Pigs vs. Stalkers 37 – 24

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)

Pigs at St. Cloud Bottom Feeders 5 – 19

October 18, 2003

A strong fall league season came to a disappointing end this Saturday as the Pigs lost to the Bottom Feeders in St. Cloud.

The first half saw St. Paul off to our typical slow start, and the Feeders quickly had the ball in our end. Only a couple of missed St. Cloud penalty kicks at goal and some last ditch defending from the Pigs kept St. Cloud from taking an early lead. Finally, midway through the first half the Pigs seemed to wake up and put on some fine back line moves, eventually resulting in a fine try from JR Burgess. The conversion was missed, and the lead stood at 5 – 0. More good moves followed, but all were stopped short by poor passing, lack of support, lost balls in rucks, and other mishaps. Nonetheless, we went into the half with a 5-0 lead.

The second half started with more of the same – good moves by the Pigs that were killed by stupid mistakes. The mistakes finally cost us, as St. Cloud punched the ball in off a loose ball from a lineout and converted to take a 5 – 7 lead. The Pigs fought back, but again couldn’t finish, and a nice breakthrough run by the Feeders made it 5 – 14. St. Paul fought back again and camped near the St. Cloud try line, but still couldn’t punch it in. Fighting for a late score, we then gave up a final counter attack try for a final score of 5 – 19 and the first loss of the fall season.

On the bright side, despite the poor play and the loss, the Pigs won the 2003 Minnesota D-3 title over St. Cloud by virtue of our superiior number of bonus points.

1.Troy Midboe(Chris Griffin) 2.Matt Sonnek 3.Luke Utting 4.Jake Hodgson(Ike Muringai) 5.Ben Hanson 6.Mike Lundberg 7.Joe Huberty(Mike Soucheray) 8.Mike Hankee (captain) 9.Jason Rombalski 10.Bill Bridgeman 11.Brett Carter(Jeff Zweber) 12.Jamarr Johnson 13.JR Burgess(Ernest Wayde) 14.Steve King 15.Grant Dietrich

Tries: Burgess

Pigs at Rochester Rogues 38 – 10

October 11, 2003

This Saturday the Pigs traveled to Rochester to take on a hot Rogues side that had demolished Twin Ports the week before. Despite a forecast of poor weather, the match kicked off cool but dry. We lost the toss and ended up going against a strong wind in the first half. After receiving the kick, the Pigs got off to a rare quick start, scoring first just minutes into the match. Scott Colby kicked a grubber through the Rochester defense, and Grant Dietrich sprinted up to get there just before two converging defenders and touch down inches before going into touch. The difficult conversion was no good, but we were out to a 5 – 0 lead. Rochester fought back hard however, and after some silly Pigs penalties (an unfortunate theme on the day, as it turns out), their outside center broke through for a long run and scored under the posts. The conversion was good, and it was now 5 – 7. Minutes later, another penalty was conceded in a dangerous area, and the Rogues made the kick at posts to increase their lead to 5 – 10. After some good defense to cover for more penalties, St. Paul launched a counterattack that saw JR Burgess break through from inside his own half and run to within 5 yards of the Rogues line. He was finally brought down, but was able to pass off to Bill Bridgeman in support, who touched it down for the try. Bridgeman converted the kick, and it was now 12 – 10 Pigs, and so the first half ended.

The second half saw the Pigs gain strength and momentum as the half wore on. The wind advantage helped us gain territory, and we were able to pin Rochester deep for long stretches at a time. This paid off when a nice back line move saw fullback Dietrich commit the last defender before passing out to Steve King on the wing who ran in for the score. Conversion good, 19 – 10. Minutes later the same combination struck again, as Dietrich was hit by the last defender but managed to get a pass off that King ran in for the score. Conversion missed, 24 – 10. More possession in Rochester’s end followed, and another nice backline move saw Bridgeman pass off to Colby for another score. Jason Naber converted, 31 – 10. As the expected rain began, the game got sloppy and a lot of balls were dropped. The Pigs still kept the pressure on however, and some extended periods of successful ball control by the pack lead to the day’s final try, as Naber pushed through to the try line before passing off to Colby who touched down for his second of the day. Naber converted again, for the final score of 38 – 10. In the end, another bonus point victory, and a continued unblemished league record for St. Paul this season.

