WILDCATS START 2017 WITH SIX TRY ASSAULT
#17 Arizona 43
Santa Clara 17
Ryan Hudson scored a key try for the Wildcats in their season-opening victory.
Nov 21- Arizona got their season off to a resounding start on Saturday, getting their first win of 2017 against Santa Clara at Sitton Field.
The Wildcats responded to an early Santa Clara try with a great deal of attacking pressure that led to a number of visits inside the Santa Clara 22. The scoring got underway on one of those opportunities, with Flanker Ryan Fitzpatrick scoring the first of two tries on the day for him and the first of 2017 for the Wildcats in the 9th minute. A Kyle Rogers penalty pushed the lead to 8-7 before Jack San Pietro ran a great line to set up Shane Dempsey for a 28th minute try which Rogers converted to make it 15-7. A Santa Clara penalty was responded to in the always crucial final minutes of the first half, as Fitzpatrick, Hooker Zach Biggs, and Ryan Hudson combined to set up the Winger for a try before Fitzpatrick scored his second to make it 25-10 at halftime.
In the second half, the Wildcats began to establish continuity in their attack and defense, and this hit its peak in the 53rd minute when Adam Wilson made the run of the day on a beautiful line set up by Kyle Rogers for his first try of the year. Two Matt Rogers penalties sanchwiched around a Santa Clara try set the stage for the Wildcats' final score, a well worked forwards' effort resulting in Tyler Hansen's 79th minute try to make it 43-17.
The win marks the third straight victory in season openers for the Wildcats, who were satisfied with the victory but looking forward to building. "Mixed bag in many aspects but it's good to get a win against a quality side" said Head Coach Sean Duffy "excited to see guys in positional battles step up and even more excited to make simple fixes before we start conference play."
The 17th-ranked Wildcats take on #2 Cal next week but not before their first ever confernce matchup with Stanford, as their Second XV plays the Cardinal on Friday night in the first year of Stanford's at-large membership in the PAC Conference.
Tries: Fitzpatrick (2), Dempsey, Hudson, Wilson, Hansen
Conversions: K. Rogers- 1/4, M. Rogers- 1/2
Penalties: M. Rogers- 2/2, K. Rogers- 1/1