There were no week six upsets in the Mid-South, as Arkansas State and Life pummeled their opponents, and winless Oklahoma remained such.
Life’s 55-3 win over Notre Dame was the most lopsided of the weekend, with the Running Eagles eager to get back in the win column after falling 28-26 at Arkansas State.
“The game against Arkansas State was sort of the slap in the face the guys needed,” said Life coach and director of rugby Dan Payne. “We had an excellent week of practice, and it translated into a good result. The ASU game was a good test for us and let us know what the bar is.”
Life’s more experienced leaders, Cam Dolan and Garrett Lambert, combined for three tries, but some of Life’s more green starters contributed heavily, as well.
“The young guys are beginning to get it and understand,” said Payne. “Paris Hollis and Joe Cowley, freshmen, really played well, and now they know how tough it can be.”
Hollis scored one try against the Irish, while Cowley banked 24 points on two tries, two penalties and four conversions.
In Knoxville, Tenn., Tennessee hung with Arkansas State the first 20 minutes, before the Red Wolves kicked into high gear. Leading just 6-3 19 minutes in, Arkansas State went on a 24-point run to put the game out of reach.
Tennessee stopped the bleeding with a Grant Wood penalty followed by a Rick Wheeler try, which Wood converted, to make it 30-13 in favor of ASU. The Red Wolves outscored Tennessee four-to-one the rest of the way to win 70-23.
Flyhalf Patrick Sullivan led the Red Wolves with 22 points off eight conversions and two penalties, and fullback Danie Swanepoel, No. 8 Shaun Potgieter and wing Dale Bates scored two tries a piece.
In the Mid-South’s third game, LSU notched its first College Premier Division win in impressive fashion, pounding Oklahoma 39-5. The win takes on more significance, as it was LSU’s senior day.
“It was the last home game for a pretty special group of seniors that I’ve had for four years,” said LSU head coach Scott MacLean of Adam Ducoing, Robert Johns, Cody Cadell, Cullen Glennon, Jayson Deleaumont, Mike Bores, Tyler Ammerman and Syd Blakemore. “All have been extremely instrumental in the recent success of the club.”
Though LSU never trailed, they led just 5-0 at halftime, and after a few adjustments during the break, including swapping starting scrumhalf Justin Garrett for Ian Wisecarver, LSU exploded offensively in the second half. Wing Janek Savage led the way with a hat-trick of tries on the day.
“He’s been scoring a lot of points for us, and he was at the end of a couple good things for us. He’s played well,” said MacLean. “He’s a great finisher. He’s a very experienced player. He comes to play every game and he’s at the right place. He kind of finishes some things, but there’s some hard work inside by Robert and Adam and Michael and our forwards for him to finish.”
Oklahoma All American and 7s Eagle Taylor Mokate exited the game in the fourth minute with a knee injury.