STEUBENVILLE – The Franciscan rugby team powered its way to an impressive 32-10 win over Baldwin Wallace in the 14th Annual Rugby Ruckus, Sunday night, entertaining a packed crowd at Harding Stadium.
"Tonight's game was a solid start to the season," remarked head coach Dan Kramer. "We were really impressed with how the team played as one unit."
Baldwin Wallace jumped out to an early 5-0 lead in the first 10 minutes of action after a back and forth first possession.
"There were quite a few miscues and mental errors but that is to be expected for an early season game," continued Coach Kramer. "I expect to correct these errors and learn from them."
Junior Matthew Hostutler scored the Barons' first try of the game and the conversion was good to give Franciscan a 7-5 lead. Daniel Fuerst pushed the Franciscan lead to 12-5 before a penalty try was awarded to give Franciscan a 17-5 lead at the half.
The Barons were able to keep the Yellow Jackets from reaching the tryzone for most of the first half and the beginning of the second to keep the substantial lead for Franciscan.
"Both the back line and the forward pack show a lot of promise," complimented Kramer. "They have great focus and a strong desire for constant improvement."
Junior Josh Leatherby rumbled his way into the tryzone for another FUS score to push the lead to 22-5 before a lengthy injury delay.
The Barons came out of the stoppage hungry for more and rattled off two more tries, one from freshman Anthony Hobbs and one with 8:15 to go to bring the score to it's final at 32-10.
"Our Man of the Match tonight was David Prezzia. He did a great job at inside center and won a hard fought battle against his opposing 12," remarked Coach Kramer. "He also helped keep our team calm and focused throughout the game. His calming presence was especially important after Terren went down."
The Barons will return to the pitch on Friday when they host Fairmont State at Memorial Field.
"We are only two weeks into the season and the guys have formed a solid foundation. They made some significant changes to the team dynamic this off season and it is already paying off. They are growing as a team, improving their play, and developing as Christian men."