Author: Andrew Valdes
On a brisk Friday night at Patterson Field, the sidelines were packed with fans rooting passionately for their team to make it down field for a score. No, the scene described is not one of the Occidental Football team, but of the Occidental Rugby Blackshirts. This past weekend, the Rugby Club team faced off against cross-town rival Loyola Marymount in the Annual Doherty Cup.
The Doherty Cup is a rivalry game between Occidental and Loyola Marymount University held each year in commemoration of Daren Doherty, a young man whose life was cut short in a drunk driving accident some years ago while playing for the LMU rugby club. As a result of the accident both LMU and Oxy, along with Doherty’s parents, decided to hold a match in Daren’s honor where the winner would receive a trophy and a $250 purse.
While the Doherty cup certainly proves to be an interesting rivalry between two very different schools, the past results of these match-ups have proven to be not as interesting as LMU has dominated the rivalry, winning each of the last 10 years including each of the last six Doherty cups. However, this year would prove to be different as the Oxy Blackshirts would pull off an impressive victory over Loyola-Marymount with a 31 -10 score, earning the Blackshirts their first ever Doherty Cup.
As a surprise to many of those who have witnessed or played in the Doherty Cup, the match was never in question, as Oxy scored two early “Tries” to put the Tigers up 12-0 ten minutes into the game. The Blackshirts continued their dominance all night, overpowering LMU in the scrums and securing ball in the rucks.
With fifteen minutes gone by in the first half, LMU would take advantage of an Oxy penalty close to their try zone as they were awarded a penalty kick, which the Lions converted to three points.
As the first half came to a close, Oxy seemed to tire as LMU mounted an attack deep within the Blackshirts defensive zone. Nonetheless, Oxy proved to be resilient, keeping LMU out of the try zone, and leaving the half time score at 12-3 in the Blackshirts favor.
Much like the first half, the second half of play would continue to go Occidental’s way as the team continued to provide intense and consistent support which set up some big runs by the back. These led to three second half tries scored by Rosny Daniel (senior), Brett Henderson (senior) and Alex Ochoa (senior).
On the defensive side of the ball, the Blackshirts defense continued to tame the Lions, allowing only a few line breaks and long runs as well as one late score. At the sound of the final whistle the score stood at 31-10 in favor of the Blackshirts, winning them the Doherty Cup as well as the lavish $250 purse.
Along with the trophy and money being a integral part of the Doherty Cup, the game also holds a “Man of the Match” award that is given to the player that “best exemplifies the competitive spirit of Daren Doherty while excelling on the field of play.” The MOTM honors went to Rosny Daniel, who scored a try as well as three conversions. Mitch Grummond (sophmore) recieved honorable mention.
With the Blackshirts’ victory the team moves to a 3-0 record, building on the teams 10 game regular season winning streak which dates back to last season. The Blackshirts look to build upon this momentum as they host UC Riverside this upcoming Saturday, Feb. 21 on Patterson Field.
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