Dartmouth marches onto the D1AA XVs national championship game on May 5 after claiming the D1AA spring championship in a 66-20 route of University of Nevada, Reno in after a hard-fought match on Saturday in Greensville, North Carolina.
Mason Koch ’20, a man of no fear and a magnificent mustache, had a great showing, stopping Nevada’s big boys on defense, and scoring two tries. The prop turned 8-man, co-captain Steve Hinshaw ’18, continually battled through the Nevada defensive line, his energy, and intensity nearly boiling-over when called for a not-releasing penalty. Captain Benji Hannam ’18 made his return to the lineup, coming back from an injury he suffered against Cal on tour. The highlight try of the day came at the onset of the second half. After Struan Coleman ’19 won the restart, the Big Green put on a display of "champagne rugby" in an incredible sequence of off-loads, with Hannam, Struan Coleman ’19, and even Hinshaw, who finished off the play with a try, getting involved. Hinshaw’s mother commonly referred to by his teammates as “Mama Hinshaw” could be seen enthusiastically throwing up her hands in celebration, among the dozen of others in attendance.
Other tries came from Luke Bienstock ’20, who had two on the day; fly-half Pat Sheehy ’20, who also contributed a penalty; Coleman ’19, cousin of Hayden Aldredge; Julien Johnson ’18, aka DJ Shades; Sir Fuller Winton IV ’19; and Marwan Zelmat ’19, his first A-side try and one of many who provided a spark off the bench. Charlton “Taco” McCardle ’21 and Jarrett Lewis ’21 also added energy as reserves. Lewis laid the wood in a few dominating tackles, and Taco made a long run off a restart which confused the new rugger as he looked around baffled as to how he was still untouched after reaching the opposing 20-meter line. The clock wound down, and the DRFC found itself victorious in a huge team effort.
After receiving a large, glass container in the trophy presentation, the Big Green had a 14-hour bus ride back to Hanover to look forward. Next, Dartmouth will play for the D1AA overall national title against Mary Washington on May 5th, as it looks to bring home its first-ever XVs national title in its first national championship appearance since 1988.