October 26, 2003
Sunday’s late-season contest pitted the Pigs against a strong side in the Minnesota Stalkers. Winter is definitely on the way, as was evidenced by the strong winds and typical October temperatures at the National Sports Center in Blaine. Unlike the previous contests this season, the Pigs wasted no time getting into the try zone. The opening kickoff was taken by Mike “Buca” Lundberg. Three phases later, Jake Hodgson rumbled 40 meters for the try. Bill Bridgeman finished with the conversion. The remainder of the first half was a back-and-forth battle, but the Stalkers were able to use their superior outside speed and run in two tries for a 12-7 half time advantage.
The Pigs fought back to start the second half, and off a 5 Meter lineout prop Luke Utting broke through for a score and a tie game. The Stalkers were not about to give up, however, and much of the second half was tightly contested with almost every Pigs try answered with a try by the Stalkers. Pigs tries by JR Burgess and rookie Mike Soucheray put St. Paul ahead, but the Stalkers fought back to take a 24-22 lead midway through the second half. From that point, though, the rest of the game was dominated by the Pigs. A Bridgeman penalty took the lead back at 25-24, and then the Pigs finally started to exploit the weakness of the Stalker defense and put the nail in the coffin with a push-over try from the 5 meter line with 15 minutes left to play. Touching down on the play was Number 8 John “T*N” Glanton, in a rare appearance on the pitch by El Presidente. A second try by JR Burgess, converted by Bridgeman, closed out the scoring on the day just minutes from the final whistle.
The highlight of the day was the super-human running of Jake Hodgson. All day long, the mere prospect of the ball in his hands struck fear into the hearts of the challengers.
1. Chris Griffith 2. Danny Keifer 3. Ian Combs (Luke Utting) 4. Jake Hodgson 5. Ike Muringai 6. Mike Lundberg 7. Mike Soucheray 8. John Glanton 9. Jason Rombalski 10. Bill Bridgeman 11. David Houle 12. JR Burgess 13. Zach Bauer 14. John Germscheid (Brett Carter) 15. Steve King
Tries: Hodgson, Utting, Burgess (2), Glanton, Soucheray
Conversions: Bridgeman (2/6) Penalties: Bridgeman (1/1)