April 27, 2024

Mandaza and Juma lead Wheeling to CRC Championship

Both Wheeling and Kutztown came to the CRC this year looking to avenge early exits from last year’s tournament. In the end, it was Wheeling who would come away victorious after a commanding 29-12 win. The game was even until midway through the first half when Kutztown’s Benedict Quinn was given a yellow card. Wheeling took advantage of being a man-up with a try by Aaron Juma. Wheeling would score one more try in the half thanks to a late try by Shadreck Mendoza to put the Cardinals up 14-0 at half. It was more of the same in the second half, with Juma adding another score and Mandaza scoring twice on his way to wrapping up MVP honors. Mate Kvirikashvili did score two tries for Kutztown, but Wheeling had already pulled away.  

Jackson Macias - Air Force

Shadreck Mandaza - Wheeling

Aaron Juma - Wheeling

Tito Edjua - Brown

Benedict Quinn - Kutztown

Nate Roeback - Southern Virginia

Brice Muller - Babson

Wheeling and Kutztown made it through the Cup semifinals with little problems. Wheeling played first against Babson, who had an amazing tournament in their first-ever season as a Premier team. Unfortunately, their story ended with a 24-0 loss to the Cardinals. Both Aaron Juma and Shadreck Mandaza scored two tries for Wheeling, while Mandaza added two conversions in the game. As for Kutztown, they got off to a quick start against Iowa Central, with Cameron Thurtell, Giorgi Kuparadze, and Benedict Quinn all scoring tries in the first half to give the Golden Bears a 19-0 lead at the break. Iowa Central got on the board early in the second half thanks to a try by Higana Mabele, but Thurtell would score another try to add to Kutztown’s lead. Iowa Central would score one more time late in the game, leading to a respectable 24-14 score in favor of the Golden Bears. 

The Plate final between Belmont Abbey and Notre Dame College was one of the best matches of the day. The game was a stalemate between the two schools until Fraisre Laslie was sent off for a red card, putting Notre Dame College down a man for the rest of the game. In their last rugby game in school history, the Falcons were resilient, keeping the game scoreless until the end of regulation. The beginning of regulation was still a defensive stalemate, but Notre Dame College was soon without two players when they were given a yellow card. It was then that Belmont Abbey finally gained victory with a try by Oil Fussell.

In the Bowl Final, Notre Dame beat Aquinas 12-10 thanks to tries by Andrew Packard and Jackson Graham. The deciding factor would be a made conversion by Colin Ardise. As for the Shield Final, St. Bonaventure beat Principia 17-7. Noah Edwards scored two tries for the Bonnies and made a conversion for 12 of the Bonnies points. Damir Odunuga’s try and conversion helped Principia avoid the shutout. 


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