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Gonzaga, Jesuit to Single-School Final

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Gonzaga, Jesuit to Single-School Final

Gonzaga goes in for the score. Alex Goff photo.

The Gonzaga-vs-Jesuit rivalry is back as both won semifinals Friday at the Boys HS National Championships.

Gonzaga Over Xavier

In a game that was more competitive than the score indicated, Gonzaga defeated Xavier 45-12.

Xavier had chances to score more but were stymied repeatedly, thanks in large part to the defensive work of back row of Andrew LaFrankie, Joey Hurley, and Burke Carroll. Those three shut the door repeatedly on a tough Xavier team.

With the ball Gonzaga was speedy and effective, scoring on the edge and also up the middle. Their bench was impressive and ensured they would finish strong.

St. Ignatius vs Jesuit

Defending champions St. Ignaitus knew they were in for a battle and they got it. The Wildcats let the opening kickoff hit the ground and that put them under pressure. Jesuit camped out in the Ignatius 22 for about 10 minutes and while Ignatius defended well, it was only a matter of time before Jesuit went over—Trenton Dewar racing over and TJ Pappas converting for a 7-0 lead.

Ignatius had hardly touched the ball but they did force a penalty by Jesuit. From that they took the lineout and mauled it for several meters before getting it over the line—flanker Cole Sutkus doing the honors. Aiden Pickston slotted the extras to tie it up.

Back came Ignatius and they worked their pattern to make their way into Jesuit territory where the Marauders were penalized. Pickston slotted the penalty for a 10-7 lead. But Jesuit did the same, and Pappas equalized. 

Just before halftime, Pickston slotted his second penalty and Ignatius took a slim 13-10 lead into the break.

The second half saw Ignatius squander some scoring chances. They had two more mauls right to the line but were stopped, being held up on one occasion and unable to finish it off in the other. Finally Jesuit got out of trouble, and worked the ball side-to-side without gaining much territory. That is until Noah Sanchez broke through, evaded several tacklers, and was over. Pappas converted and it was 17-13 Jesuit.

St. Ignatius got some good work from Ryan Putka and also from Sutkus (who would have to leave with a worrying cut on his head). Finally the Ignatius forwards worked their short yardage pattern and after a longer period just short of the line, got it over. Pickston converted and it was 20-17.

But there was time, and Jesuit was able to get the ball back and once again play wide and fast. With no time left they found big prop Joe Mokofisi in the corner. There was no stopping Mokofisi from short range and that was the game-winner.

"They came out, punched us in the mouth ... it was just a very, very challenging game," said Sanchez. "We got lucky."

This was a truly entertaining game, a bit of a chess match and certainly also one that required every ounce of skill and determination from both teams. 


Herriman won convincingly over Rye to make the 5th-place final and they will take on Greenwich.

Rye and Regis Jesuit, the two teams new to the national championships, will battle for 7th. Both teams have shown ability, but this is a new experience for both teams. Regis did unleash some offense, losing to Greenwich 42-31.

Scores and Upcoming Matchups at Boys HS National Championships

Tier II Quarterfinals

SOC Raptors 38-22 Raleigh Redhawks
KC Jr. Blues 57-3 Berks
Penn 15-22 Aspetuck
St. Thomas Aquinas 15-26 Vienna

HS Club Quarterfinals
Granite Bay 25-24 Layton Christian
Charlotte Cardinals 5-17 San Diego Mustangs
Woodlands 39-29 Danville
Belmont Shore 37-24 Pendleton

Single-School Quarterfinals
Gonzaga 40-15 Rye
Herriman 24-26 Xavier
Jesuit Sacramento 46-5 Greenwich
St. Ignatius 44-10 Regis Jesuit

Tier II 5th-Place Semifinals

Raleigh 17-29 Berks
Penn 36-6 St. Thomas Aquinas

Tier II Cup Semifinals
SOC Raptors 29-19 KC Jr. Blues
Vienna 57-14 Aspetuck

HS Club 5th-Place Semifinals
Layton Christian 12-14 Charlotte Cardinals
Danville 29-5 Pendleton

HS Club Cup Semifinals
Granite Bay 12-17 San Diego Mustangs
Woodlands 15-40 Belmont Shore

Single-School 5th-Place Semifinals
Rye 10-44 Herriman
Regis Jesuit 31-42 Greenwich

Single-School Cup Semifinals
Gonzaga 45-12 Xavier
St. Ignatius 20-22 Jesuit Sacramento


9AM White: Raleigh vs St. Thomas Aquinas Tier II 7th Place
9AM Blue: Berks vs Penn Tier II 5th Place
10AM Red: Aspetuck vs KC Jr. Blues Tier II 3rd Place [Note New Time]
1:30PM Blue: SOC Raptors vs Vienna Tier II Final

10:30AM White: Pendleton vs Layton Christian HS Club 7th Place
10:30AM Blue: Charlotte Cardinals vs Danville HS Club 5th Place
1:30PM White: Granite Bay vs Woodlands HS Club 3rd Place
3:15PM Blue: Belmont Shore vs San Diego Mustangs HS Club Final

12:00PM White: Rye vs Regis Jesuit Single-School 7th Place
12:00PM Blue: Herriman vs Greenwich Single-School 5th Place
3:15PM White: St. Ignatius vs Xavier Single-School 3rd Place
5:00PM Blue: Jesuit Sacramento vs Gonzaga Single-School Final