The DePauw men's rugby team suffered a 13-10 overtime loss to Wabash in the annual Monon rubgy game on Friday, keeping the coveted "Monon Keg" in the Little Giants' hands for the third consecutive year. DePauw clung to a 10-7 lead in the final minutes of regulation when a decision made by the head referee spurred controversy from the DePauw bench.
"He had told us that there was one minute left and he played on for three or four more minutes," said JooWon Park, the team's unofficial coach. "It gave Wabash the chance to tie up the game."
The referee called for the end of regulation after Wabash evened the score with a three-point penalty kick. Wabash notched the winning points on another penalty kick in the second half of overtime.
"The discrepancy was whether or not the penalty occurred before or after time expired," said senior Johnny Buchta. "I'm not going to blame the game on the ref. There were quite a few calls that didn't seem to go our way, but it's a tough game to call."
Buchta left the game and did not return after a potential meniscus injury to his left knee during the first half of play.
"[Buchta] coming out meant we had to put other people into his position, something we hadn't been practicing for," Park said. "We had to change up the lineup and that hurt us a lot."
Despite the injury and controversy, the match garnered a positive response from fans and players. Hundreds of spectators attended a match highlighted by junior Ryan Blackwell and sophomore Culley Pearson, who both scored five-point tries for DePauw.
"I've been playing for two years and this was the best game I've ever seen our team play," Buchta said.
Others from the team agreed with Buchta.
"We played really well," Park added. "We had a lot of fans show up and the team really appreciated that.
Story published in The DePauw: