Ohio State Rugby takes down Indiana University Hoosiers (10-13-18)

Utilizing a well-balanced attack after a strong week of practice, the Ohio State Buckeyes defeated Indiana University in a hard-fought match.

OSU was able to start their attack quickly and get onto the board early. After a quality lineout throw from hooker Ben Richards, center Ryan Bradfield was able to break through the line then find fullback Ronan Forrestal who dove in for a try. Andrew Baldado completed the conversion, and the Buckeyes led 7-0 about 7 minutes into the contest.

Ohio State was able to get onto the attack again after wing Nate Taylor ran over an opposing defender and got the Buckeyes into IU territory. After a few more successful phases, freshman flanker Nick Zolikoff was able to break several tackles en route to a try. The ensuing conversion was no good, and the Bucks led 12-0 with 15 minutes gone.

The Hoosiers threatening on a few occasions in the next 20 minutes, but Ohio State was able to force several turnovers and mistakes to keep IU out of the try zone. With about 5 minutes left, IU was able to make a penalty kick after an Ohio State high tackle, making it 12-3. The Buckeyes were able to quickly respond, as they remained on attack for most of the remaining half. Scrumhalf Kevin Stefancin was able to run a successful switch with Nick Zolikoff for a 10-meter try as the clock winded down. It was Zolikoff’s second try of the afternoon, and Baldado’s conversion made it 19-3 Buckeyes heading into the half.

Indiana started off the second half by quickly scoring a try in the corner. The kick was no good, and the Hoosier cut OSU’s lead to 19-8. IU also was able to successfully convert a penalty into 3 points 10 minutes into the second half, making it 19-11 Bucks.

After 20 more minutes of back and forth play, the Buckeyes were able to find pay dirt once again. Ryan Bradfield broke through the line again, this time offloading to Andrew Baldado who dove in for the try. His ensuing kick was successful, and Buckeyes established a 26-11 lead with 10 minutes remaining. The Hoosiers were able to get one more try before the final whistle blew, but were not able to overcome the deficit. Ohio State emerged victorious after a well-played match.

After wins against IU and Purdue, Ohio State is now 2-0 in Big Ten play. The Buckeyes will face another test this weekend, as the Badgers of Wisconsin travel to Fred Beekman Park for a match on October 20th.

Penn State uses fast start and potent offense to take down Buckeyes (9-29-18)

Ohio State drops to 3-2 after a loss to the nation’s 5th ranked team, the Nittany Lions of Penn State.

Fantastic backline plays and frequent offloading allowed Penn State to take a 31-0 lead at half-time. Despite their efforts, Ohio State was unable to reach a consistent rhythm and get things moving on offense.

The Buckeyes were able to find more success in the second half. Ohio State was able to score two tries and two successful conversions in a 14-point second half effort. Penn State’s talent offense was able to score 17 more points in the second half, leading to a 48-12 victory in Happy Valley.

The Buckeyes will play their second of three straight road games this weekend, as they travel to the University of Illinois to take on the Fighting Illini in their second Big Ten contest of the year (10/6/18). The week after, the Buckeyes will make the trip to Bloomington for a rematch against the defending Big Ten Champions, the Hoosiers of Indiana University.

Buckeyes Suffer First Setback of The Year, Fall to Notre Dame 33-28 (9-22-18)

On Saturday afternoon, the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame took advantage of one too many Buckeye mistakes to come away with a victory at Fred Beekman Park.

A high scoring first half saw the Irish take a 26-21 lead. Notre Dame successfully intercepted an errant pass for a try to start the scoring on the day, and were able to successful counter-ruck on Buckeye phase near the try line. Despite giving up 4 tries, OSU was able to put 3 tries and 3 good conversions on the board before the halftime whistle. This included a beautiful try that saw nearly every member of the backline touch and offload en route to a 50+ meter try.

The second half began quietly, as neither team was able to put points on the board for nearly 20 minutes. With 22 minutes left, the Irish were able to take a two score lead. The scored remained for 33-21 until captain Spencer Krueger was able to dive over the try line with 12 minutes left. Andrew Baldado’s kick made the score 33-28. Despite the Buckeyes threatening for much of the remaining time, the Notre Dame defense was able to hold strong and keep the final at 33-28.

The Buckeyes fall to 3-1 on the year and face another tough matchup next weekend, as Ohio State travels to Happy Valley to take on the Nittany Lions.

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