April 4, 1998
HUMBOLDT, Calif. --The Cal varsity rugby team finished its regular season undefeated Saturday, but the Bears had to work for their last league win, holding off Humboldt 29-12.
While Cal scored five tries, the Humboldt side stayed in the match thanks to four penalty kicks.
Several Cal starters stayed on the sidelines for the game as the squad looks ahead to regional playoffs in two weeks time. Other Bears played in new spots on the make-shift side, most notably senior Matt Gorham who moved to flyhalf from his customary center position.
Lock Sam Enochian, who has nursed a sore shoulder since last weekend's match against Simon Fraser University, saw just enough playing time to score a try in front of family and friends in something of a personal homecoming match. Meanwhile, prop Russell Cole, flanker Kort Schubert and wings Andy Tamayo and Tel Cory-Sadler also scored for Cal.
Fullback Jon Buchholz assumed kicking duties in the absence of regular goal-kicker Dave Stroble and landed two conversions.
Cal will next see action at Rice University in the sweet sixteen round of the national championships on the weekend of April 17 and 18. The true value of the team's last two scrappy wins will then be revealed. The Bears must field strong sides on both days of the regional tournament and the Simon Fraser and Humboldt games have given many players much needed match experience towards that goal of a '30-man team'.
The undefeated regular season is the first in several seasons and came from a Cal side that, on paper, looked more vunerable than some of its predecessors. The Bears lost seven starters at the end of the 1997 season, but a batch of freshman have made an immediate contribution to the 1998 side, among them fullback Buchholz, flanker Schubert, and prop Chris Miller.
Cal 29 Humboldt 12 Cal Scoring: Tries--Russell Cole, Andy Tamayo, Sam Enochian, Kort Schubert, Tel Cory-Sadler. Conversions: Jon Buchholz (2). Cal Record: 11-0-1