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Aquinas Wins Wild One Over SLUH

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Aquinas Wins Wild One Over SLUH

Aquinas won a big one on Saturday. Mark Jurczak photo.

In a battle of leading school teams in the Missouri/Kansas region, St. Thomas Aquinas held off St. Louis University High 39-35 in a wild one.

It was a game that saw the momentum shift back and forth, but Aquinas, ranked #2 among school teams by GRR, eventually built a strong enough lead that even as #28 SLUH scored a couple of late tries, they couldn't quite haul Aquinas in. Aquinas ran out to a 20-14 halftime lead only to see SLUH score early in the second half to lead 21-20. Aquinas responded, and then held on.

"It was a great gam and they are a really good side," said Aquinas Head Coach Tim Kluempers. "We both needed this game. We haven't really been tested the way we needed to be, and I am really proud of the guys for handling being tested."

For Aquinas, prop Aaron Goodwin put in a full day at hte office, especially in the scrums and in the breakdown.

For SLUH, flyhalf Max Sextro scored two tries and added five conversions, while the center pairing of Kyle Dulick and Graham Johnson did well on attack and on defense. The pack kept SLUH in the game with No. 8 John Budd, flanker Alex Van Ness, and lock Thomas Matiyko working hard.

But the man of moment was probably inside center Brock Kluempers of Aquinas. Even as his father and coach Tim was reluctant to single out his son, other coaches at Aquinas were quick to praise Kluempers-the-younger. He made thundering tackles, kept the offensive effort ticking, and added some smart tactical kicking to the mix as well. As a leader he kept the Saints on task, and played his most complete game.

Aquinas needed it.

"We have got to work on our tactical game," said Coach Kluempers. "But we handled playing a big, strong, hard-running team and we kept our composure."