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JMU Over Harvard in DIAA Playoffs

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JMU Over Harvard in DIAA Playoffs

James Madison University took care of business in the DIAA Round of 16 Saturday, beating Harvard 49-16 to move on to the quarterfinal/semifinal weekend at Bowling Green next week.

JMU started strong, moving the ball very quickly and just outstripping the Harvard defense. It was 28-3 at halftime. Fullback/center Michael Barry was exceptional, scoring three tries and playing inspired defense. Flanker Nick Bruno led the team in chasing to the breakdown, was defensively strong, and helped an inexperienced tight five set the platform.

Of the tight five, the experienced Mo Katz was all over the place.

For Head Coach Mark Lambourne, the win was nice to get, especially as his team has been playing so much 7s of late.

"While we have the players playing 7s, we also have something we call the Front Row Club," said Lambourne. "We get the tight five guys together and work on scrums and lineouts and tight play. That way, when we come back from 7s, we just slot in our backline, along with Mo at prop. And with our backs playing so much 7s they are really comfortable with the long passes, and really comfortable with securing possession in the breakdown with one player."

That ability to spread the ball and not over-resource the rucks meant JMU had space and overloads. Harvard battled hard, and scored two late tries, but couldn't quite keep up.