30-19 victory over Georgetown in northeast regional helps Cadets advance

Norwich University’s men's rugby team is Houston-bound! 

The Cadets punched their ticket to their fourth Division II national final four weekend by claiming the National Collegiate Rugby (NCR) northeast regional title with a 30-19 victory over Georgetown on Sunday morning at the South Jersey Rugby Club Complex. 

Wing Brantley Ledbetter (Birmingham, Alabama) scored three tries to lead the Norwich offense to another come-from-behind victory over the Hoyas. Senior Travis Bartniski (Cypress, Texas) scored a try, while junior captain Leo Clayburgh (Brussels, Belgium) had a try, a conversion and a penalty kick to add 10 more points. 

Norwich University’s men’s ruby team (9-1) will continue its quest for the program's first national championship on Dec. 10 and Dec. 12 in Houston.

Norwich (9-1) won its ninth straight game with the victory and will continue its quest for the program's first national championship on Dec. 10 and Dec. 12 in Houston. The Cadets will face Adrian College (Michigan) in the national semifinals. The Bulldogs are the No. 2-ranked team in the country and defeated Illinois State 55-17 in the quarterfinal round Sunday in Knoxville, Tennessee. 

Georgetown took a 7-0 lead in the sixth minute, but Ledbetter quickly countered with his first try of the day to cut the deficit to 7-5 and then a Clayburgh conversion tied the score at 7-7. Bartniski gave Norwich its first lead of the game in the 29th minute with a try to make it 12-7. 

Georgetown regained the lead in the 32nd minute with another try and successful conversion to go up 14-12. Clayburgh scored a try in the 39th minute to give Norwich a 17-14 lead going into the halftime break. Clayburgh connected on a penalty kick in the 51st minute to go up 20-14, but Georgetown answered with a try to take a 20-19 lead in the 54th minute. 

That's as close as the Hoyas would get. Ledbetter scored two more tries to give him the hat trick in the 66th minute and the 72nd minute to make it 30-19. 

Norwich will make its fourth national final four appearance after trips in 2016, 2017 and 2019. The Cadets finished third in 2016 and 2017 and fourth in 2019.


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