UNIVERSITY PARK, PA – Penn State played their final home game of the fall season on Friday night in front of a big crowd under the lights. The Nittany Lions (9-0, 7-0 Rugby East) came out firing from the start and never looked back. Flanker Rob Irimescu started off the scoring in the 4th minute with a try under the post. Scrumhalf Jim Ronan added the conversion and then got a penalty a few minutes later and Penn State had an early 10-0 lead.
Wheeling Jesuit (7-3, 5-2 Rugby East) would come back firing and took advantage of some sloppy play from the home team and were able to score through flanker Tyler Ozmet to cut the lead to 10-5. After that it was all Penn State. Number 8 and senior Chris Burian continued to make his presence felt by scoring a try. Not to be out done by his backrow teammates, captain flanker Malcolm May got into the scoring act as he came in support of Irimescu. Irimescu then set up Burian for his second try of the half and then Wing Connor Cassidy received a cross field kick from center Selby Niu to score a try right before halftime. Ronan was true on all his kicks and the teams went into the break with PSU leading 38-5.
“The message was ‘spill your guts for 80 minutes,’” said head coach Blake Burdette. “This was one of the more complete performances that we have had since I’ve been here.”
The second half was much of the same as Penn State never lost momentum. Irimescu and May both got their second tries of the day to keep the scoring going. Reserve center Kiefer Kei-Boguinard came in and gave the team the impact they needed scoring two tries to close out the game. Ronan hit all four of his conversions in the second half for the 66-5 victory.
Penn State will now travel to Kutztown University on Saturday November 5th to close out the Rugby East season. Kickoff is set for 1 PM at the Kutztown Athletic Fields.
Penn State Lineup v Wheeling Jesuit: 1. Jordan Crofts (Kevin Ndou @72), 2. Cory Klems (Tommy Capriotti @72), 3. Zach Barnes, 4. Leo Vanbuskirk (Mike McLaughlin @72), 5. Jack McLean (Dan Featherston @63), 6. Rob Irimescu 7. Malcolm May, 8. Chris Burin (Colin Assadinia @72), 9. Jim Ronan 10. Mike Dabulas (Thomas Del Pino @55), 11. Mike Eife, 12. Selby Niumataiwalu, 13. Tyler May (Kiefer Kei-Boguinard @65), 14. Connor Cassidy (Nick Kirsch @66), 15. Jimmy Haley
Penn State 66
Tries: Irimescu 2, Burian 2, M May 2, Cassidy, Kei-Boguinard 2
Conversions: Ronan 9
Wheeling Jesuit 5
Tries: 1 (Tyler Ozmet)
Halftime: Penn State 38 Wheeling Jesuit 5