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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

ACRC Bowl Series Recap

Last weekend saw some of the top fall 15s playing teams gather in North Carolina and the Rugby Athletic Center for the ACRC Bowls Series. In the end the tournament saw plenty of strong play and surprises along the way.

Indiana 38-34 Kutztown

As the marquee match of the tournament the battle between Indiana and Kutztown didn't disappoint. Indiana had been barred from postseason play the last couple of years for a eligibility violation and this was their first opportunity to show how strong they have been. They did that and more as the took it to, and eventually beat, a very town Kutztown side. The match began with Indiana picking up a penalty and then a try to take a 10-0 lead. Kutztown answered with a try of their own three minutes later before a penalty from Teddy Terezis (who had all of Indiana's points so far) pushed the lead up to 13-7.

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That lead didn't last, however, as Kutztown scored a converted try in the 30th minute to take a 14-13 lead. Still, Indiana found tries at crucial moments. With just a few minutes left in the half Tyler Graham dotted down to put Indiana back in the lead at 20-14.

In the second half the match continued to go back and forth. Kutztown scored first on a penalty before Indiana scored a penalty and a try. With those scores they led 28-17. The teams then traded tries, first Kutztown, then Indiana, the Kutztown again to put the score at 35-34 for Indiana. They iced the match with a late penalty.

AIC 54-21 Clemson

The match between AIC and Clemson was another marquee match with AIC wanting to show that they are the dominant team in the fall. If there was any doubt before the match it was crushed as they beat Clemson 54-21. Clemson actually took an early lead when Eric Cremsley scored a try but then AIC rattled off four straight tries before the half to lead 28-7.

Like in the first half Clemson would score first in the second half only to see AIC respond. They were able to grab a couple more tries but four more tries for AIC made it too hard to come back. Jihad Khabir was phenomenal once again for the Yellow Jackets.

Tennessee 23-22 South Carolina

In the SCRC Championship Tennessee score a late dramatic try from Kerry Robberts to give Tennessee the title over the Gamecocks. South Carolina's only two losses in the fall came to Tennessee who showed they are to be taken seriously. The match was close throughout with the largest lead being a 12-6 lead for South Carolina in the 26th minute.

Stony Brook 36-14 Cincinnati

Stony Brook were another team to make their mark. Despite going into halftime at 14-14 to Cincinnati, Stony Brook put in a very strong second half performance with James Sheridan picking up a hat-trick on the day.

North Texas 19-16 Rutgers

In another close match North Texas beat Rutgers 19-16. Rutgers held a 16-12 lead in the 70th minute thanks to a penalty but a try from Jason Hart with just four minutes to go but North Texas in the lead. It was the first time all match North Texas held the lead.

St. Bonaventure 19-17 Western Michigan

Western Michigan's Eric Williams tried to do his part with three tries for the Broncos but the consistency of St. Bonaventure was simply too much in this match. It was very close in the end with St. Bonaventure having to do some last ditch defending well past the 80 minute mark to hold on.

Boston College 26-20 Alabama

Boston College made it a clean sweep for the ECRC schools as they beat Alabama. Like many matches, this one came down to the final minutes. Alabama nearly took the lead in the 75th minute but a missed conversion meant they were a point short. Boston College would add an insurance try with two minutes to go.

Notre Dame College 33-28 Syracuse

Syracuse made a late run to put the score close but with 7 minutes left in the match Notre Dame College held a 33-18 lead, showing how dominant they were.

UMass 41-10 North Carolina State

This was a rare blowout on the weekend as UMass started what would become a banner weekend for the ECRC. 

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