COLORADO SPRINGS, CO - On Friday, Oct. 4th, BYU traveled to Colorado Springs to play the Colorado State University Rams. Last Fall, BYU beat the Rams in the Rocky Mountain Rugby Conference Finals, which gave them an automatic bid to the D1A Spring rugby playoffs. This year, the Cougars came out on top again with a dominating 42-10 win.
At the start of the game, BYU was called for a penalty. The penalty allowed CSU to advance up the field close to the BYU 10 meter line for a lineout. Despite CSU’s advantageous field position, BYU established its defensive dominance. BYU fly-half, Ezias Bigelow picked up a dropped CSU pass, in the 5th minute which helped BYU gain offensive momentum. BYU transitioned quickly to offensive and prop, David Nonu, took the ball in hard to the two-meter line. His run set up number 7 flanker and captain, Tosh Wilcox, for the first try of the match in the 10th minute. Ezias Bigelow made the conversion which put BYU up 7-0.
After the score, Bigelow punted the ball downfield for the kickoff. The CSU fullback responded with a nice 30 meter run down the sideline. Later, during a CSU lineout, BYU’s Wilcox made a dominant tackle and attempted to intercept the CSU pass. Soon after, BYU dropped a pass and CSU stole the ball. There was messy ball handling for both teams as the players endured windy conditions. In the 17th minute, CSU knocked the ball on giving BYU the scrum. Number 8, Braden Pape, picked the ball and ran to advance almost 10 meters. The Cougar backline swung the ball wide off the scrum which gave fullback, Connor Parry, an opportunity to take space on the outside. Parry attempted to offload to wing Webber who then passed to Bigelow. BYU’s offensive drive ended with a knock-on from the forwards in the 18th minute.
CSU’s penalty in the 22nd minute gave BYU the chance to kick for three points. Bigelow’s 30-meter attempt was no good. BYU maintained offensive position and Parry made a good run off of BYU’s scrum. His run set up BYU lock, James Mocke, an opportunity to crash in for the Cougar’s second try of the match. Bigelow’s conversion attempt was good and put BYU up 14-0. (25th)
CSU fired up defensively and stole BYU’s line out in the 26th minute. CSU gained possession of the ball and advanced to BYU’s defensive half of the field. BYU was able to hold the Rams off after a CSU line-out and maul. CSU number 23 made a hard run on the outside in the 32nd minute despite BYU’s strong defensive line. CSU continued to fight for meters and broke past the BYU defensive line. BYU was called for a penalty and CSU attempted to kick for touch but the ball went right into the hands of BYU outside center, Jacob Mckay. Despite the Ram’s speed, BYU was able to hold them scoreless in the first half.
2nd Half 14-0 BYU
To begin the second half, BYU kicked off to CSU. BYU wing number 11, Coleman Meier, was able to snatch the kick from the air. Soon after, the Cougars knocked the ball on which gave CSU possession. CSU was eager to take advantage of this offensive opportunity early in the half. CSU made good runs splitting past the BYU defensive line which advanced the Rams to the 5-meter line.BYU penalty followed soon after in the 44th minute, which gave CSU the scrum close to their 5-meter line. CSU wing, number 14, was denied by the strong BYU defense at the try line. CSU gave up a penalty in the 47th minute which allowed BYU’s Bigelow to punt the ball away relieving BYU from CSU’s offensive pressure. CSU came back strong on offense and had a lineout in the 51st minute close to their 5-meter line. CSU forward, Joseph Kamara, took the ball in for a try. CSU attempted but missed the conversion. (52nd) The Rams got on the scoreboard and made it 14-5.
A penalty on CSU gave BYU a scrum in the 54th minute. Outside center Jacob McKay, exploded for a 10-meter run. BYU continued to find gaps in the CSU defense. Wilcox scored in the 55th with an assist from BYU number 5, James Mocke. Bigelow made the conversion in the 55th putting the Cougars up 21-5.
In the 65th minute following a BYU knock-on, CSU earned a scrum. BYU’s defense continued to be impenetrable. Outside center, Mckay, made a driving tackle that stopped CSU’s back attack. CSU decided to kick in the 67th. BYU wing, Coleman, worked with Parry for a few passes. Coleman cleared the ball and then won his own kick. The wing offloaded to Bigelow for the 60-meter run and try in the 67th. Bigelow was good for the conversion and scored 7 points which made it 28-5. (68th)
After kick-off, BYU maintained forward momentum and advanced forward on every drive. Number 13, Jacob Mckay, juked several CSU defenders and scored in the 70th minute. Bigelow’s 5th conversion was good and the Cougars went up 35-5.
CSU was unable to answer offensively and had a knock-on in the 74th which led to a BYU scrum. BYU forward number 5, James Mocke, took advantage of the offensive possession and split past the CSU defenders. Parry was able to finish the possession scored in the 75th, after a skip pass from Bigelow. Parry was the 4th Cougar to get on the scoreboard. Bigelow made his 5th conversion of the game and ran the score up to 42-5.
In the final minutes of extra time, CSU worked the ball between forwards and backs. BYU was able to recover the ball close to the CSU try zone and attempted to clear the ball out but CSU, Joe Yallop, snatched the kick and pulled down the ball to score in the 82nd. CSU missed the kick in 83rd. The final score was 42-10. CSU gave BYU a good fight, starting four freshmen. The Cougars return to play in Colorado Springs against Air Force on October 12th.
Scoring Summary -
Tries - Wilcox (10', 55’ ), Mocke (24’), Bigelow (67’), Mckay (70’) Parry (75’) CSU Kamara (51’) Yallop (82’)
Conversions - Bigelow (11', 25’, 55’, 68’, 71’, 77’)
Halftime Score - BYU 14, CSU 0
Final Score - BYU 42, CSU 10
BYU team vs CSU-
1. Adam King, 2. Kacey Joyner, 3. David Nonu, 4. Josh Harden, 5. James Mocke, 6. Carter Beck, 7. Tosh Wilcox-C, 8. Braden Pape, 9. Dylan Parry, 10. Ezias Bigelow, 11. Coleman Meier 12. Lono Kanongata’a, 13. Jacob Mckay, 14. Ben Webber, 15. Connor Parry 16. Ethan Johnson, 17. Thomas Britt, 18. Alex King, 19. McKay Johnson, 20. Jacob Littlefield, 21. Alma Schoenfeld, 22. Connor Olvera, 23. Davin Evanson