1.Troy Midboe 2.Matt Sonnek 3.Luke Utting(Chris Griffin) 4.Jake Hodgson(Ike Muringai) 5.Ben Hanson(Jason Naber) 6.Mike Lundberg 7.Joe Huberty(Mike Soucheray) 8.Mike Hankee (captain) 9.Jason Rombalski 10.Bill Bridgeman 11.Ernest Wayde(Jaffrey Blanks,Jeff Zweber) 12.JR Burgess 13.Scott Colby 14.Steve King 15.Grant Dietrich

Tries: Dietrich, Bridgeman, King (2), Colby (2)
Conversions: Bridgeman (2/4), Naber (2/2)

Pigs vs. Banshees 33 – 17, 7 – 21

October 4, 2003

On a beautiful fall Saturday afternoon the Pigs took a break from league action to battle old rivals the East Side Banshees in Eagan. In typical fashion, we started poorly, and a poorly fielded kick through by the Banshees resulted in an early try against us and a 0 – 7 deficit. Soon after, some continued poor play by the Pigs led to a penalty within kicking distance that was converted, as the deficit rose to 0 – 10. At that point, however, our speed and support play began to show through and after several near misses, JR Burgess broke through the Banshees defense and passed off to Grant Dietrich who slipped in for the score. Billy Bridgeman converted and the deficit was cut to 7 – 10. Mike Lundberg took the ensuing kickoff and evaded a number of Banshess tacklers before finally being brought down, as he went to ground, however, he offloaded to Mike “Muddy” Hankee who sprinted through the rest of the defense to score in the center. Bridgeman again converted and the half ended with a 14 – 10 scoreline.

The second half saw more inspired play from the Pigs, as the lead was increased on a nice backline move that ended with Dietrich finding Brett “Pebbles” Carter on the wing who touched down in the corner. The difficult conversion was no good, and the score stood at 19 – 10. After a couple of silly Pigs penalties, the Banshees then pulled back a converted try to cut the lead to 19 – 17. At that point, however, the Pigs took over the game with consistent runs through the defense and beautiful support play that led to two more tries. The first was a nice individual effort by Lundberg, as he broke a number of tackles and made his way in to the try zone. Brigeman’s conversion was good for a 26 – 17 advantage. The final try came from some beautiful support, as replacement lock Jason Naber found himself alone out on the left wing. After a long run the defense converged, but he was able to pass off to wing Steve King, who then found scrum half Jason “Ponch” Rombalski, who finally passed off to lock Ben “Kramer” Hanson who rumbled in for the score. Bridgeman’s conversion was again good, and the game ended with a 33 – 17 score and a continuation of the Pigs winning streak.

1.Troy Midboe 2.Matt Sonnek 3.Luke Utting 4.Ike Muringai (Jason Naber) 5.Ben Hanson 6.Joe Huberty (Mark Lynch) 7.Mike Lundberg 8.Mike Hankee (captain) 9.Jason Rombalski 10.Bill Bridgeman 11.Brett Carter 12.Pio Piliami (Jon Sydow) 13.JR Burgess 14.Steve King (John Germscheid) 15.Grant Deitrich

Tries: Dietrich, Hankee, Carter, Lundberg, Hanson
Conversions: Bridgeman (4/5)

The B-side game saw both sides feature a lot of experience. After giving up a first half try, the Bombers came back early in the second half to tie the score at 7. Continued Banshee pressure led to 2 quick tries, however, and the match ended with a score of 7 – 21. A good time was had by all involved, however, and many thanks to all the Old Boys who came out this week and all season to support the club.

