Russell Field – UC Davis, Ca.
Stanford finished the season this weekend at UC Davis at the Pacific Western Conference Playoffs. In the semi-final on day one, Stanford would fall to Chico State 12-25, but would bounce back to finish the season with a 33-29 come from behind victory over Sacramento State, claiming 3rd place in the Pacific Western Conference. Regular season first place finishes UC Davis would eventually win the Pacific Western Conference Playoffs, and advance to USA Rugby’s National Championship Quarterfinals.
On day one, despite a strong start from Stanford, Chico would score first ten minutes in on a long break from halfway. For the next fifteen minutes, Stanford would dominate territory, eventually leading to a Stanford try from Dahlton Brown. Nico Sanchez would convert the try and Stanford led 7-5 at the 25 minute mark. Chico bounced back with an uncovered try to take a 12-7 lead into the half. Despite the deficit, Stanford had played a strong first half, owning a majority of the territory and much of the possession battle. However, at the start of the second half, Stanford would make a series of errors that would lead to a Chico penalty, and then converted try only twelve minutes into the second period. Stanford fought back to regain momentum, but struggled to maintain continuity with the ball. Chico would again score next through a penalty in the 74th minute. With the game running out of time, Stanford would fight their way over the try line, with prop Uche Omegara touching down. Down 12-25 with minutes remaining, Stanford would work the ball down into Chico’s end, but were unable to get the much needed score, eventually falling to the Wildcats 12-25.
Following the day one loss, Stanford would play for 3rd place on Sunday against an improved Sacramento State team. A young Stanford starting XV that included four freshman and four sophomores would take the field and come from behind to finish the season with a strong 33-29 victory. Stanford’s Patrick Crowley crossed the line early in the game before Sacramento State would score a long range try from a turnover to tie the game twenty minutes in. Stanford bounced back when Nino Abundes crossed the line, Sam Falkenhagen converted, and Stanford was in the lead and in control, up 12-5 with 15 minutes remaining in the half. However, Sacramento State would reverse momentum and get the next three scores. The Hornets scored a converted try and penalty kick before the half for a 15-12 halftime lead, then a converted try minutes into the second half for a 22-12 lead. Stanford bounced back immediately, with two tries five minutes apart from George Fullerton and Jack Chabolla, both of which Falkenhagen converted, for a 26-22 Stanford lead. With minutes remaining, Crowley would score his second putting Stanford safely in the lead two scores, up 33-22. Sacramento State would score a consolation try in the dying minutes to close the gap, but Stanford would hang on for the 33-29 victory.
The come from behind victory was a strong finish to a strong season in which Stanford would finish with a 10-5 overall record and 3rd place in the Pacific Western Conference.
Stanford Team vs. Chico State: 1: Dahlton Brown 2: Jeremy Kim *Captain 3: Chris Herries 4: Alex Barron 5: Sean Means 6: Austin Carey 7: Patrick Crowley 8: Rory Houghton-Berry 9: Alejandro Sanchez 10: Nico Sanchez 11: Nino Abundes 12: George Fullerton 13: Chris Fernandes 14: Jack Chabolla 15: Oscar Sandoval Reserves: 16: Connor Tobin 17: Uche Omegara 18: Mitch Hokanson 19: Nick Perkins 20: Jay Reader 21: Jamieson O’Marr 22: Dean Patrick 23: Sam Falkenhagen
Scoring Summary vs Chico State: 10: Chico State Try 25: Stanford Brown Try (N. Sanchez Conversion) 29: Chico State Try and Conversion (Halftime Stanford 7 – Chico State 12) 52: Chico State Penalty 57: Chico State Try and Conversion 74: Chico State Penalty 77: Stanford Omegara Try (Full-time Stanford 12 – Chico State 25)
Stanford Team vs. Sacramento State: 1: Connor Tobin 2: Jeremy Kim *Captain 3: Mitch Hokanson 4: Nick Perkins 5: Alex Barron 6: Austin Carey 7: Patrick Crowley 8: Jay Reader 9: Alejandro Sanchez 10: Nico Sanchez 11: Nino Abundes 12: Chris Fernandes 13: Dean Patrick 14: Jack Chabolla 15: Sam Falkenhagen Reserves: 16: Nathan Mix 17: Dahlton Brown 18: Chris Herries 19: Sean Means 20: Rory Houghton-Berry 21: Jamieson O’Marr 22: George Fullerton 23: Oscar Sandoval
Scoring Summary vs Sacramento State: 6: Stanford Crowley Try 19: Sac State Try 24: Stanford Abundes Try (Falkenhagen Conversion) 27: Sac State Penalty 33: Sac State Try and Conversion (Halftime Stanford 12 – Sac State 15) 44: Sac State Try and Conversion 49: Stanford Fullerton Try (Falkenhagen Conversion) 54: Stanford Chabolla Try (Falkehnhagen Conversion) 73: Stanford Crowley Try (Falkenhagen Conversion) 77: Sac State Try and Conversion (Full-time Stanford 33 – Sac State 29)