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It's A Wild Road To Top Of The Chesapeake

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It's A Wild Road To Top Of The Chesapeake

Photo courtesy Virginia Tech Rugby

The road to the Chesapeake Conference probably goes through Maryland, but Virginia Tech is driving the bus.

With two weeks left in conference play, Virginia Tech is in control after having beaten Mount St. Mary’s 31-20. MSM was undefeated until that game. The Hokies victory puts them at 4-1 with six bonus points for 22 points in the standings. They are six points clear of NC State, seven points clear of MSM, eight points ahead of Maryland, and nine points ahead of Salisbury.

All of those teams still have a shot at making the top three in the conference, and therefore a potential national championship berth.

“We just have a good group of guys,” said Virginia Tech captain and lock Kelly Fernandi, who got over the tryline against MSM. “We’re a pretty physical team and we’re playing a dynamic game. When we play a dynamic game we do well.”

Tech fell behind Mount St. Mary’s 10-0 before Fernandi’s try got Tech closer. No. 8 Ieuan Israel’s try nudged them ahead 14-10 after Wesley Pan’s conversion. 

Israel added another try and Tech held on from there despite Pan going off with an injury.

The only blemish on Virginia Tech’s record is their 26-24 loss to Salisbury October 12.

“Too many mental errors,” said Fernandi.

That was a key victory for Salisbury after an early loss to NC State and a tie to Maryland where Salisbury led by 24.

“Against Virginia Tech we dominated field position and possession, but you players make mistakes and that cost us a couple of tries,” said Salisbury Coach Bill Creese. “We are better than we played early in the season. Our consistency has been frustrating but we are starting to take shape.”

What that game did was bring Salisbury back in the mix.

And here’s how it all shakes out:

Maryland is 2-1-1 and plays Mount St. Mary’s and Virginia Tech over the next two weekends. If the Terps win both of those games, then they take the conference. If Virginia Tech beats Maryland (ther only remaining game), then the Hokies take the conference.

If Maryland beats Virginia Tech but loses to Mount St. Mary’s, and Salisbury beats Georgetown (as expected), then the MSM vs Salisbury game on November 2 could be for the conference.

NC State, sitting 2nd right now but at 3-2, has only one game left, against a 1-4 James Madison team that is more dangerous than their record suggests.

NCSU has to win that game to remain in the hunt for the #2 vs #3 playoff game slated for November 9.

If there is an at-large bid for the Chesapeake into the national playoffs, that game will decide who goes.

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