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Bowling Green returned from a spring break tour of England to beat Notre Dame College 33-17 Saturday inside Bowling Green’s Doyt Perry Football Stadium. BGSU raced out to a 19-0 lead in the first half, largely on the backs of some impressive rolling mauls.
"It’s truly old school rugby from the ‘60s," hooker Mike Brown told BG News. "No one does it anymore, so no one practices defending against it."
Flanker Justin Stevens was credited with BG’s first try off a rolling maul. Wing Steve Fritsch ran in the second try, and scrumhalf Mike Powell the team’s third, also off a maul.
Notre Dame climbed back into the contest, scoring two tries, one converted, to pull within a score at 19-12. But Brown re-extended BG’s lead when he took a quick ball through the teeth of NDC’s defense. Converted, the try put the home team up 26-12 going into the half.
The score remained unchanged throughout most of the second half, until Notre Dame replicated BG’s attack plan and mauled in a try to bring the score to 26-17. Up two scores, BG was still in control when Bryan Keane ran in one more try near the death.
The friendly win helps BGSU hold onto the unofficial title of best team in
the state of Ohio.
In England, the Falcons went 2-1, falling to Brunel University 49-24 before rebounding to beat Saracens Academy 33-22 and the University of the Arts London 108-0.
The Saracens win was especially impressive, and it was taken in by senior Sarries and Eagles Hayden Smith and Chris Wyles.
"This was one of the most important victories in the history of this club," said BGSU director of rugby Roger Mazzarella. "If I heard it once, I heard it a dozen times of how impressed our opponents were of our pace and quick tempo play."
The Falcons will now turn their attention to 7s for a weekend, playing in Columbus, Ohio against Ohio State, Notre Dame and Louisville.