Pigs vs. Lakehead 34 – 22

September 27, 2003

It was a cool and windy morning as the Pigs took the field at the National Sports Center in Blaine against Lakehead. Despite the long drive from Thunder Bay, it was Lakehead who came out stronger at the start, as the Pigs continued our bad habit of starting games slowly. A poorly fielded kickoff followed by some poor tackling allowed Lakehead to touch down in the corner for an early 5-0 lead just 3 minutes into the match. The conversion was missed on what would prove an extremely tough day for goal kicking for both sides.

The Pigs quickly regained our poise, however, and fought back with a try 11 minutes in. Some nice backline work saw a skip from fly half Bill Bridgeman out to Scott Colby who found fullback Grant Dietrich inserting into the line. As the last defender committed, the ball went out to Brett “Pebbles” Carter who sprinted past the defense and centered the ball for the try. The conversion was good, and it was 7-5. The match then slowed for a bit, until a similar backline work through the hands of Dietrich and Colby again ended up with Pebbles on the wing touching down for a score in the corner and a 12-5 lead 33 minutes in. Lakehead fought back gamely, however, and after a series of Pigs’ penalties punched in another try for a halftime score of 12-10.

The second half started well for the Pigs as Lakehead gave up a penalty at midfield and Cobly kicked the ball into touch inside the Lakehead 5 meter line. A nice drive by the pack from the ensuing lineout led to a Luke Utting try and a 17-10 score. Five minutes later the lead should have increased as Colby broke free into the try zone, but he failed to place the ball down and was knocked out the back(he claims the try zone was too short), so no try. Brushing off this set back, the scoring continued 5 minutes later when a Bridgeman kick through bounced perfectly for our winger who gathered the ball and fell into the corner for the score. That was followed by a bit of redemption for Colby as he scored a try in the 60th minute (and managed to place the ball this time) for a 27-10 score.

Lakehead then fought back again, with some strong running from their inside center who scored to make it 27-15. A final Pigs try with around 10 minutes remaining came from Jake Hodgson off a series of forward crashes. Lakehead closed out the scoring with one last converted try, for a final tally of 34-22 and a continuing undefeated league record for the season for the Pigs.

1.Troy Midboe (Chris Griffith) 2.Matt Sonnek 3.Luke Utting 4.Jake Hodgson 5.Ben Hanson (Mike Soucheray) 6.Joe Huberty 7.Mike Lundberg 8.Mike Hankee (captain) 9.Jason Rombalski 10.Bill Bridgeman 11.Brett Carter (Jon Sydow) 12.Pio Piliami 13.Scott Colby 14.Earnest Wayde 15.Grant Deitrich

Tries: Carter (2), Utting, Colby, Hodgson
Conversions: Bridgeman (2/6)

Pigs vs. U of M 27 – 12, 5 – 5

September 20, 2003

On a sunny but windy afternoon at the National Sports Center in Blaine the Pigs defeated the University of Minnesota by a score of 27 – 12. Going against the wind in the first half it took a while to get started, but Saint Paul eventually got on the board with a try in the corner from Grant Dietrich in the 20th minute after some good backline work. The tough conversion into the wind from the sideline was missed. 15 minutes later it was the pack’s turn to shine, pushing a 5 meter scrum all the way into the try zone where it was touched down by number eight Joe Huberty. Bill Bridgeman missed the conversion, but converted a penalty just before half to make the half time score 15 – 0.

The U came back strong in the second half with a converted try to cut the lead to 15 – 7. That was followed by another Dietrich try converted by Bridgeman to make it 20 – 7. The U kept fighting and added another try after some sloppy tackling by the Pigs to again cut the lead, this time to 20 – 12. The Pigs largely retained possession from that point, however, and added a late try from Jake Hodgson after a series of forward punches. Bridgeman converted to make the final score 27 – 12.

