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HS Nationals Tier II Kicks Off

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HS Nationals Tier II Kicks Off

Royal Irish surges on vs Charlotte. Alex Goff photo.

Tier II in the Boys HS National Championships certainly showed a separation between one half and the other.

Thunder Rugby Shuts Out Dwenger

Thunder produced plenty of physicality and power and that tested the Bishop Dwenger defense. The more bodies Dwenger put in the clog the middle the more there was space out wide.

Kaden Vohnout scored two tries for Thunder, while flankers Brodie Dries and Spencer Layne added scores. Nate Wilson and Rino Teoni added conversions. 

Thunder exerted pressure on Dwenger throughout the game and it was tough for the Indiana side to get out of their half.


Penn Rolls On

In a game that was close and back-and-forth early, Penn HS turned a slim 10-6 lead into a 26-11 win over the Raleigh Redhawks. Penn's patience was key, as they didn't change tactics simply because it was tough going early.

No. 8 Carson Reed had a big game with three tries and  Riffle, hooker Wally Kennach, and flyhalf Gabe Kerr added tries. Scrumhalf Saeed Kiruu converted three and was the spark that kept the attack ticking over.

Vienna Over Pendleton

In a game that early on looked like it might be a long one for Vienna, the Virginia side emerged comfortable winners. Vienna had good scoring chances early but Pendleton seemed really good at forcing penalties at crucial moments.

However, Pendleton got into penalty trouble, too, and that prevented them from putting Vienna under scoring pressure.

Outside center Tomas Edmeades had two impressive tries while his midfield partner, Andrew Evan, added another. Wing Holden Smith and No. 8 Christos Kalpaxis scored tries while flyhalf Camden Erickson scored a try and kicked one conversions.

But ultimately, while the backs scored the tries it was the Vienna forwards, with the second row of Brigham DeVore and Jack West leading the way.

Royal Irish Handles Charlotte Tigers

Technically the Charlotte Tigers were seeded #8 in Tier II but they didn't play like it. Young—10 starters were freshmen or sophomores—the Tigers tested Royal Irish early and with No. 8 Alex Harrell leading the way they were going to make their Indiana opponents work for it.

Royal Irish, however, didn't get rattled and, after giving up an early Charlotte try, methodically worked their way down to score again and pull away in the second half.

Fullback Luke Peters and wing Kevin Wells each scored tries and center Noah Kaplan added two. Flyhalf Tommy Hannon added a try, three conversions, and a penalty goal for 14 points. Royal Irish certainly came into this tournament with a chip on their shoulder, and wanted to prove they still are a Tier I-caliber team.

"We're not a very big team, so we like to hit good hard lines and then once we get into space and use our offloads and speed to get to the next level and score," said Hannon.

Thunder takes on Vienna at 11AM Friday
Penn plays Royal Irish at 1PM

In the consolation bracket, Pendleton plays Dwenger at 11:15AM and Charlotte plays Raleigh 11:30AM.

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