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D1A Wrap: Saint Mary's, Cal, Lindenwood, Cal Poly, GCU, Davenport

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D1A Wrap: Saint Mary's, Cal, Lindenwood, Cal Poly, GCU, Davenport

Grand Canyon is still winning. Jeff Dalton photo.

In a hugely physical clash between top-10 D1A teams, Saint Mary's pulled away from Navy to beat the Midshipmen 43-25 Saturday at Cal's Witter field.

On a day when two military academies were in action in Berkeley, with Army playing Cal, players and teams had a unique opportunity to test themselves. 

Navy and Saint Mary's went at each other as hard as possible, and it was a battle for Saint Mary's to make the gainline early on. But slowly Saint Mary's started to inch their way through. Joe Marchant was very effective running onto the ball, and Ronan Murphy was also useful, while out wide Eddie King continued his good run of form.

Joe Yacoubian put over a penalty goal for the first points of the day, but on the next kickable penalty, the Gaels opted for the lineout, and eventually punched one over. Navy stormed back, and after a yellow card to Tavite Lopeti of Saint Mary's, the Midshipmen kicked deep and turned the ball over to score in the corner. That made it a four-point game. The teams traded scored to keep it that way, 24-20 at halftime.

It remained close through a good portion of the second half, but the depth of Saint Mary's started to tell and the Gaels scored three late tries to pull away.

Following that game, Cal and Army played a similar game. It was physical, played with a lot of intensity, and close for the first 40 at least. Cal entered the break up 19-12 thanks to tries from Tom Gallo, Jack Manzo, and Sam Cusano. 

But in the second half, the Bears started to exploit spaces in the Army defense, and pulled away 62-22.

Also in D1A:

Davenport got on the field against Big 10 champs Indiana. Tries from fullback Josiah Mupeso and forward Jacob Gent, and two from No. 8 Joshua McAdam, with flyhalf Matthew DeVilliers converting all four, led the Panthers to a 28-17 win.

Cal Poly took a nice step forward with a 38-14 defeat of UC Santa Barbara. Patrick Madden was immense on the day, scoring two well-taken tries and running the Mustang offense. Grand Canyon beat San Diego State 45-3. No. 8 Jacob Burns, wing Cameron Johnston, prop Lincoln Sii, flanker Ronald Sallee, lock Sam Muter, and wing Nathan Miller scored for the 'Lopes.

With the wins, GCU improved to 4-1 and Cal Poly improved to 3-2.. Both are in decent position to get an at-large bid to the D1A playoffs.

UCLA defeated Utah 56-0 to improve to 1-2.

And in the Mid-South, Lindenwood capped off its conference play with a 43-5 defeat of Arkansas State to improve to 4-1. A solid team effort confirmed Lindenwood at 1st in the conference. However, Life is at 2-1 and has Davenport left on the schedule. Life needs to make up its canceled game with Clemson.