UMBC Advances with 29-12 Win

msm playoffs brady Back to practice on Monday, because UMBC won its quarterfinal (re)match vs. Mt. St. Mary's on Saturday!  The bone-chilling temperature and gusts of freezing winds made every hit even more brutal in the most intense game UMBC has played all year.  Mt. St. Mary's came out with a fire inside them burning for a win, but those flames were quickly doused by the confident, powerful play from UMBC.

The game began with several penalties against Mt. St. Mary's as UMBC marched its way downfield, constantly pushing back the defensive line.   After kick for points that bounced off the right side upright, UMBC recovered the ball and swung it wide to 8man Michael Peuse who shook off a defender for a try in the corner.  UMBC brilliantly defended their try line on the following kickoff from a strong offensive from Mt. St. Mary's as fullback Richie Campbell made several  booming kicks against the high winds to give UMBC excellent field position.  Crushing hits from prop Sean Brady and powerful runs from incenter Cordell Drummond shook the Mt. St. Mary's defense until tighthead prop Erik Anderson dove into the try zone after a series of forward crashes.

Two of the most impressive plays of the day came from 8man Michael Peuse and incenter Cordell Drummond.  On a UMBC lineout, Mt. St. Mary's intercepted the ball intended for Peuse.  But while still in midair, Peuse grabbed the ball out of the opposing jumper's hands.  The Mt. St. Mary's team, thinking they won the ball, were left oblivious as Peuse sprinted through their confused defensive line.  Peuse shrugged off two arm tackles and dotted the ball down in the try zone for another UMBC score.  The ensuing kickoff, incenter Cordell Drummond got the ball and bursted through the Mt. St. Mary's defensive line for an 80 meter try complete with stiff-arming the opposing fullback to the ground.  These plays put UMBC up 22-0 at halftime.

Down by 4 tries, Mt. St. Mary's came out in second half  willing to do anything for a win.  There had been "extracurricular activity" by both sides in the first half, as high intensity leads to aggressive play.  But in the second half, the Mt. St. Mary's hooker earned a yellow card for diving at UMBC player's feet and not wrapping in the tackle.  UMBC took advantage of this and had several forwards crash balls, and immediately swung the ball to the backs where flyhalf Neil Watson shiftily sprinted through three defenders to give UMBC another try.  The Mt. St. Mary's hooker was allowed back into play but quickly repeated the same infringement for a red card.

As the clock ticked down, Mt. St. Mary's took advantage of two sloppy ball-handling mistakes from UMBC to prevent a shutout, but they did not have enough time to mount a comeback. As the final whistle blew the UMBC sideline erupted in cheering as UMBC had now beaten the team which, this time last year, knocked them out of the playoffs in the quarterfinals.  The final score was 29-12 UMBC over Mt. St. Mary's.  UMBC now eagerly awaits information on the next round of playoff matches.

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