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ASU fall to Scottsdale in season finale

Updated: Nov 14, 2023

ASU lost to Scottsdale Blues 22-14 on Friday, November 18th.

ASU came into the game after an exciting 24-22 win over Phoniex two weeks before. ASU was again missing scrum-halves Joey Bridgman and Alex MacDonald to a broken nose and PCL tear respectively. Centers Josh Lesley and Adain Brooks were missing too. Brooks had broken his hand in two places in the previous game while Lesley was still recovering from a shoulder injury. Fly-Half Braeden Darling was also out injured with broken fingers on both hands. Hookers Tyler Inserra and Ethan Walls were both out, Inserra was out with a knee problem and Walls was out with a broken foot. Lock Syd Schonwald was still out, recovering from the after-effects of mono. Sean O'Connor is graduating this December and was making his final appearance for ASU.

ASU was let down by poor handling, they knocked the ball, on several times trying to exit their own half. Scottsdale was also able to make easy meters off set pieces their centers were able to get the upper hand over their ASU counterparts. However, ASU had the advantage at scrums and in the forwards more generally. Returning Lose-Head McCade Siegle had a good game frequently driving the ASU scrum forward.

Despite being on the back foot in open play ASU took the lead through a try by Evyeni Gavriilidis. Forward carries sucked in the Blues' defense and left the short side a little light. The Blues managed to cover it pretty well but Gavriilidis beat his man on the outside and ran in the finish unopposed, Jacob Hurl added the extras.

The Blues would score a try a few minutes later after three tackles down the left flank allowed the Blues to score in the corner, but Cameron Lugo would miss a difficult conversion to leave ASU ahead 5-7 at halftime.

After the break, ASU would change the entire team from 1-15. The blues would get the first points. A kick-in behind the winger from a scrum gave them the try, the conversion was missed to make the score 10-7.

ASU managed to take advantage of the Blues failing to exit from the ensuing kickoff. Harmon Crowe stole the ball from a messy Blues lineout, setting up ASU just outside of Scottsdale's 22 and a few big carries from Sean O'Connor put ASU right on the Blues line. Crowe's second crucial involvement was a pick-and-go that went sideways more than it did forward but disorganized the defense and allowed Jonah Charlton to pick and go back against the grain and dive over for ASU's second try. Graham Ferguson converted to once again give ASU the lead 10-14.

ASU defended well, with Tyler James and Matt Loeffler combining to drive Scottsdale's prop-sized winger into touch. That gave ASU the lineout deep in their own half and the backline failed to clear leading to the Blue's third try. This time the try was converted to make the score 17-14.

ASU was already having issues with the Blues' attacking game. The ball moving quickly from one side of the field to the other was giving ASU all kinds of issues and forcing wingers to defend 3 and 4 v 1s. The Blues would seal their win with about 8 minutes to go in the game with a try in the corner.

That was ASU's last game of the fall season, they will ki