Michigan 37 Kalamazoo 11

posted Apr 16, 2011, 4:07 PM by Karl Seibert
9 April 2011, Kalamazoo MI

In the first real Spring weather of the year, Michigan took on cross-state rivals the Kalamazoo Dogs in a long-anticipated grudge match.  MRFC had bested the Dogs back in the fall just as Kzoo was preparing for their (ultimately failed) playoff campaign.  That game had been marred by foul play and an "anything goes" referee; blood was hot on both sides and the close finish (36-31) made for a very unhappy Kalamazoo side.

This game, officiated by up-and-coming ref Kevin Rahn (Battle Creek) would start physical and contentious, but Michigan would convincingly outwork the home side.  Fresh off a close loss to Toledo, Michigan was ready to prove that they have improved since the fall.  Prove they did, with a resounding 37-11 finish.

The gam e was a late one at 4:30pm, making travel a little easier for the visitors, who received the kickoff with ants in their pants and the need to dance.  Kzoo would draw first blood, though, with a ripping 80 meter drive started by a defensive breakdown turnover.  They'd miss the conversion, which gave ultimately gave Michigan's composure some extra kick.  Less than ten minutes later it was 6-5, though Kalamazoo would answer with a penalty of their own; 8-5.  Michigan's fitness and ball retention finally saw them over the line from a break by MVP loose forward David Meisner who set up rookie winger Andreas Häußler for a great try in the corner.  Flyhalf Aaron Dodd would convert.  Kzoo kicked 3 more points before half to make it 13-11 to the men in blue.

Selection policy at Michigan, rumor has it, has quite a lot to do with attendance at training sessions.  Fans were shocked to see 4 replacements brought on to a side that had just seemed to gel.  Whatever Kalamazoo might have made of it [the substutions], they certainly weren't ready for the all-out onslaught about to claim them.  They would score no more points for the rest of the game.  Michigan came out firing, gaining most of the possession and territory right from minute 40.  Scrumhalf Karl Seibert nabbed a try off the back of a 5 meter scrum; David Meisner, fully earning his Kalamazoo-given MVP award, would score as well.  Center Andrew Dougovito would have two tries by game's end.  Michigan's fitness and excellent passing let them play virtually all the rugby in the last twenty minutes - with Kalamazoo's staunch tackling the only thing keeping the score as close as it was.  In the end, it was a great game played between comradic rivals.  The respective captains for the teams were brothers Karl Seibert (MRFC) and John Seibert (Kzoo), which is always good for a laugh.  If you're Karl.

Player's Player: Douglas Chapman

MVP (MRFC): David Meisner
MVP: (Kzoo): Tim Minor

Starting XV:

15 Andy Schwarzkopf
14 Landry Carbo
13 Andy Dougovito
12 Sam Upton
11 Andreas Häußler
10 Aaron Dodd
9 Karl Seibert
8 David Meisner
7 Avi Giladi
6 Ted Pixley
5 Doug Chenoweth
4 Matt Frech
3 Brian Zimmer
2 Dan Deckard
1 Doug Chapman

16 Dan Cameron
17 Matt Forsyth
18 Naveen
19 Andy Kilpatrick
20 Ryan McNish
21 Tom Stulberg
22 Duncan Sokolowski

Tries: Dougovito (2), Häußler, Meisner, Seibert
Conv: Dodd (3)
Pen: Dodd (2)

NOTE: This score is unconfirmed, the referee having posted 38-13, which seems mathematically impossible given what we know about the scores.