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Arkansas State made the greuling 10-hour trip to Grand Rapids, Mich. and emerged with a 49-12 defeat of Davenport on the Panthers' homecoming weekend. The first half was more competitive than the second, as the Red Wolves led just 19-12 at intermission, but the Panthers failed to score in the second half and ASU ran in 30 additional points. Davenport's only points on the day came from the tee, with four penalties accounting for the home team's total of 12.
Arkansas State traveled light, with 11 players unavailable, as well as head coach Mani Delaibatiki. Former ASU All American Shaun Potgieter filled the coaching void, and several young Red Wolves stepped up between the lines.
"Shaun Potgieter is a natural leader so I knew that all will be fine. I trust my coaches, and would be comfortable letting them run the show when I am not around," said Delaibatiki. "That’s why you have them there as coaches, because at any given moment they can step in and take charge. The guys were in good hands, and all the all boys rallied around Coach Shaun Potgieter, and managed to pull off two great wins not allowing Davenport University to cross the goal line at all."
“We really wanted to build our base and depth in the team, especially with our guys being injured and unavailable, and the best way to do that is against a solid rugby school, who we have a lot of respect for, in Davenport University," Potgieter added. says Assistant Coach Shaun Potgieter”.
The future looks good at Arkansas State, as a lot of freshmen got game time at the varsity level against Davenport, including Judah Obueghi (Marietta, Georgia), Siaosi Finau (Euless, Texas), Nicolas Abreus (Houston, Texas), Jaime Togores (Madrid, Spain), Blace Walser (Oklahoma), Zach Mohr (Clinton, Iowa), David Snead (Glendale, Colorado), Tanner Pope (Houston, Texas) and NeMia Mark Qoro (East Palo Alto, California).