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Howell Wins Michigan In Dramatic Fashion

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Howell Wins Michigan In Dramatic Fashion

Photos courtesy Rugby Michigan.

Howell defeated Rockford in dramatic fashion to win the Rugby Michigan Boys HS championship this past weekend.

The playoffs produced plenty of drama throughout.

Rockford themselves had to work very hard to get to the final … even the semifinal. The quarterfinals included a tight 19-17 defeat of Detroit Central Catholic.

Grand Rapids Catholic Central moved on as well, beaten Troy United 33-5, while Sparta took care of Downriver 47-7, and Howell beat frequent national champs Grandville 23-7.

In the semifinals, Rockford race out to a 20-0 lead against Grand Rapids Catholic, but GR mounted a comeback. Rockford eventually held on 27-12.

Howell had a tough, back-and-forth battle with Sparta. Down 16-15, Howell scored a try with six minutes to go and then held on with a defensive stand 22-16.

The final then pitted two undefeated teams against each other. 

Howell’s seniors were playing in their fourth-straight state final. Rockford was playing in its second final in three years.

Howell opened up the  scoring but the lead didn’t last ling as the two teams traded tries. Rockford led 17-14 at halftime.

Howell scored early in the second period, to go up 19-17. Rockford once again replied to lead 22-19, but soon thereafter, got a yellow card to go down a player.

Howell took advantage and marched down the field with several line breaking phases to take the lead 24-22 with about 4 minutes to go.

Rockford had time, then to get back the lead. They attacked, and got a somewhat kickable penalty. They opted for the kick goal, but it was just short. Howell gathered the ball and worked through some phases until time was up, and kicked to touch to end the game.

Michael Senecal, Hunter Nowack, and Hunter Cahoon all scored tries for Howell, and props Gage Daugard and Jonah Schrock combined to score the game-winner in what was a very entertaining final.