Chris VanSickle’s penalty goal in stoppage time preserved a tough 29-24 victory for Mohawk over arch-rival Humber in Ontario Colleges Athletic Association Division 1 rugby at Mohawk Sports Park on Saturday (Sep. 25).
VanSickle, the second-year player from Brantford and last week’s OCAA Male Athlete of the week, had four successful penalties and a convert for 14 points despite a driving wind for most of the match. Mohawk led 6-0 after 20 minutes, but then Humber came alive. The Hawks scored 17 straight points by the end of the first half on a pair of spectacular tries by speedy Jordan Reid about three minutes apart, both converted by Phil Boone, who also kicked a penalty.
Tries by Eric Moyer (Brantford) and Andrew Porter (Burlington) allowed the Mountaineers to regain the lead at 18-17. A VanSickle penalty bumped the margin to four points and then Porter’s second try of the game made the score 26-17 for Mohawk. But the issue was far from settled. Zachary Cuff’s try, converted by Boone just as the teams entered stoppage time, made it a two-point game. But VanSickle’s clutch three-pointer salted the game away for the home side.
Mohawk head coach Alex Paris noted his team lost its way for a spell. “We lost enthusiasm as the first half wore on,” said Paris. “(We found ourselves) down by two tries and a conversion. It speaks volumes of the good leadership on the team (that we were able to come back).”
Mohawk is now 2-0. Humber is 1-1.