Army Can Clinch v WJU
Army Can Clinch v WJU
West Point can secure 1st in the Rugby Easy, and a potential date with Life University at the ACRC Bowl Weekend in Charlotte, NC, with a victory over Wheeling Jesuit.
Army is ranked #1 in the ACRC and #6 by Goff Rugby Report, while Wheeling Jesuit is ranked #20 among all DI programs by GRR.
“We’re very happy to be in the situation we are, we just need to finish off our conference season with a great win against Wheeling Jesuit,” said Army Head Coach Mike Mahan. “I think you always feel pressure, especially against a team like Wheeling Jesuit, they can surprise anybody. I think our kids are naturally competitive, they’re in a place where we attract competitive kids. What we just need to do is harness that energy and make it work for us.”
This will be the final regular season game for the Black Knights, who are capping off a string of three consecutive games against top 15 opponents. Army has knocked off three nationally ranked opponents on the season, claiming victories over Penn State, Kutztown, and Air Force. This will also be the first road contest for the Black Knights since they traveled to Buffalo on Oct. 18, claiming an impressive 73-12 victory over the Bulls.
In Army’s last game they knocked off service academy rival and eighth-ranked Air Force in a thriller from Anderson Rugby Complex. Trailing for a majority of the game, the Black Knights scored late in the second half and held on for the two-point victory in front of a raucous crowd.
The Black Knights will be without starters Logan Pearce and Jake Lachina who both suffered injuries in the first half of the Air Force game.
Entering the game as a replacement for Pearce was junior Andrew Borer, who converted the game winning kick in the 68th minute to lift the Black Knights to victory. Borer’s kick followed a try from Andy Sullivan who replaced Lachina. Borer has recorded one try and four kicks on the season, seeing significant time against Buffalo in early October. Sullivan’s points against the Falcons were his first of the season.
Wheeling Jesuit has had an up-and-down fall, as they looked most impressive in beating West Virginia and Iona, and pushed Kutztown, but lost fairly convincingly to Davenport and Penn State. They are still a young team, and are expected to test Army. But the Black Knights have shown great fortitude in winning some close games, and should finish the stronger.
During Saturday’s action, Wheeling Jesuit will celebrate Military Appreciation Day. The Black Knights will present a flag to the Cardinals that was flown over the West Virginia State Capitol and over West Point.
Kickoff from Wheeling, W.Va. is slated for 1 p.m.