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Lindenwood Pulls Away From CWU in Top-Ranking Midweek Battle

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Lindenwood Pulls Away From CWU in Top-Ranking Midweek Battle

Jeremy Zwick had to move to wing and started scoring tries. Photo Todd Lunow photo.

In a midweek game in Ellensburg, Wash., Lindenwood defeated Central Washington 37-22 Tuesday.

This game was far, far closer than the final score might indicate. It was tied with 13 minutes to go and was still a one-score game into the final five minutes.

The game was very entertaining and the scoring went back-and-forth for much of the afternoon.

Central Washington opened the scoring with quick hands wide and a grubber to the corner. Lindenwood’s cover defense fell over just as the ball took a weird bounce, allowing the Wildcats to tough down.

Lindenwood answered right after with a snappy breakaway down the left side—foreshadowing—and lock Alejandro Martinez Tapia galloped in to make it 5-5. The Lions added a penalty only for CWU to answer and it was 8-8.

Central Washington retook the lead with some sustained pressure in the Lindenwood 22 and eventually some smart passing outside got them over. The Lindenwood players cried forward pass, but probably would have been better served playing until the whistle went (which it didn’t).

The conversion was good and it was 15-8, but right off the restart Lindenwood powered to the line with some very direct running. They thought they had scored but were held up. Still they kept at it and finally went wide and scored on the right side. Conversion was good and it was 15-15 at halftime.

The second half started with Lindenwood spending a long period inside the CWU 22. They were held up in-goal, only to come back and look to score in the left corner off a grubber and chase. But that try was disallowed due to a knock-on 

Finally Lindenwood got it over. A penalty by Central Washington set up a Lindenwood lineout inside the Wildcat 22, and the ball was sent wide to Jeremy Zwick—normally a scrumhalf but switched to the wing for the second half. Zwick unleashed the sidesteps that made him such a dangerous 7s player for Belmont Shore, beat several tacklers, to score. The difficult conversion was good and it was 22-15 Lindenwood.

Central responded immediately. A knock-on just after the restart set up an attacking scrum. The pass off the scrum was somewhat low (foreshadowing) but flyhalf Jac Tregonning was able to gather the ball and spin it to the edge. There the two CWU wings, Oscar Treacy and Sam Dwyer, put a move together, with Treacy jinking his way through and then sending the ball back inside to Dwyer, who did the rest. Tregonning’s conversion tied it up 22-22.

However, another lower pass did not get gathered the next time, and that led to a Lindenwood scrum well inside the Central half. From there Lindenwood spun in it wide to Zwick, who put on some more moves, got a thumped hard, but made it over. 

That made it 27-22 at 68 minutes, and Lindenwood then looked to stop the back-and-forth. They did well, defending for a time before sending the ball through the hands to the left side. Hands out to wing David Cathcart put him in space and he grubbered past the cover defense before chasing down his own kick to score in the corner. Now Lindenwood had a two-score lead, and as time wound down and CWU were forced to chase it, a turnover led to one more out wide for Cathcart to race down the sideline for one more.

This was a game worth of two Top 10 teams, and provides Lindenwood with some excellent ammunition to argue for a #1 ranking.

Cathcart and Zwick ended up with a combined five tries. Zwick was moved to wing because early in the game he was yellow-carded for killing the ball in the ruck. The Lindenwood coaching staff decided to put Jack McAllister on as a dedicated scrumhalf and sub off right wing Bautista Nasta. So when Zwick came back on, he had to fill in Nasta's spot on the wing.