Michigan 72, Tradesmen DIII 0

posted Oct 15, 2012, 9:41 AM by Karl Seibert   [ updated Oct 29, 2012, 12:32 PM ]

13 October, 2012  
Saline, MI.  

Michigan RFC held on to their recent momentum, putting a 72-0 drumming on Detroit Tradesmen DIII.  As the playoff race tightens, the bonus point victory comes at a great time, but a loss in either of their two upcoming matches would prove fatal.

Michigan spent the first several minutes on their heels, but quickly gained focus, marching down the field courtesy of some clever open field running.  The forwards took several balls straight from the back of the ruck, with Ted Pixley scoring off such a drive.  Despite a quite kickable conversion, flyhalf Aaron "Dobbs" Dodd, began his kicking day with a miss.  He was given another chance just minutes later as Detroit committed a rare penalty.  8-0 to Michigan ten minutes into the match.

Fullback Jamie Hickey was next to score, and center Charlie Berklich dotted down less than a minute later.  Just one conversion gave Michigan a 20-0 lead fifteen minutes in.  Berklich, nursing a sore calf, cast any doubt of match fitness aside with a beautiful take off a Dodd high-ball, scoring his second of the day. 

Having given quite an impressive performance, Berklich was rested at the half hour mark, with Nick Whitelonis, a recent addition to the squad, replacing him.  Whitelonis' first contribution came in the way of five points, showing immense power running through Detroit's defense. 

Flanker Jeff "Bandit" Burke made sure the backs didn't have all the fun in the first half with a showy pick-and-slam-dunk style try off the base of a strong breakdown.  39-0 at the half.

A slow start to the second half saw Michigan under real pressure.  Detroit had several heavy hitters who asked tough questions from the men in blue, but a couple fresh-legged halftime substitutes in Robb Johnston and Ty Waters helped keep the defensive line loud, energized, and intact.  Defense indeed stood strong, but a Detroit try seemed inevitable as Michigan simply could not generate much spark on attack. 

The galloping Number 8, Avi Giladi, scored the first points of the half with seventeen minutes gone, which seemed to tighten up a directionless offense.  He was soon given a respite by an exciting young player, Rob Anderson. 

Hickey was next to score, though, and soon after, center Andy Dougovito was over.  Dodd's kicking seemed to improve slightly and five conversions in a row brought the Ann Arbor men to a 60-0 lead with a quarter hour left.

Dodd, putting on a man-of-the-match display, hit the gain line hard throughout the match and scored himself just after Dougovito, but couldn't get close enough to the middle to set up a kickable conversion. 

Wing Andy Schwarzkopf put up the bookend try with five minutes to go, which prompted a rather bizarre personnel switch.  Prop Doug Chapman, ever confident, took over scrumhalf duties.  Though the swap was comical, even hilarious, at the time, Chapman did a fine job cementing himself as the club's third choice halfback.  Flyhalf Dodd was heard to say afterwards, "The scrumhalf knuckle ball is not a pass I want to receive."  Michigan face Fort Wayne on Saturday in Indiana.

15 Jamie Hickey
14 Andy Schwarzkopf
13 Andy Dougovito
12 Charlie Berklich (Whitelonis, 30')
11 Alex Aizenman
10 Aaron Dodd
9 Davy Hamilton (Stulberg, 65')
8 Avi Giladi (Anderson, 60')
7 Mike Przybylek (Corvese, 55')
6 Jeff Burke
5 Matt Daniel
4 Andy Kilpatrick
3 Matt Forsyth (Waters, 40')
2 Ted Pixley (Johnston, 40')
1 Doug Chapman

Matt Frech, Robb Johnston, Ty Waters, RJ Corvese, Tom Stulberg, Nick Whitelonis, Brian Zimmer

Tries: Berklich (2), Hickey (2), Pixley, Whitelonis, Burke, Giladi, Dougovito, Dodd, Schwarzkopf
Conv: Dodd (7)
Pen: Dodd