Tries: Dietrich (2), Huberty, Hodgson
Conversions: Bridgeman (2/4)
Penalties: Bridgeman

The B-side game saw the Pigs run out a side with a mixture of youth and experience. There was no scoring in the first half, as the Pigs put on a strong defensive effort, keeping the U from scoring despite being pinned inside our 22 almost the entire half. Jamie Calvert scored the Pigs’ lone try just after half, chasing down a kick and touching down in the back of the try zone for a 5 – 0 lead. The U fought back and got a try 5 minutes from time, and the game ended in a 5 – 5 tie. Special thanks to all the Pigs Old Boys who came out to play today and show the young kids a thing or two.

Pigs vs. Twin Ports at All-MN 48 – 24 (?)

September 13, 2003

The Pigs came out strong in this match and built a 4 try lead before Twin Ports came back with a score shortly before half time. The Pigs scored again in the second half, and then after making several subs got a little disorganized and gave up three quick tries. 2 more late tries from St. Paul sealed the victory, however.

The exact final score and scorers may be a little off, as it seems no one was really keeping track. So if you have any corrections or additions, please email them here.

Tries: Sonnek, Hankee, Hanson (2), Wayde, Colby, Midboe, Bridgeman
Conversions: Bridgeman (2/5), Colby (2/3)

Pigs at Faribault 43 – 0

September 6, 2003

The match on Saturday, September 6th featured the Pigs facing the Fairbault Boksprings on their home soil for the first league match of the season. The first 20 minutes remained scoreless as both teams struggled to capitalize on numerous opportunities to score. Faced with an opportunity to draw first blood, Fairbo missed a centered penalty kick from the 22m. line. The scoring drought was broken when Matt Sonnek punched in for the try off a penalty play that was set up by an Earnest Wayde breakaway from midfield. Billy Bridgeman began his nearly flawless kicking performance with the conversion. The Pigs’ second try of the half came from Ike Muringai after close support of some magnificent work by the backline. Again, Bridgeman converted. The first half ended with a 14-0 advantage to the Pigs.

The second half proved to be more of the same as St Paul finally found their groove and began to systematically break holes in Bokspring defense. An early penalty kick by Billy Bridgeman added 3 more to the tally, while tries by Earnest Wayde (2 trys), Getiria Onsongo, and Grant Deitrich made for a very convincing victory and a great start to the season. Though plagued by injuries, the Pigs managed to capitalize on team play, fitness, ball handling, superiority in the lineouts, and Bill Bridgeman’s Golden Foot to come out with a win.

1.Chris Griffith (Troy Midboe) 2.Matt Sonnek 3.Luke Utting 4.Mark Lynch 5.Ike Muringai 6.Mike Lundberg 7.Jay Sandeen (Jeff Zweber) 8.Mike Hankee (captain) 9.Jason Rombalski 10.Bill Bridgeman 11.Earnest Wayde (David Johnson) 12.Getiria Onsongo 13.Scott Colby 14.Steve King 15.Grant Deitrich

Tries: Sonic, Muringai, Wayde (2), Onsongo, Deitrich
Conversions: Bridgeman (5/6)
Penalties: Bridgeman (1/1)

Jesse James Tournament

August 30, 2003

Thanks to everyone involved in what was a very successful Jesse James tournament this year. We had great weather, great action on the field, and a great time at the post tournament party.

After winning the first two matches on the day by a combined score of 74-5, the Pigs lost a close match 12-15 in the final to take second place in the tournament.

Pigs vs. Minnesota U-21 35 – 7

July 26, 2003

St Paul was in more summer action at the weekend playing against the Minnesota U21 side at Columbia Park. On a very hot summer day St. Paul took the lead with two penalties from the boot of Bill Bridgman. The Minnesota U21 side struck back quickly with their backline crossing for a try under the post which was converted.

The Pigs fought back with tries from John Sydow and Jay Sandeen who went over after a sustained period of pressure that saw the backs and forwards linking and supporting well. Grant Dietrich went over for St. Paul’s third try after some strong evasive running and Bill Bridgman was able to convert two of St. Paul’s tries as well as successfully making a drop goal.

Tony Lano, who was able to break the Minnesota U21 line, rounded off the St Paul scoring with a try under the post, which he was also able to convert.