ARIZONA DROPS WILDCAT CONTEST 
#7 Central Washington 60
#14  Arizona 13


 

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Solomon Hutchings was a bright spot in the loss, touching down for a try and showing his skills in the backline. (Photo credits: Catherine Reagan)

Mar 1- Arizona took on their fellow Wildcats on Saturday in front of another packed crowd at Sitton Field as #7 Central Washington came to Tucson. With both teams coming off losses, it was a key game in the D1A standings as both look to advance. 

 

Unfortunately for the hosts, it was the visiting Wildcats who got the better of the contest early, taking advantage of an Arizona knock on and kick error to go up 12-0 in the early stages. A third Arizona mistake and well-executed backline play put Central Washington inside the Wildcats' 22 and led to their third try, putting Arizona in an early hole. 

 

Arizona, playing in front of scores of former Wildcats on the 53rd Anniversary Weekend of the program, clawed back on the leg of Flyhalf Robert Figley, notching a penalty in the 22nd minute before Solomon Hutchings beat two defenders to score in the corner and make it 22-8. With momentum building and the fans getting in to the game, Arizona looked to be turning the corner until a Central Washington try on a stolen kickoff strengthened the lead, and a late score at the end of the half put the Wildcats in a hole at the break. Determined to get back in to things, Captain James Rivers helped lead the hosts down the field to start the half, bulldozing in for his first career try and making it 34-13. Unfortunately for Arizona, this was all they would muster in a disappointing loss, final score Central Washington 60, Arizona 13.

 

In the 2nd XV match, Arizona took on New Mexico State and helped end the day on a high for the young program. A mostly Freshmen side led by Flyhalf Sebastian Hickey and Number Eight Jack Radachy helped steer the team to it's first win of the season (1-1), with multiple players showing well including the dynamic Wing duo of Antonio Gonzalez and Ashton Liddell. 

 

The loss drops Arizona to 1-2-1 on the season with much left to play for, but adjustments to be made prior to another ranked contest with #20 Texas A&M on Saturday. "We make our schedule this way for a reason. To get two high-quality games against opponents that are not only varsity, but also will put us under pressure and help us find our tactical, technical, and personnel weak spots. Credit to Central Washington, they're well coached and traveling here is not easy from their location, so we look forward to continuing the series with them and using days like Saturday to not just build for this season but teach our boys lessons for the future" said Director of Rugby Sean Duffy.
 

 

Both matches can be replayed below.

FIRST XV vs CENTRAL WASHINGTON

SECOND XV vs NEW MEXICO STATE

SCORING vs CENTRAL WASHINGTON

Tries: Solomon Hutchings, James Rivers

Conversions: Robert Figley- 0/2

Penalties: Robert Figley- 1/1

ROSTER vs CENTRAL WASHINGTON

1- Harry Bluck

2- Zach Barker

3- Dalton Slaughter

4- Tyler Heer

5- James Rivers (C)

6- Jack McCrossin

7- EJ Freeman

8- CJ De Vault

9- George O'Brien

10- Robert Figley

11- Jacob Broselle

12- Mattox King

13- Abe Turpen

14- Kyle Fulton

15- Lucas Agasse

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16- Cameron Blair

17- Liam Swanson

18- Caeden Chase 

19- Carter Clarke

20- Matthew Start

21- Maxime Cathala

22- Antonio Gonzalez

23- Elijah Palmer