UMW secured a bonus point win in about 5 inches of mud in Blacksburg vs long-time rival VT Saturday, winning 22-12. UMW was led by very gritty forwards play, with senior forwards Andrew LaMarca, Wyatt Priddy, Lewis Grant, Phillip Harrison and Tucker Chewning, all likely registered multiple tackles and carries while one of the UMW assistant coaches actually lost their shoe in the mud near the try zone.
This game was a throwback to days of old as UMW and VT have played this exact game many times before. VT is to be commended for playing the game as weather has wreaked havoc on both teams schedules. It took UMW some time to get on the board as they found their rhythm with some new starters at key positions but their defense never really was in doubt. At the 22 minute mark prop Tucker Chewning scored to the right of the posts and freshman fly half Aidan Gallagher made a very difficult conversion to put UMW up 7-0. VT behind a vocal crowd marched down and took advantage of a mud-induced knock-on off the kickoff and a yellow card to UMW's Lewis Grant to score and unconverted try to make it 7-5. At the 38:00 minute mark Harry Masters and Bradley Nicholls connected on a few phases and Masters spotted Tamilore Awonusi open after VT got caught over-committed, Awonusi beat two defenders to score a nice try - UMW entered the half up 12-5.
UMW started well in the 2nd half, led by Chewing and LaMarca's multiple tackles. UMW played steady and were rewarded by freshman flanker Joseph Callery's 9th try of the season which was unconverted at the 54:00 minute mark and UMW was leading 17-5. Again, VT, behind a vocal home crowd, ground out some nice phases and marched down to score a converted try by their #10 at the 59:00 minute mark. - each series of phases was actually taking 5 minutes as nothing went fast on this field. VT's crowd kept up their enthusiasm but UMW kept their cool, scoring a well-worked try by Lewis Grant that he touched down in the mud that referee consulted with the touch judge to confirm.. 22-12 was the final as UMW ran many phases on offense and defense with Joseph Callery, Tucker Chewning, Philip Harrison, Jack Levine, and Andrew LaMarca calmly churning phases and running out the clock.
The end of the game was highlighted by some big tackles by center Mattson Bueche, LaMarca and a final tackle by Chewning that caused VT to cough it up in the mud.
Following the first game, In the Futures league match, UMW improved to 5-0 with another bonus point win, besting VT 31-24. The highlight of the game was a full field try off of a pick by flyhalf Peter Smith to start the game.
With the bonus point win UMW sits at 5-0 and travels to Mount St. Mary's where they will look to improve on their last visit where they lost a muddy game, 2 years ago.