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MAVRC Final Set for Friday

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MAVRC Final Set for Friday

Brian Ferrigno and Garrett Lyons stop GC Prop John Flynn on the attack, with GC hooker Michael Briggs and Prep hooker Pete Zaudtke in support.

The top two teams from the regular season, #11 single-school Georgetown Prep and #2 Gonzaga, will meet again for the MAVRC championship on Friday.

These two played in a tight, seesaw affair earlier this season, with Gonzaga scoring late to finish ahead 20-10.  Both teams will be looking to make a statement in this match, the last game of the season for Prep and one last local match for Gonzaga before heading to the Boys HS Rugby National Championships.

In the first semifinal, Gonzaga dispatched Salesianum 57-7 at the end of last week.  The Eagles appeared to be firing on all cylinders after their weekend trip to Ohio.  Once again Gonzaga were well served by their forward pack, both defensively and attacking with the ball in hand.  Among the try scorers, number eight Bailey Ogilvie dotted down twice for the Eagles. The Sallies lone score came from center Dominick Saldutti.

Prep squared off with Good Counsel on Tuesday evening, and Prep came away with an 18-14 victory.  A much tighter result then the 36-0 win earlier this season, Good Counsel made Prep work for it, playing a very physical game and disrupting at the breakdown.

 The weather wasn't a factor but the field was soft and sometimes slippery from two weeks of rainy weather.  Prep got on the score board early, when fullback Garrett Lyons slotted a long penalty less then two minutes into the game.  Center Austin Muss followed up with a try just minutes later.  Another penalty and try to Prep by wing Rob Ward, and the Hoyas were sitting on an 18-0 lead and the momentum after twenty minutes.

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However Good Counsel continued pressuring at the breakdown and playing aggressively on defense.  They were rewarded with a try from flanker Kevin Budock 5 minutes into the second half, narrowing the gap to 18-7.  Neither team could get ascendancy over the next period of play, but then Falcons inside center, Mikey Joseph, scored a second Good Counsel try with less then 8 minutes to go.  The conversion closed the score to 18-14 and made for a tense finish.  But Good Counsel would not get to the line again and Prep secured another trip to the MAVRC final.  Prep fullback, sophomore Garrett Lyons, got high marks from his coach for his performance.  Lyons slotted two from two on penalties plus a conversion, attacked well with the ball in hand and setup the second Prep try.  But it was more for his composure and counter attack on the Falcons kick and chase game, and his defensive work, especially around the try line.  Flanker Brian Ferrigno was also a force defensively, with physical, momentum changing tackling and breakdown work.   

Prep will look to bounce back from this physical encounter on a short turn around for the final on Friday.  This will be the third straight meeting in the MAVRC championship for these two local Jesuit schools, situated about a dozen miles from each other.  There is plenty of familiarity, with players in both programs having played with and against each other in youth rugby, as well as together on various all-star and sevens teams.  The last two games have produced some great rugby and tight finishes, with Gonzaga nudging Prep with late scores both times.  Prep will be looking for an upset in their last game of the season, and Gonzaga will hope to smother any doubts about their strength ahead of Nationals.