The Air Force Academy's sixth game of the season was played in very windy conditions at the Men's Rugby pitch at USAFA, CO against the Cowboys of the University of Wyoming. Both teams are in the Rocky Mountain Rugby Conference with the Zoomies seeking to remain at the top of the conference table while the Cowboys were trying hard to not to be at the bottom. Air Force pulled away in the second half to take the match, 69-18.
The Air Force team was seeking to put the pieces back together after a disappointing visit to our brothers at the US Naval Academy last week. Coach Merideth chose to start some B-side players this week to give them some experience starting in an A-side match as well as giving some of our A-side players a rest after last week's match. Sophomore flyhalf Connell Swenson got the nod ahead of regular starter Junior Eric Menser. B-side captain and hooker, Evan Reiss, started ahead of our regular hooker Noah Nagle. Sophomore center, Han Zhang, started and scored his first A-side try. Freshman Ryan Johnston was back on the field at Winger replacing Senior Braden Smith. B-side center and Junior, Curran Brandt, played well as a tactical sub and put in his first A-side try as well. Freshman, Joel Krause, got some A-side minutes at the flanker position replacing team captain, Elliott Higgins in the 27 minute. Another relative newcomer, Junior Tyler Vaught got the nod at winger as Senior Winger, Colin Culver, slid over to the Fullback position to give starting full back, Casey Rothstein a break. All told the newcomers played well as both starters and tactical substitutions.
The highlight of the day was the play of Senior, 8-man, Jason Kyles. Cadet Kyles is the fitness leader for the Zoomies and that was evident as his performance had him all over the field making both outstanding support runs and dominant individual plays. He scored a Hat Trick this match and brought his total try count for the season to seven. Kyles will be leading the charge against the Rams of Colorado State this weekend as the two teams essentially play for the conference championship this Saturday.
See the video on our YouTube site here:
Scoring line summary: