Purdue at Ohio State (9-15-18)

On a balmy Saturday afternoon, the Ohio State Buckeye Rugby Club was able to hold on for a 31-24 victory over the Boilermakers of Purdue. Sophomore wing Gavin Gill started the scoring, as great ball skills led to a break down the sideline, and Ohio State led 5-0 early. Purdue answered quickly with two tries off of turnovers and were up 12-5 midway through the first half of play.

After forcing multiple penalties on the Boilermakers half of the field, 8-man Nate Heister was able to dive over the try line off a quick tap. Andrew Baldado’s conversion was good, and the Buckeyes were able to tie it up, 12-12. About 5 minutes later, a great lineout throw from hooker/flanker Ben Richards led to a successful maul for the Buckeyes that moved nearly 15 meters. Andrew Baldado then scored with a dart off off scrumhalf Kevin Stefancin and made the conversion, making the score 19-12. The Buckeyes were able to get one more scored before halftime, as Nate Taylor and Timmy Vanderhoof forced a turnover, and Vanderhoof raced up the sideline. After an unsuccessful conversion, the Buckeyes led 24-12 heading into the break.

The first 20 minutes of the second half were mostly quiet, as both teams battled through the heat and defenses stepped up. Finally, with 20 minutes remaining, flyhalf Mike Mathews was able to step two defenders en route to a try. The kick was good, and the Bucks led 31-12. The Boilermakers were able to battle their way back into the game as the second half winded down. Purdue scored with about 10 minutes remaining after spending several minutes on attack. A few minutes later, the Boilermakers took advantage of a poor lineout throw and several penalties to score again, making the score 31-24.

The Buckeyes were able to hold for the last few minutes and keep Purdue from threatening. The Buckeyes successfully counter-rucked, and flanker Nate Smith kicked to touch to end the match.

Ohio State moves to 3-0 on the season, as the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame prepare to make the trip from South Bend to Columbus for a match on September 22nd (location and time still TBA).

Ohio State at U Cincinnati (9-7-18)

Suffocating defense and offensive pace lead the way in Buckeyes’ 67-8 triumph over the University of Cincinnati Bearcats.

Ohio State scored early and often against the Bearcats of Cincinnati. Within the first 5 minutes, hooker Ben Richards, coming off a two-try performance at Bowling Green, scooped a charge down. After several successful offloads, Nate Taylor found his way over the try line. Andrew Baldado’s kick was good, and the Buckeyes led 7-0 early. Soon after, the Buckeyes swung it wide off a lineout and wing David Chesko touched it down in the corner. The kick was no good, and OSU led 12-0 with 25 minutes remaining in the first half.

Led by the hard-hitting Nick Zolikoff, the Buckeye defense continuously thwarted UC’s attempts to find a rhythm offensively. After UC was able to convert a penalty in front of the posts, the Buckeyes were able to kick their way into Bearcat territory. Zolikoff barreled through the defense and made the score 19-3 after the successful conversion towards the end of the first half. Baldado was able to slot a penalty kick with about 5 minutes left, and the Buckeyes led 22-3 at halftime.

The second half was all Ohio State, as the Buckeyes used their pace and experienced pack to score 44 points. Captain Spencer Krueger and 8-man Nate Heister each scored two tries, while Ben Richards found the try zone for the third time in two games. Freshman hooker/prop Joey Phipps scored his first collegiate try with a little under 10 minutes to play. The Bearcats did get a try in the second off after multiple penalties on the Buckeyes, making the score 62-8 near full-time. At the clock neared zero, Joe O’Brien was awarded a penalty try after being tackled high near the try line. The Buckeyes conceded the kick and the final whistle blew. 67-8, Ohio State.

Ohio State moves to 2-0 on the year. Next week, the Purdue Boilermakers will make their way to Columbus for a 1pm kickoff on 9/15/2018.

Ohio State at Bowling Green (9-4-18)

Using a balanced attack of forward and backline play, the Buckeyes took down the Falcons of Bowling Green by a score of 27-12 to spoil their 50th anniversary weekend.

After trading penalties at midfield in the opening 15 minutes, the Buckeyes used superb kicking from Andrew Baldado and Michael Mathews to get near the Falcons’ try line. Flanker Josef O’Brien quick tapped and spun it wide to outside center Ryan Bradfield who dove into the try zone for a score. The Buckeyes missed the conversion attempt, and the Falcons answered quickly with a breakaway try down the sideline.

With about 15 minutes remaining in the first half, 8-man Heister flipped the ball to scrumhalf Kevin Stefancin off the scrum, racing towards the week side. The ball found the hands of fullback Ronan Forrestal, who is in the midst of pursuing a PhD, and he executed a perfect grubber kick. Wing Nate Taylor raced up the sideline, and the kick bounced perfectly into his hands. Baldado made the conversion, making the score 12-5 Buckeyes. Ohio State took advantage of a few BG penalties, and Ben Richards dove into the try zone right before halftime to make the score 17-5 at the break.

The Buckeyes found themselves playing a man up early in the second half after a high tackle and subsequent yellow card on a BG player. Richards scored once again as OSU utilized a maul off a lineout near the try line. The ensuing kick was no good, and the Buckeyes led 22-5 early in the second half.

After double red cards were issues to each teams for a slight skirmish and a multitude of penalties on each side, BG was able to capitalize with a try and a made conversion, making the score 22-12 Buckeyes with 20 minutes remaining.

The penalties continued to pile up for each side, as stout defense led by Baldado and prop Spencer Krueger kept the Falcons out of the try zone. As the clock winded down, a fantastic kick to touch found the Buckeyes threatening with a lineout ensuing. The Buckeyes won the lineout and successful mauled, resulting in Tyler Maul releasing from the back of the maul and leaping over the try line. Baldado’s kick was no good, making the score 27-12 Bucks. The final whistle blew, and the Buckeyes emerged victorious in the blistering heat.

The Buckeyes will look to build upon their win with a matchup against the University of Cincinnati Bearcats on September 7th at Fred Beekman Park.


— Liam Garven