Weekend Recap

Once again our Wildcats jumped out to a big lead and were not able to hold on to it. This time, we weren’t so lucky and Stanford came back to defeat Chico State 31-19. Stanford took the first lead 2 minutes in with their weak side wing crashing inside the fly half from about 22 meters out and we simply didn’t make the tackle! 7-0 them.
After completely dominating the first half, our fly half, Mike Keane was able to connect on 3 of 3 penalty kicks giving Chico a 9-7 lead at the half. This was ok, but we all know that a couple of different breaks, or decisions on breaks would have led to tries and NOT PK!
Stanford was not really able to get much done offensively! They were continually off sides on defense as well and for that they had 2 yellow cards that we were not able to take advantage of. Either way, we were dominating and where just looking for our breaks!
The second half begins and 13 minutes in Keane connects on another PK giving the Wildcats a 12-7 lead and still looking good!
Just a couple minutes after Keane’s 4th PK, wing Pat Boal, off a break down right on our side lines called for a weak side HEARTBREAK and MAN was it ever!!!!! Scrumhalf Ben Fisher, who is always at the right place at the right time, delivered a perfect pass to the speedy wing at full pace and he burst right past the defense. Guys, correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe Pat’s roommate and starting flanker, Jim Beahm was in support the whole way down the side line. Pat passed back in to Jim who in turn found the other starting flanker and FRESHMAN, Charlie Brennan to dot it down giving Chico a 17-7 lead at the 54 minute mark! Then it was up to Keane to slot the conversion. “It’s good!” Chico now 19 Stanford 7! Things were looking even better now, but……!
So up 19-7, Stanford started to claw back! We received 2 yellow cards in the second half due some repeat infringements and unlike us, they were able to capitalize. One yellow card (not to mention any names) was the wing aforementioned. The Stanford scrumhalf has a great box kick and he put the ball up high to our wing and full back, Michael Deel and James McIntosh. While the two were able to get under every kick and get some type of counter, Stanford was quick in support and chase of their kicks which put us under a tremendous amount of pressure.
Things were still ok, after Stanford scored their second try of the day to make the score 19-14 to Chico after 64 minutes of play. After this, you could see one of two things; either the wind coming out of our sails or our lack of fitness. On the following kick from Chico, our forwards, who give a GREAT chase and almost never a return of the kick, were allowing the Stanford forwards to bring the ball back to us…..! Just a couple minutes later, where the ref was we have NO IDEA!!!!!!, our securely won ball is SLAPPED out the side of our ruck and picked up by the wing from Stanford who scored the first try and raced down the sideline to score the go ahead try and the 68 minute mark. They converted so now the score was 21-19 to Stanford!
Next kick off, same thing, no chase and all return leads to Stanford field position and eventually a PK to them, that they converted putting Chico down 24-19 with only 10 minutes left! Still doable, BUT, we didn’t get it done. Stanford scored another try at the 76 minute mark and that made the final as I mentioned above, Stanford 31 Chico 19.
Elsewhere, conference leader Sac St lost to Santa Clara 36-27 so we are now COMPLETELY jumbled! I’m not sure of how the points are laid out at this point, but records show Sac and Santa Clara at 2-1 and Chico and Stanford at 1-2.
Now for the FUN!!!! Whether you are a player or spectator, you know that the coaches gather the boys at half times and post-match to give a quick synopsis of the game. Beau did his and all I could say to our B side following their complete 46-0 DRUBBING of the Stanford team, was
The game started out and looked like the cardinal was going to give us a run for our money. They were big, fast and somewhat organized. As the game went on and our physical nature, led by an unlikely position but not an unlikely player in scrumhalf Matt (Potato) Zarchin, the wheels started to fall off the Stanford bus putting Chico up 7-0. (In games that end with a score line such as this, I need to get better at who scored when…! Sorry) either way, the route was on!!!!!
These guys, many who have never played prior to this year such as Brandon Johnson, Cody Holt, Renee Melgoza, Jimmy Burrows, Franco Ragusa, Zack Davis and the list goes on, are amazing. We have such a BRIGHT future because of these kids!!! We are really excited! Now to mention everyone else that really stood out on the day!!! Starting with EVERYONE’S FAVORITES, prop Mickey Canterbury and wing Maxx Caveney, then Carson O’Connor, Zack Trap (ZT), Jeff McKinley (JP), Max Mills, James Butler, Markus DeJesus, Owen Bentz, Sean Hennessy, Sam Friedman, Ryan Goff, Potato (as mentioned above), Torrey Francois, Andres Leal, Garrett Prather, Alex Maccani, Sage Birdseye, Kyle Carlson, Joe Quiles and Bobby Peterson. IF (which I don’t think I did, forget anyone, posted and I owe you a SODA!)
They truly have brought the KILLER B’S BACK!!!! Thanks guys!!! Hard work dedication and your commit to yourself, your teammates and your coaches is what is going to continue to propel Chico State Rugby back to the top!
Try scorers on the day for the Killer B’s include a two unbelievable runs by wing Maxx Caveney scoring on both. One I have to tell you about. He got the ball about mid field, holding it out in two hands to be a threat and with great support outside he made THE BEST dummy of the season sending his opposite wing spinning around (or making him look silly) to bring it down, step through the gap and as he was hitting the try line he was getting tackled but still able to dot it down. It was so great, I walked out on the field having in mind something like shaking his hand and telling him what a nice play it was, to simply shaking his hand and CRACKING UP LAUGHING because it was so picture perfect! (Refer to the silly comment above and read between the lines;) )Other scores on the day came from Brandon Johnson (2), Owen Bentz and Sage Bridseye (both who played for the Mighty Oaks last season and transferred to Chico State to play for the Wildcats, thanks Buck, John and Robbie). Andres Leal and Franco Ragusas had great runs in support and for that where both rewarded with scoring tries!
Chico State Men are back in action next Saturday the 10th home against the first place Sac St Hornets! It is a MUST win for us and should be a great game. Please come out and support the Wildcats in their last home game of the year!
As we gather at the end of the day as a team, it is then, that we realize and break it down with a loud and proud, “GREAT DAY TO BE A WILDCAT”
Until next week!

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