Patrick Rowles, Contributing Writer
Groundhog rugby fell Saturday to LeTourneau University with a score of 23-10, although a last-minute try by the opposition made the game seem more lopsided than it actually was. Playing on a smaller-than-normal pitch with a surprisingly rowdy crowd that sported vuvuzelas and various other noise-makers, the Groundhogs dug themselves into a hole early in the game.
The team had not yet recovered from last week’s blood-riddled affair against SMU, which saw more hospital trips than scoring plays and drew comparisons to Omaha Beach during the Allied invasion of Normandy, France. Missing several key starters, the Groundhogs made some miscues early and gave up two tries and a penalty kick.
However, after realizing that the pre-game ceremonies the host team had planned on holding did not come to fruition, and that the team had forgotten to pray before the match, the Groundhogs huddled together and requested some assistance from Our Lady, Queen of Victory. Ask and you shall receive. What followed was 30 minutes of pure dominance in the running game, with Thomas “Gary the Mechanic” Nelson leading the way with strong runs and John “I kind of feel cold” Bascom orchestrating the back line. LeTourneau proved to be far less disciplined and was struck by repeated penalties. Steve Gaetano, who appeared to receive divine inspiration on the level of Moses, struck for two tries that mirrored each other, both goal-line penalties that he quick-tapped for the short burst into the try zone. The Groundhogs brought the game to within eight points, but could not put together one last run. They gave up another score with time elapsing to increase the margin of defeat to 13. With a week off, the team looks to recover fully from the bloodshed, and hopes to end its season with a victory against Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls on Feb. 23.