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Brother Martin Pulls Away To Win Louisiana

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Brother Martin Pulls Away To Win Louisiana

Jacob Schmidt on his way to his third try of the day.

Brother Martin and St. Paul's played a competitive and entertaining Louisiana Boys HS final to cap off a great day of rugby in New Orleans.

The game was held after Major League Rugby's NOLA Gold came from behind to beat the Toronto Arrows 22-14. 

The high school game was no less intriguing.

Brother Martin opened the scoring when senior captain Sam Vallejos offloaded to senior prop Jacob Schmidt as he surged through a gap to score.  John Rink converted and Brother Martin led 7-0. St Paul's answered when John Rink's kick from inside his 22 rolled all the way down the field and past the dead-ball line. That meant a scrum back where Rink had launched the kick. 

From that prime attacking opportunity St Paul's kept the ball in tight and punched it up the middle and Shawn Williams was over. The conversion was good and the score was tied 7-7. Brother Martin replied as senior fullback Kyle Gleason knifed through the St Paul's defense for a try. That made it 12-7, and then loose forward Andre Cook took the ensuing kickoff and broke free. He was tackled by the St. Paul's fullback Anthony LaPort, but the tackle was deemed high and Br Martin took the penalty and drove to the St Paul's tryline. 

Somehow St. Paul's held on, and when Brother Martin was penalized that was enough for St. Paul's to kick to touch and end the first half.

St Paul's opened the second half on fire, sending their big forwards up the middle and continuing the vertical attack. Ian Lyons punched it through and that tied the game 12-12. Then at 50 minutes St. Paul's scored again, driving Ben Dufour over to make it 19-12 with the conversion. The lead was short-lived as Schmidt finished a series of pick-and-drives with his second try. Rink converted and the teams were tied once more 19-19.

As time wound down the score remained tied until Schmidt took an inside crash ball and found a gap. He raced 55 meters and beat the cover defense, sliding into in-goal to complete his hat trick. Rink converted and Brother Martin took a 26-19 lead. St. Paul's was still only a converted try behind, but Brother Martin was able to ice it.

Wing Tyler Anclade found space on the right and was gone. The cover defense from LaPort was there and the fullback tackled Anclade, but loose forward Andrew Lindstrom was in support, took Anclade's pass at pace and was over. Rink again converted and it was 33-19.  Brother Martin took the kickoff and ran successive punches up the middle until the clock ran down, and then Rink then did the honors of putting the ball into touch to end the game and give Brother Martin its first State Championship since 2002.

Jacob Schmidt was named Man of the Match.