PWRFC vs Lancaster - Regular Season Finale

PWRFC vs Lancaster - Regular Season Finale

Lancaster (3-5) at Philadelphia-Whitemarsh (7-1) - April 22nd, 2017

 

The 2017 season has been rough for PW in terms of weather. The first two matches were played in the frigid March tundra. The next match against Brandywine was played in conditions that aren’t seen until July. Then there was the mud bowl friendly against North Bay. This week the conditions were similar, very sloppy. But PW was determined to not let conditions stand in their way for what they saw as rightfully theirs. The MAC North crown. Kings of the north is what they wanted to be. What stood in their way was a determined Lancaster side, eager to avenge a 2016 loss. For PW, losing would mean finishing in second and traveling south to play the #1 seed from MAC South in the playoffs. That scenario was unacceptable. 80 minutes in the mud. Here we go.

 

In typical Philly fashion, the boys got off to a fast start. Captain Chris Karas powered his way through for the 1st try of the match. 5 minutes later, Jim Champion sliced through the Lancaster defense off a nice set piece play. 10 - 0. The plan was going smoothly. 5 minutes later fullback Louis Tulio made a devastating run on the sideline leaving several defenders in his wake for another try. Flyhalf Turei Maraki converted with a nice kick to make it 17 - 0. PW had already equaled their total tally from the fall 2016 match. Lancaster wasn’t going to take this sitting down though. After being stifled by PW’s defensive wall several times, Flyhalf Braden Story found a seam and slipped through for a nice try. At halftime, the match was still up for grabs, as Lancaster had several drives into PW territory that were rebuffed.

 

1st Half: 17 - 5 Philadelphia-Whitemarsh

 

The next try would be critical. Lancaster was throwing in the kitchen sink and would’ve struck first if it wasn’t for the stellar defense of inside center John Knab. Knab continually held the line and did not let anyone through. This allowed PW’s offense to rev up again, and the moment came for human bulldozer Maraki to storm through for an untouched try off the breakdown. That try and Tulio’s 2nd try gave PW a commanding lead at 29 - 5. Credit goes to Lancaster though, as they kept fighting on to bring the score to 29 - 12. But then impact subs Mike Gentile and Tim Foley piled it on with trys of their own. Gentile scored a nice one in the corner and Foley scored with his trademark running style. However, the crème de la crème didn’t come until the 80th minute. Deep in Lancaster’s zone, practically every PW player touched the ball for an excellent try that went coast to coast. It was champagne rugby. Forwards and backs working together to execute a perfect attack pattern that overwhelmed the defense. The ball looked like it would lose momentum toward the end, but prop Tyler Miller drew the defender and passed so that Penn State alum Jason Hodess could touch it down. That try summed up PW’s most successful season in recent memory.  

 

PW is King of the North. The team is now ready for its next mountain. The MAC cup. Former D1 squad NOVA will come up with Philadelphia for what will be PW’s toughest match of the season. Will they rise to the challenge? Come to the match and find out - Saturday, April 29th at Memorial Hall. Details to follow.

 

Final Score: 46  – 12 Philadelphia-Whitemarsh

 

PW Try Scorers: Tulio 2, Karas 1, Champion 1, Maraki 1, Gentile 1, Foley 1, Hodess 1  

Conversions: Maraki 2/6 , Champion 1/2

Man of the Match: John Knab