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Navy Over Penn State. Good Enough For Rankings Boost?

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Navy Over Penn State. Good Enough For Rankings Boost?

Navy in blue, Penn State in white. Colleen McCloskey photo.

Navy put its hand up for some rankings love with an impressive 38-12 defeat of Penn State this weekend.

Navy has beaten seven ranked DIA teams in a row, including two teams that have since done even better—Rugby East champions Kutztown, and Davenport, which has started very well this fall.

On Saturday, against a very strong Penn State team, Navy led early but couldn’t pull away until late.

Navy hit hard early when scrumhalf Kevin Strehle zipped over three minutes in. Flyhalf Matthew Mischler converted.

The teams battled back and forth in a very physical game. Finally Penn State hooker George Miller crashed over to make it a 7-5 game.

Down a player due to a yellow card, Navy put Penn State under pressure and center Joey Hobbs scored. That, with Mischler’s conversion, made it 14-5.

Penn State ended the first half and started the second with a yellow card on No. 8 Tom Capriotti, and Navy punished the Lions, with wing Pierce McFarlane going in to make it 19-5 at the break.

Capriotti finally got back to the field and moments later, picked up from the back of the scrum and was over to make it a 19-12 game.

At that point Penn State had a good shot and hauling the Midshipmen in. But it was Navy that struck next. In the final 20 minutes, Hobbs, his midfield mate Frederick Bleakley, and flanker Jermaine Oliver put the game away 32-12.

(Colleen McCloskey photos, click to enlarge.)

Navy 32
Tries: Strehle, Hobbs 2, McFarlane, Bleakley, Oliver
Convs: Mischler 3, Strehle

Penn State 12
Tries: Miller, T. Capriotti
Convs: Musselman

 

Is this enough for Navy to push past Lindenwood, Saint Mary’s, Cal, or Life in the top four? Certainly the Midshipmen have hardly put a step wrong. Their closest win was over Kutztown.

Bleakley and Hobbs now lead the team with six tries each, while Strehle leads the team with 47 points.

But it has been a solid team effort, especially with the tight five.