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Dramatic Ending as NDC Edges IU

College Men

Dramatic Ending as NDC Edges IU

Notre Dame College is still unbeaten this fall. Steven Zomberg photo.

In a dramatic and much-anticipated non-conference college matchup, Notre Dame College held off the University of Indiana 31-30.

In a game that was back and forth the entire time, NDC took a 31-25 lead after fullback Marcus Tupuola broke clear and then offloaded to junior flanker Cian Grendon for a try. In the closing moments, Indiana scored to make it a one-point game, but the conversion didn’t go over, and the Falcons won.

Indiana took an early lead when Alex Dorrier went over, and Noah Schroder also scored for an early 10-0 IU lead. But tries from Andrew Guerra, Zack Forro, and Tupuola staked NDC to a 19-10 lead. IU’s Tyler Sousley scored late in the first half to make it a 19-15 NDC lead at the break.

Indiana built on that momentum shift and scored two more tries to take a 25-19 lead. NDC replied with a try to make it 25-24, but looked in trouble when flyhalf Corey Graham was apparently red-carded. Still, Tupuola was able to make that break and set up Grendon.

“We want these types of tough games,” said NDC Head Coach Jason Fox. “We’ve been working on continuity of play, especially ten meters out. We have been giving up the ball unnecessarily, and we needed to have better structure inside the 22. Defense has been one of our strong suits, but it needs to be better if we want to make that final four.”

For Indiana, the clash with NDC was an important step toward the Big Ten final. Club president Jacob Garwood said the comfortable wins in the Big Ten run the risk of lulling them into a false sense of security. 

“We have tried to make progress in every game, and Coach Sopa told us after the Michigan game that we were 80-85% of our potential,” said Garwood. “But against Iowa I think we regressed. But what’s been good for us is the strong B-side competition in the Big Ten has built depth We’ve been able to fill in when we’re missing players and still play well. In the past few years, sometimes relying on a backup wasn’t an option.”

They needed to rely on a couple of backups, with Bryce Campbell not available after playing for the the Americas Pacific Challenge. In addition, flyhalf Teddy Terezis was sidelined with a knee injury, and hooker Michael Weimer (ankle) was also rested. 

While IU played well, and scored six tries on the day, the losses were certainly felt. Terezis has been an excellent goalkicker for Indiana, and without him, they were 0-for-6 on conversions.