The Air Force Academy made it a Service Academy sweep as they overcame early deficits to beat Arizona 44-21 in front of a big crowd in Tucson, Ariz. Saturday.
With the local military doing a flyover and the weather enticing the fans, the game was perfectly set up for the Arizona Wildcats to showcase some outstanding rugby.
This they did for about 60 minutes, but a fit and speedy Air Force team put the game away late.
Arizona fell behind early 13-0, but stormed back with two tries to lead 14-13. At that point, Head Coach Dave Sitton thought the kinks were worked out and the Wildcats had it under control.
“We looked good and seemed to have it in hand,” said Sitton. “We scored again and led 21-13. Then we started making some pretty inexcusable errors and gave the game away.”
“We knew we had to take care of the ball,” added Air Force Coach Joe Muehlbauer. “Dave has a well-coached team and they would punish us if we turned the ball over. That’s what they did. But our fitness showed – the players have been working really hard at that – and I think the guys who have been playing 7s turned it up a notch.”
Air Force exploded for 31 points in the latter part of the game to win. Muehlbauer said he was pleased with the overall effort, but mentioned sub flanker Ken Kinderwater, who energized the Zoomie effort when he took the field, scoring two tries and playing good defense, as well.
“Overall, though, it was just guys doing their jobs,” Muehlbauer said.