Blacksburg, Va. – Despite just playing only five of its normal starters, Navy men’s rugby (8-0, 6-0) recorded another blowout victory, defeating the Virginia Tech Hokies (3-5, 0-5) by a final score of 50-10. Navy went with a different lineup in the match with four Mids making their first varsity appearance and seven making their first varsity start.

Credit: Travis Prior /

“We are delighted to get the bonus point win on the road with a much-changed team,” said director of rugby Gavin Hickie. “We were able to rest a number of starters while also welcoming back some guys from long-term injuries. We have a massive three weeks ahead of us now and we could not be more excited.”

Austin Taylor got his first varsity action of the season and took advantage of it, scoring a try in the sixth minute for Navy’s first score of the afternoon. Michael Strehle made his first conversion kick of the match immediately after to put Navy up 7-0.

The Mids went nearly another 20 minutes without another score but then got a pair of scores in a three-minute span. Jacob Haley found the try zone in the 25th minute for Navy’s second try of the match. Strehle’s conversion kick afterward put Navy up 14-0. Nick Janowsky then scored his first try since the Mount St. Mary’s match in the 28th minute, giving Navy a 19-0 lead. Virginia Tech got on the board just before the end of the half with a try in the 36th minute to cut Navy’s lead back down to 14.

The Hokies kept Navy off the board for the first 10 minutes of the second half, but Janowsky ended Navy’s scoreless streak with his second try of the match in the 50th minute. Strehle’s third conversion kick after Janowsky’s score gave Navy a 26-5 lead. Dale Sturdifen scored his first try of the season four minutes later to give Navy a 31-5 advantage.

Virginia Tech scored its second try in the 63rd minute but it would be all Navy for the remainder of the contest. Janowsky scored his third try in the 70th minute and Strehle’s conversion kick gave Navy a commanding 28 point lead. Haley and Sturdifen both added another try in the final ten minutes of play to get Navy to the 50 point mark for the fifth time this season.

Janowsky was everywhere for Navy, finishing the match with three tries to lead Navy with 15 points. Janowsky is the fourth Mid to score at least three tries in a match and the first since Lewis Gray recorded four against Mount St. Mary’s back on Sept. 17. The Madera, Calif., native now has five total tries this season.

Strehle had a solid day kicking for Navy, making five conversion kicks to finish with 10 points. Haley and Sturdifen made just their second season appearances and contributed 10 points each with their two tries. Taylor’s early try is the first score for the freshman this season.

Navy will play its third straight match on the road next Saturday against Kutztown at 1 p.m. in Kutztown, Pa.

Box Score
6:54 – Navy – Try – Austin Taylor (5-0)
Conversion – Michael Strehle (7-0)
25:10 – Navy – Try – Jacob Haley (12-0)
Conversion – Michael Strehle (14-0)
28:27 – Navy – Try – Nick Janowsky (19-0)
36:10 – Virginia Tech – Try (19-5)
50:47 – Navy – Try – Nick Janowsky (24-5)
Conversion – Michael Strehle (26-5)
54:08 – Navy – Try – Dale Sturdifen (31-5)
63:24 – Virginia Tech – Try (31-10)
70:05 – Navy – Try – Nick Janowsky (36-10)
Conversion – Michael Strehle (38-10)
74:48 – Navy – Try – Jacob Haley (43-10)
Conversion – Michael Strehle (45-10)
78:14 – Navy – Try – Dale Sturdifen (50-10)

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