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Brown, Davis to DIAA Playoffs

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Brown, Davis to DIAA Playoffs

Notre Dame College, in blue, and Davis, in stripes, played in the 2016 final. Michael Geib photo.

UC Davis and Brown are the final two teams in the DIAA spring playoffs after both won Sunday playoff games.

In the Ivy League, with both Dartmouth and Harvard going to the Varsity Cup, the league held a four-team play-in for to decide its DIAA playoff representative. Brown, which was 2nd in the league season during the fall with a 5-2 record, defeated Yale 44-5 on March 25. On Friday, Princeton beat Penn 45-0. On Sunday, then, Princeton took on Brown, and Brown emerged the winner 19-12.

Peter McHugh continued his torrid playoff scoring binge with a try. Princeton replied with a try from Mo Shalan to tie the gam 5-5. Brown kept Princeton under pressure but took a long time to get any points out of it, and the teams entered the break still tied 5-5. Finally, Nick Hoyns went over and with McHugh's conversion Brown led 12-5. Then McHugh, who scored three tries in the win over Yale, scored his second of the day and converted for the 19-5 lead. 

Princeton scored right at the death to make it 19-12, but it is Brown that moves on to the Eastern Regional.

Meanwhile, in California, the Pacific Western Conference was decided, with UC Davis taking on Chico State in a rematch of a league game played a week ago - a game Chico State won. That result was the first loss Davis had suffered in league or playoff play in 35 matches, and it stuck with the Aggies.

"That wakeup call couldn't have come at a better time," said Davis Head Coach Kal Incendy. 

The Davis team studied film from last week and concluded that the main thing they needed to fix was their lineouts.

"They are super-strong in the lineout and we needed to make that set piece work better and we were able to do that," said Incendy. THe Davis players were angry at having lost last week to Chico State, and made it plane on Saturday, telling Incendy that they wanted Chico State to win the semi over Nevada in order to exocise that particular demon.

"They didn't appreciate the loss last week, and told me they wanted to play Chico because it meant more to bat Chico," Incendy explaind.

And so they did. Davis was fired up and led most of the game, holding on 26-18. Incendy said he gave the game MVP to the entire team, and emphasized that the game required a team effort, and he got it.

"They had the right attitude and I was very pleased without play," said Incendy. "Mike Purcell is a great coach and Chico is a very formidable team. They played hard until the last minute, and I commend Mike for getting his guys ready to do that. It shows their character."

In the last three years, UC Davis is 35-1 in league and playoff play. 

Now on to the 1st round of the DIAA spring playoffs. The winner will play Notre Dame College for the 2016-17 DIAA title.

In the East:

#1 Florida State (SIRC Champion) v #4 North Texas (At Large)
#2 Missouri (HOA Champion) v #3 Brown (Ivy League)

(winners play off April 9)

West Regional
#1 UC Davis (Pacific West) v #4 CSULB (Play-in winners)
#2 Western Washington (NCRC Champion) v #3 Grand Canyon (Gold Coast Champion)

(winners play off April 9)