UVU Rugby forced a narrow victory on Sept. 25 in their home opener against Snow College, winning 12-7 in a slugfest that saw four yellow cards handed out.
Both teams were emotionally charged for the game, with a heated rivalry developing after Snow College ended the team’s playoff hopes last year. The game featured contrasting squads, pitting the large, physical Snow College team against the smaller, quicker Wolverines.
UVU got an early chance to score during the fourth minute when a Snow College player earned a yellow card for a high tackle, giving UVU a penalty kick and sending the player to the sin bin. Similar to hockey, a player committing a dangerous foul is taken off the field and the offending team plays a man down until the penalty time expires. Joe Carnation missed the kick, and both teams traded the ball without scoring for the next 15 minutes.
In the 20th minute, UVU was able to capitalize on a penalty when Ethan Timoko passed to Fotu Katoa Jr. for a successful try from 16 yards. Joe Carnation missed his second kick of the game, putting UVU up 5-0.
The game remained 5-0 until the 55th minute, when Snow College committed a personal foul close to their own goal, allowing UVU to make another successful try and setting up an easy conversion kick. Joe Carnation’s kick was a success, putting UVU up 12-0.
For much the rest of the game, Snow College was able to maintain possession of the ball, but was held to only a single try in the 65th minute, the last score of the game. The game ended 12-7 after UVU was able to hold the ball for the final three minutes of play.
Top players for the Wolverines were Johnny Schumacher, Stetson Laws, William Hefner and Mo Mitani. While Joe Carnation went 1-for-5 in his kicking attempts, he was a large contributor on defense, helping to hold Snow College to a single try.
The team heads to Fort Collins, Colo., to play Colorado State of the College Premier League this week on Oct. 9. The next home game is Oct. 16 at 1:00 p.m. against Boise State.
The team is working with the community food bank holding a canned food drive at all home games this fall. Currently, the food bank is in desperate need of help and Coach Josh Cooper encourages everyone to bring one or two cans to the game.