The Baron ruggers defeated Geneva College in the semifinals of the championship in a well-fought 50-7 win Oct. 26.
The ruggers hit the pitch ready to play hard for their first home game in a month, and several dedicated fans braved the rain to cheer the team on.
The Barons started strong as senior 8-man David Prezzia scored a try five minutes into the first half and junior full back Jake Goduti made the conversion to make the score 7-0.
At the 23 minute mark, sophomore flyhalf Rafe Lewis kicked the ball into Geneva’s half, raced after it and captured the ball to score another try, bringing the score to 12-0. The teams pushed back and forth, but the Barons continued to dominate the pitch. Junior wing Jake Reinstein scored off an assist from freshman scrumhalf Paul Herbert, and Goduti once again made the conversion. After a stretch of concerted effort, senior forward Zack Barnes scored again for the Barons with four minutes left, and the half ended with a score of 24-0.
The second half began with renewed energy as the Barons pushed the ball down the pitch. An excellent catch by junior wing Cader Coleman set up the team for Prezzia to score another try before the 34 minute mark. Staring down a 31-0 lead, Geneva did their best to make a comeback, but a team effort on the Barons’ part earned another try and brought the score to 36-0.
The Geneva ruggers finally pushed through and scored their first try at the 14 minute mark. However, the Barons held their own for the rest of the game, and Prezzia scored again soon after to bring the score to 43-7.
In the last seconds of the game, Lewis broke through the Geneva defense and scored a final try. The crowd went wild as the conversion points ended the game at 50-7, Barons.
“It looked like a blowout, but Geneva really came to play hard,” said head coach Jason Adams. “We played one game all of October, and it showed (the) first 20, 30 minutes. We were rusty, trying to figure things out, and pretty soon, some things came together. … If we can limit our penalties, we have a great opportunity to win the championship and move on to regionals.”
The Baron ruggers will attempt to secure a spot in the regionals when they play Robert Morris University in Pittsburgh Saturday, Nov. 2.