D1AA National Championship

The DRFC came just short of the D1AA national championship, falling 38 - 30 to Mary Washington in the final on a scorching Saturday afternoon in Fullerton, CA.
After conceding the first try of the game, going down 7 - 0, Dartmouth surged back behind the boot of Patrick Sheehy’20 and an Ian Sullivan’18 try, to create a 16 - 7 lead. Sheehy was three of three for penalties on the day, all of which came in the first half, in addition to three conversions. Sullivan’s effort, which marked his first A-side try, coming in his final game of XVs rugby in a green jersey. Shortly after scoring, Sullivan bent over in exhaustion, was caught by the cameras heaving up that morning’s breakfast. 
The half continued with determined physicality from both sides. Dartmouth forwards Steven Hinshaw ’18 (co-captain) and Mason Koch ’20 both delivering energy in the forward pack, matched by some great runs in the counterattack from full-back Jack Badenhausen ’19. Despite a strong goal line stance from the Dartmouth defense in the final minutes of the half, Mary Washington was still able to pull out another try, bringing the score to 16 - 14 at halftime.
The Big Green would find themselves with a deficit to overcome, as Mary Washington took the lead and extended it to 33 - 16 in the earlier portion of the second half. However, Dartmouth was far from out of the game. Jack Badenhausen took a late hit, resulting in a Mary Washington yellow card, and Peter “The Hammer” Badenhausen ’18 arrived quickly to his defense, showing his brotherly instincts. With numbers up, a try from Koch and another from co-captain Ollie Engelhart ’18, with less than ten minutes remaining, would cut the Mary Washington lead to 33 - 30. Benny Goodman ’18, who came off the bench sixty minutes into the game, helped provide this offensive spark, facilitating quick ball movement.
With under five minutes remaining the Big Green would find themselves in the midst of another goal line stance. As the two teams battled inside the twenty-two, Dartmouth held up Mary Washington in the try zone. On the ensuing scrum, captain Benji Hannam ’18 demonstrated his work-rate to win back the ball on a tackle and poach. However, a highly controversial penalty on Hannam for an early release from the scrum would give Mary Washington yet another opportunity to score from the goal line, which they did, to make the score 38 - 30. Dartmouth continued to battle in the last three minutes, even past what appeared to be multiple uncalled knock-ons by the opponent but was unable to regain position before the final whistle blew on the 2017-2018 XVs season.
The DRFC players would like to thank the family, friends, and alumni who came out to the game and all those who have supported them this season.