After two tough road losses, the Oswego State men’s rugby team has bounced back, defeating Union College 67-8 on Saturday, Oct. 10.
The game started off with a bang, as the Wizards kicked the ball off and recovered it deep into Union territory. On the next play, captain Jason McGuckin got the ball and ran it into the try zone for a score in the first minute of the game. Two weeks removed from breaking his hand, McGuckin would go on to score four more times.
After the first score, Union kicked for points off a Wizard penalty. Oswego State answered back quickly with a score of their own. At the end of the half, the score was 36-8 in favor of the Wizards.
Although Oswego State played a good first half, it was not enough. This was a statement game and captain Chris Thompson stressed this at halftime.
"We needed to tighten up on defense and score on every opportunity," Thompson said. The players took these words to heart, shutting down Union’s offensive flow completely.
Oswego State’s offense would carry them the entire game. Other scorers for the day included sophomore Ryan Frazer, in is first career start, sophomore Connor Murphy and junior Tyler Conklin. The Wizards were relentless in their progression down the field, as Conklin tallied their final score with 30 seconds left to play.
"The game was winding down and Union seemed tired, so we got the ball out to the wing," Conklin said. "Jay passed it to me at the right second and I found my way into the try zone."
The Wizards have their work cut out for them from here on in. With two games remaining, they must win both and score at least 25 points in each game.
For the their next game, they will be implementing a new offense they refer to as the Wildcat. It is the brainchild of sophomore Rob Ruhland and Chris Thompson.
"The whole idea of the Wildcat offense is to create mismatches," Ruhland said. "We put our big guys out with the wingers and have them run the ball and be there to maintain possession."
On Sunday, Oct. 18, men’s rugby will take on SUNY Plattsburgh in a game that is a must-win in order to qualify for the Division II playoffs.