Kutztown Claims ACRC7s Title After Dramatic Showdown with AIC
In a rematch of last year’s final at the ACRC7s in Virginia Beach, Kutztown defeated American International College by a score of 36-27 for the Cup and the championship.
Kutztown managed to hold off a mid second-half surge from AIC to claim victory and capture the crown from the Yellow Jackets, who defeated the Golden Bears in 2014 for the ACRC7s title.
Up by three scores early in the second half, Kutztown refused to be rattled by consecutive tries from AIC’s Adrian Ray and Marcus McIntyre. Two AIC turnovers down the stretch sealed the victory for Kutztown, now 38-2 with five tournament wins this spring.
Aggressive AIC undone by quick Kutztown hands and feet
AIC struck first with an initial possession and try by Jihad Khabir, putting the Yellow Jackets up 5-0. Alex Faison-Donahoe answered with a try for Kutztown but AIC came right back with a try from Seth Halliman and conversion from Khabir, making it 12-5. Again it was Faison-Donahoe answering for the Golden Bears with a 50-meter try, followed by a 70-meter score from Trent Hensley after intercepting an AIC pass.
At the half it was Kutztown 15-12. The lead was extended with a try from Wesley Hartmann and conversion by Nu’u Aiava to start the second half. Regaining possession on the kickoff, the Golden Bears struck yet again with a score from Faison-Donahoe to make it 29-12.
The Yellow Jackets were not done, however. AIC’s Ray ran 60 meters on a kickoff return to score, followed by McIntyre, who shook off two tacklers to cut Kutztown’s lead to one possession at 29-22.
Kutztown sealed the deal with a try from Robert Stortz and Aiava conversion— necessary breathing room as AIC would tally the final try. As the clock ran out the Golden Bears celebrated a 36-27 victory as cheers erupted from the stands and the Kutztown second side rushed the field. It was a dramatic end to a great weekend of rugby in Virginia Beach.
Boathouse Men of the Match
Gavan D'Amore Morrison
Entire Team (ACRC7s Tournament Champions)