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Around US in HS as Playoffs Get Going

irish rugby tours

Around US in HS as Playoffs Get Going

Papa Matelau for East HS.

We've got a bit of ao roundup of HS action across the USA.


In a meeting of two of the top teams in the MetNY area, Pelham and Rye tied 13-13.

Both teams managed just the one try, and added two penalty goals. Pelham scored three minutes in and seemed to have the run of play. But mistakes kiboshed their other scoring chances. With about five minutes left in the first half Rye scored and moments later added a penalty goal to take a 10-7 lead.

A mistake on te second-half kickoff by Pelham led to Rye getting a penalty and a 13-7 lead.

Pelham started to get the lion's share of possession and field position as well. They had several lineouts five meters from the Rye line but failed to score. Rye responded by getting all the way down to the Pelham line only to be stopped. Pelham did kick a penalty goal to inch closer.

With about five minutes left in the game Pelham put Rye under some pressure and pounced on a loose ball in-goal to score what they felt was a try. But the whistle had blown for a knock-on first. Pelham would eventually kick a penalty to tie it up.

Nathan De lattre was a late selection for flyhalf for Pelham and was outstanding.  Michael Rooney scored their lone try and De Lattre added the points from the boot.

Rye's standout players included brothers Archer and Jagger Fenton. Jagger, a freshman, slotted two penalty kicks and a conversion for a total of eight points. His older brother Archer scored a the team's lone try and was poise and class at fullback. No. 8 Owen Welburn a force for Rye.

"Credit to Pelham, who have assembled a strong lineup of players," said Rye Head Coach Jim O'Hara. 

High-Profile Crossover

#1-ranked Gonzaga took on #16 Xavier and it was a tough game for both teams. Xavier's opportunistic defense garnered two interceptions that led to tries, but Gonzaga held on for a 33-17 win.


STA Tour

St. Thomas Aquinas took their annual trip to Minnesota where they beat Eagan and then Edina/Hopkins in two straight days.

It was a solid overall showing for an STA team that could be hitting its stride after a somewhat close win over in-state rivals St. Martin's.

Carson Patrick and Jake Ernsting were outstanding in the pack for the Saints, and at the back of the pack at No. 8 Max Doerfler continued his strong run of form.

Cooper Coates and Max Doerfler also played well in a very positive trip for STA.

Midwest Championships

Pendleton capped off an impressive 3-0 run to win the Midwest tournament. More on that here:

Pendleton Rolls to Midwest Title

State Championships and Playoffs

Check out our report on Florida's final here: Massive Second Half Sees Okapi To Florida State Title

Utah had their semifinals and East HS exploded for a huge 28-15 victory over Herriman. This was a humbling result for Herriman as they beat East in the regular season. For East it was an excellent example of how you can learn from defeats. Herriman scored early with a try and then a penalty. East straightened things out after that and prop/lock Fatusama Mapa charged over from 15 meters. Herriman scored again to make it 15-7, but a pick-and-go from No. 8 Papa Matelau made it 15-14 at the break.

It was all Leopard in the second half. Despite being shorthanded three players due to two yellow cards and a red, they kept Herriman scoreless, and in fact attacked well. A quick tap on a penalty put prop Ben Blake in with a long run and eventually hooker John Vai would score. Now it was 21-15. 

With 20 minutes to go Herriman committed a penalty and Matelau tapped and ran in. Fullback Rex Bateman was a perfect four-for-four in conversions.

But East has to watch their discipline. They will face Layton Christian in the state final after LCA beat West Valley Warrios in convincing fashion 48-21.

In North Carolina the Charlotte Cardinals and Charlotte Tigers advanced to their state final.

in Southern California, Belmont Shore edged SOC Raptors 23-21 in a very tight semifinal. The Raptors will be shaking their heads at some prime scoring opportunities that didn't produce tries. The Raptors came away feeling like a couple of those times calls didn't go their way. The San Diego Mustangs now will play Belmont Shore in the final after beating Thunder 29-13.

In Northern California, we've got a rematch for San Mateo and Elsie Allen in the Gold league. The Wolverines won well over SacPAL but the Lobos had a ton of work to do to edge Lamorinda 35-32. The game was won for Elsie Allen with a sudden-death drop goal, not something you see every day. Lamorinda scored in the corner at the end of the game to make it 32-30 for Elsie Allen; they then nailed the touchline conversion to tie it up. The two teams had to go into sudden death and that's when Sikeli "Juju" Nale slotted the drop goal to win it.

In the Premier semis, the continued improvement of SFGG was on display with an impressive shutout of Marin 22-0. Tries from Gavin Maguire, Diego Cuisterna, and Bejamin Hatch were backed up from two conversions and a penalty from Mairtin McCusker. All that was nice, but it was the team's defensive showing that impressed the most. They will face De La Salle, which also put in a strong defensive performance. 

DLS held off Danville early and after forcing a knock-on were able to exploit a Chris Biller kick-and-chase to force a scrum and put wing Lucas Meranda over. Flyhalf Sione Manoa would set up Meranda for his second of the day, and while Danville scored soon there after a chargedown from flanker Lukas Platzbecker provided an answer. A penalty goal from the Oaks made it 17-8 at the break.

But the rest of the game was all Spartans. Early in the second period a counter-attack move between Manoa and Biller put Biller over from 30 meters out. Lock Jasper Buttles produced aa big carry to set up a chance for his second row mate Sacha Cox, and he was over. Parker Beilke slotted his third conversion and would add another when center Peter Mckenna connected with reserve forward Carson Phillips. Manoa and Platzbecker were particularly outstanding for a DLS team that is 13-1 and now looks ahead to a rousing final with SFGG at Saint Mary's College.