we are going to be banged up a little bit more, but we have a lot of depth. We are really playing good team rugby right now.”
With wins by both Philadephia-Whitemarsh and Wilmington this weekend, the clubs will play next week to decide who takes the top spot in the North.
Doylestown at Wilmington
Wilmington improved to 3-0 this season with a decisive victory over a strong Doylestown club, 29-10. The Dragons traveled to Delaware for the match under beautiful conditions.
Doylestown got out to an early 7-0 lead with a try by wing Kyle Markovitch and conversion by flyhalf Tim Acker. 16 minutes later, Acker added a penalty kick to increase the lead to 10-0. Doylestown seemed to be in control until lock Caoimhin De Barra gave Wilmington its first try of the day. With the kick by De Barra, Wilmington cut the lead to three going into halftime.
The second half was all Wilmington, which notched three tries and a penalty kick. The comeback started almost immediately a minute into the half when center Steven Lange scored to allow Wilmington to take the lead, 14-10. Beginning in the 49th minute, big prop Chris Wiggins scored two tries in the span of three minutes to expand the score to 26-10. De Barra tacked on a penalty kick in the 57th minute, and Wilmington shut out Doylestown for the rest of the game to win 29-10.
“They were tough, and I think we matched them well. We came out and scored first and added a PK,” said Doylestown head coach Mike McCandless. “They came back for several unanswered tries and put a few more tries in the second half. I think we may have lost a little heart in the second half. They kept coming at us and I’m not sure what happened. I think it could have been a better game.”
Wilmington looks to prove their dominance over the North division next week against the undefeated Philadelphia-Whitemarsh.
Blackthorn at Lancaster
The Roses of Lancaster pulled their record even at 2-2 with a 62-0 drubbing of Blackthorn in Lancaster, PA. The Roses scored ten tries on the day and their kicker, flyhalf Braden Story, was successful on six of his conversions.
The first half featured five tries that included a hat trick by Story. The flyhalf scored in the fourth, 24th, and 40th minutes and was perfect with his conversions in the half. Lock Michael Sugar and fullback Cesar Fonseca also scored to increase the lead to 35-0 at intermission.
Lancaster picked up where it left off three minutes into the second half when eightman Daniel Oliver scored his first of three tries of the half. Story converted the try for a 42-0 lead. For the rest of the half, Lancaster built on its score with tries by scrumhalf Eric Garman, Oliver (2), and wing Justin Manalli. When the final whistle blew, Lancaster won convincingly 62-0 with stout defense and a relentless attack.
“We finally had an offense worth mentioning. We put an offense in that has taken a long time to come to fruition,” stated Lancaster head coach Eric Hellman. “We had two tough matches at the beginning of the year against Philly-Whitemarsh and Wilmington and you are so concerned about playing defense that your offense takes the side. We are just getting our offense underneath us. Our penalty count was way down and that was really the key to this weekend.”