Toledo 28, Michigan 26

posted Apr 4, 2011, 5:36 AM by Karl Seibert
3 April 2011

Saturday the Michigan men lost a nail biter to the Toledo Celtics at Southeast Park in Ann Arbor.  Toledo was ahead the entire match, but Michigan made a frantic surge in the last twenty minutes, closing the scoreline gap from 14 points to just 2 by full time.  Referee Fred Keiling did well to maintain a generally free-flowing match.

Toledo kicked off to start, and though Michigan had a few promising phases, flyhalf Aaron Dodd missed his first attempt at a penalty shot, and, after regaining the ball, Toledo managed to hold a firm grip on territory and possession until they finally broke through to score in the 9th minute.  Missing their conversion, they were given another shot at goal soon afterward from a Michigan penalty.  The many new players on Michigan's team would make discipline a major factor on the day.  An 8-0 score twenty minutes in was far from what MRFC had hoped for and the momentum seemed to be all Toledo's.  An intercept try from center Andy Dougovito and its conversion by Dodd looked to lift the boys back up.  Despite evening out the possession statistic, Michigan still couldn't do much to finish, due in no small part to some rusty handling.  Toledo had a few players leave the field due to injury, but their bench proved there would be no slacking.  They would score and convert to end the half at 15-7.

At the start of the second half, things looked good for Michigan, more and more territory meant more and more opportunities.  Unfortunately, though, the guys couldn't seem to complete a string of phases without a knock-on or turnover or penalty.  Toledo kicked a goal on one such occassion to bring their lead up to 18-7.  Increasing respect for the ball from Michigan helped push Dodd over the goal line; scoring in uncharacteristic 'forward-ly' fashion.  He would convert to make it 18-14.  A penalty and a converted try from Toledo looked to bring the game almost out of reach, 28-14, but Michigan dug deep and threw one relentless attack after another to give both Dougovito and wing Andy Schwarzkopf tries, bringing the score gap to only 2 points with three minutes left in the match.  Toledo did well to hang on and, on a collapsed scrum, Keiling blew the whistle to end it, 28-26 to the visitors.  It was remarked that fullback Sam Upton "had a good game".

The "B" match was a huge success with Michigan players joining to bolster Toledo's numbers.  Libby Brooks officiated.  The squad wearing the maize and blue jerseys smashed the celtic green of Toledo. 

The "Player's Player" Award for the day went to Dan Cameron who played his first ever game of rugby in style.  His breakdown-related penalties will be soon forgotten.

A big welcome to the other new players with the club, Andy Kilpatrick, Justin Winger, Ryan McNish, Colin McFarlane, Duncan Sokolowski, and Andreas Häußler who all wore the Michigan crest with pride.  Jay Clancy, also welcome, was unable to attend the game.

Michigan XV:

15 Sam Upton
14 Landry Carbo
13 Andy Dougovito
12 Ryan Rogel
11 Andy Schwarzkopf
10 Aaron "Tex" Dodd
9 Karl Seibert
8 Mike Pryzblek
7 Josh Knight
6 Ted Pixley III
5 Matt Daniel
4 Andy "Dice" Kilpatrick
3 Dan Cameron
2 Dan Deckard
1 Jeff "Bandit" Burke

16 Justin Winger
17 Ryan McNish
18 Nate Schafrick
19 Colin McFarlane
20 Andreas Häußler
21 Duncan Sokolowski
22 Tom Stulberg

Tries: Dougovito (2), Dodd, Schwarzkopf
Conv: Dodd 3
Pen: -