This weekend, Navy hosted three games in Annapolis. The First XV squared off against Iona while the Second XV commenced life in the Chesapeake Conference against JMU First XV. Navy's Third XV also took on JMU's Second XV. The Navy vs Iona game was even more special for a two players on the field. Navy's scrumhalf Kevin Strehle played against his cousin and Iona Captain Connor Buckley in what turned out to be a competitive family rivalry.
The game started off to a fast pace when Navy's Erick Bleakley penetrated the line for a try in the 3rd minute. Iona's John Powers answered with a penalty conversion shortly after in the 8th minute.
Navy's dominant scrummaging allowed for movement down the field which led to Navy's second try by Braedon Mead in the 10th minute. Iona's Connor Buckley put the Gaels on the board with their first try after charging down a kick and scoring it himself.
After driving over and stealing an Iona scrum, center Joey Hobbs punched in Navy's third try in the 19th minute. Matt Mischler converted the try making it 17-8.
Navy's defense stayed strong keeping Iona out from scoring a try, but flyhalf John Powers was able to place three more penalty conversions through the post. Navy's Collin Argue scored Navy's fourth try of the half in the 38th minute after another powerful Navy scrum. The score was 22-17 in favor of Navy going into the half.
Iona started the second half with a try of their own when Connor Buckley scooped up a loose ball and ran it in from 40 meters out. Navy responded with three converted tries of their own thanks to consistent pressure and scrummaging. Tries were scored by Braedon Mead, Adam Tounkara, and Drew McMurrain.
Iona's last points came off a penalty try in the 61st minute where Navy's Braedon Mead was sent off with a yellow. Even with a man down, Navy's Frank Bell was able to score Navy's eighth try in the 63rd minute off a loose ball in play.
Navy's last try came from Mykol Brooks off a scrum set piece where he broke the line in the 77th minute.
Navy’s Director of Rugby, Gavin Hickie added, “We were a step or two off from where we want to be today with too many handling and unforced errors. At the same time, it is pleasing that all three of our sides performed and won today, competition within our squad is heating up”.
The final score of the first XV game was 53-29 in favor in Navy over Iona. Navy's second XV won their first conference game against JMU first XV 31-13, and Navy's third XV pulled out a victory of 27-6 over JMU second XV.