The Humboldt State men’s rugby team secured a playoff spot with a big win on Saturday, rolling over Sonoma State by a score of 73-22 at College Creek Field.
The Jacks scored a remarkable 13 tries, seven from the forwards and six from the backline, including one on an inspirational 40-meter run just before halftime by Dalvin Jamal-Milton, who broke several tackles along the way.
The try gave the Jacks a 38-15 advantage at the interval and there was no way back after that for the visitors.
“The men put together a solid performance by both the forwards and backs,” HSU assistant coach Vince Celotto said.
With the win, the Jacks improved to 3-0 and sealed a playoff spot for the Pac West Region tournament at Western Oregon at the end of the month.
HSU’s Jose Rodriguez, a freshman lock forward recruited out of Long Beach, scored a pair of tries in the win.
“As one of the forwards coaches I was very happy to see him excel yesterday,” Celotto said. “And I look forward to having him and the other three freshmen starting in our forwards have such a positive effect on the team.”
The Jacks are battling some injuries to key players at the moment, particularly in the forwards where they don’t have as much depth.
They have almost four weeks before the playoffs, with two games between then and now, including a trip to play at rival Santa Rosa this coming weekend.
With a playoff berth already secured, however, those games won’t carry the same importance.
“We like where we are at in season,” Celotto said. “Fitness needs to get better, but this game was a big momentum builder, and as coaches we like our chances against anybody. We have a good group of young men.”
Ray Hamill writes at humboldtsports.com, where you can read lots more about sports in Humboldt County.