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Four of the top five teams in the nation shined on Saturday as conference play began while the Houston Sabercats got back on track with a win over James Bay. Saint Mary’s picked up a Cal Conference win against SDSU as Cal, BYU, and Lindenwood were victorious in non-conference match-ups.
No. 1 ranked Saint Mary’s schooled SDSU, 62-5, for the Aztecs’ second loss in a row and the Aggies of UC Davis picked up their first Cal Conference win edging Cal Poly, 33-27. In further west coast action, #2 Cal was challenged by the Olympic Club, a Pacific Rugby Premiership squad, but the Bears shut the men’s club down, 87-19. In other PAC Conference play, Arizona State traveled to California for a back to back stretch versus UCLA and USC. The Sun Devils split their slate falling to UCLA on Saturday and holding on to beat USC on Sunday.
Fourth ranked BYU and #5 Lindenwood kicked off their 2018 season with a pair of wins against ranked opponents. Both teams were on the road as the Cougars picked up a 53-22 win over #17 Grand Canyon in St. George, Utah and the Lions won 27-15 at #13 Central Washington.
In the D1A Red River, Baylor remained perfect in conference play with a 28-3 win over Houston, Texas A&M cracked TCU, 34-9, and Texas took out Texas Tech, 25-7.
Action in the D1AA was in full effect as four conferences clashed in 15 games. In the SIRC, Central Florida, Florida International, Middle Tennessee State, and Florida State notched wins and Claremont blew out Loyola Marymount, 89-10, in the Gold Coast. In the second weeks of NCRC and Pac West play, Washington State, Gonzaga, Western Oregon, Oregon State, Nevada, Chico State, Stanford, and UC Santa Cruz each added to their win totals on Saturday.
Following two defeats, the Houston Sabercats asserted themselves against James Bay, 42-13. With tries by Connor Murphy, Zach Pangelinan, Josua Vici, Osea Kolinisau, Pete Hepburn, and Kyle Sumison, the Sabercats pulled away late. Houston hosts the Capital Selects on Saturday as it continues to ramp up to the MLR season.
Finally, the Dallas Reds and Austin Blacks continued their dominant play in the DI Red River. The Blacks crushed the cross-town Huns, 61-3, while the Reds scored one point more than the Blacks beating the Harlequins, 62-8. After losing to the Blacks last weekend, the Glendale Merlins grabbed their first DI victory over Little Rock, 63-12.