Blue Goose comes up empty in overtime
BRECKENRIDGE – The Blue Goose Rugby Club’s record should be no wins, no losses and two ties. But the Breckenridge club agreed to go into overtime with the Denver Highlanders Saturday at Kingdom Park, and the locals gave up a try in the extra period for their first loss of the season, 33-26.
“We could have easily won it, but it was just a dropped ball here, a dropped ball there.” said Blue Goose coach Owen Rutledge. “To get into overtime was a great effort. I’m real happy. I’ll take it.”
Tim Shafroth, a former Blue Gooser in town for the week, was plugged in at scrum half and accounted for 21 of the Goose’s 26 points. He gave the home team a 7-0 lead with a try and conversion and had four other scores in the game.
“It was fun to come in here and contribute,” said Shafroth, who leaves next week for a rugby tour in Australia with a team from the U.S. armed forces. He attends the Naval Academy. “We plug in who we can when we get players in. I wish I could play more, but I’ve got my summer schedule set.”
The Highlanders answered Shafroth’s early score with one of their own to tie it at 7. They then went ahead 14-7 midway through the first half.
But consecutive Shafroth kicks pulled the Goose to within one at 14-13, and they recaptured the lead on Zach Zellars’ try.
Then, just before the half, Denver scored to go ahead by one, 21-20.
Denver controlled most of the second half and the overtime. Two Shafroth penalty kicks countered a Highlanders try (and failed conversion) to send the game into overtime.
The Highlanders, a higher-level team playing with a deeper roster, scored early in the OT and held the Blue Goose off the rest of the way.
“We’re short on numbers,” Shafroth said. “They have more guys than us, and I think it showed in overtime.”
The Blue Goose seeks its first win next Saturday when it hosts Boulder at Kingdom Park. It travels to Glenwood Springs the following weekend.
“We’re so close,” Rutledge said. “Last year at this stage we were getting beat reasonably soundly. When these guys get one win, it’s like a salesman getting his first sale, it’s like, “yes, we can do it.'”
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