Article by: Colin Mackintosh
On Saturday October 29th, the Middlebury Rugby team defeated the University of New Hampshire 77-12 for their second win of the season. After a string of very close losses, the rugby team put their talents on full display this weekend. Key contributions came from Captains Jake Feury ’16.5, who finished the game with three trys, and Kyle Dickey ’17, who was instrumental in the forwards pack and in line-out play. Jackson Yang ’17 finished the game with four trys, adding to an already impressive season, and Adam Markun ’17 made his season debut, bringing pace on the wing and scoring two trys in the second half. From start to finish Middlebury was looking to score. The potent Middlebury offense delivered an easy win to give Middlebury momentum going into their final two games of the season.
Feury ’16.5 began the scoring in the early minutes of the game after juking a pair of defenders to give Middlebury a 7-0 lead. Yang ‘17 added another try quickly thereafter to put Middlebury up by 14 points. UNH fought back and cut the lead to 14-7, but that would be the closest they would get. On the next possession, Feury ’16.5 and Markun ’17 combined to move the ball 70 yards down the field for a score. Scott Westvold ‘19 scored next to put Middlebury up 24-7, and trys by both Feury ’16.5 and Yang ’17 gave Middlebury a 43-7 lead going into halftime.
The Middlebury momentum continued throughout the entire second half. Markun ’17 scored both of his trys early in the second half to give Middlebury a 57-7 lead. Lev Khodaverdy ’17 was next in line for a try. Khodaverdy ’17 intercepted a UNH pass and took the ball 60 yards in the opposite direction for his first try of the season. Amani Core ’19 also scored his first try of the season later in the second half. Core ’19, a regular in the forward pack, was instead playing on the wing and showed off his speed as he sprinted 50 yards and touched the ball down in the try zone. Additional trys from Yang ’17 and Westvold ’19 pushed the Middlebury scoring binge to 77 points for the game. UNH managed another score in the second half to make the final score 77-12 in favor of Middlebury.
The win pushed Middlebury’s record to 2-4 on the season. Middlebury is currently fourth out of five teams in the New England College Rugby Conference, however, three of their four losses have been by single digits. In their final two games, Middlebury plays the University of Vermont and the University of Rhode Island, the two teams ahead of them in the conference. If Middlebury wins out, they could end the season in a tie for second. After the momentum building win against UNH, Middlebury heads to the University of Vermont next Saturday, where they hope to continue their push for second place. The final game of the season will be played against the University of Rhode Island at Middlebury the following Saturday.