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Central Washington Charges Past Army

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Central Washington Charges Past Army

Two tries from Cole Zarcone as CWU beats Army. David Barpal photo.

Central Washington rode a huge second-half surge to beat Army 51-20 Wednesday afternoon in a meeting at Cal Maritime in Vallejo, Calif.

The result cemented CWU as a top-10 team, and virtually guaranteed a place in the D1A playoffs.

Army was not firing on all cylinders. The Black Knights had several promising scoring opportunities that died because of skill breakdowns, usually poor passes that went behind the wing, or onto the ground. Those missed chances would come back to haunt Army.

Army scored early but a try from captain Cole Zarcone brought the Wildcats closer. Freshman prop Aiden Latter powered over after a long period of attack, and while Army led 13-10 after two penalty goals, lock Noah Christy trundled over to give CWU a 15-13 at the break. 

The second half was pretty much all Central Washington. Jack Wendling scored on a breakaway, and he added his second to make it 29-13. At that points, Army's defense started to suffer. CWU found gaps in the Army defensive line, and they were burned by pick-and-goes and quick snipes around the ruck. Central certainly finished the stronger. Sub front-rower Diego Damian-Hernandez, Zarcone again, Wendling (his third), and forward Ivan Pula ran the score to 50 before Army finished off with a try.

CWU went into this game ranked #6 by D1A, with Army at #13. GRR, which votes on the D1A rankings, has the same ranking for those two teams. But it's not lost on observers that this result wasn't that much different from Cal's 62-22 defeat of Army on Saturday.

Army ran out a very similar lineup against CWU compared to the one against Cal. They had only one change in the backs, and six of the forwards that started against Central started against Cal.