JONESBORO, Ark. — Arkansas State beat Kutztown 31-10 on a muddy Saturday to advance to the DI-A semifinals. With the victory and Army’s loss to Life in another quarterfinal, ASU has won the right to host Life Saturday May 4th in Jonesboro, Ark.
“The weather conditions today made things difficult in the first half,” said ASU head coach Alex Houser. “We usually play wider and more expansive, but we had to tighten up with the field conditions. Our guys did a good job and adapted to the conditions in the second half. I am really proud of them.”
Heavy rains Friday and Saturday left standing water and muddy field conditions. With about seven minutes remaining in the match, play was suspended temporarily due to lightning. However, both teams resumed play shortly afterward and the Red Wolves put the game out of reach from the visitors.
ASU got on the board first after All-American Zac Mizell made a break and got the ball to wing Zinzan Elan-Puttick who tallied the first score. All-American flyhalf Pat Sullivan converted, making it 7-0. Kutztown scored an unconverted try late in the first half to close the halftime gap to just two – 7-5 to ASU.
Sullivan came out in the second half to extend the Red Wolf lead with a penalty kick, and Elan-Puttick put up a second score to bring ASU’s total to 17-5. Freshman wing Gavin Brown and junior No. 8 Shaun Potgieter ran in tries, both converted by Sullivan, to end ASU’s scoring frenzy with a 31-5 lead.
Kutztown continued to fight back and scored once more to leave the final score, 31-10, with the Red Wolves the victor.
Houser was especially pleased with his back row of Kirk Pretorius (6-4, 230, freshman), Steyn Benade (6-0, 200, senior) and Potgieter.
“They did a great job as did (Pat) Sullivan,” continued Houser. “We are glad to have Zac (Mizell) back. He adds a lot to our attack.”