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Once Again HS Club Quarterfinals Very Close

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Once Again HS Club Quarterfinals Very Close

Granite Bay launches a counter-attack. Alex Goff photo.

A year ago #1 seed Granite Bay almost lost their Round 1 game at the Boys HS Club National Championships; this year it almost happened again.

Layton Christian Academy brought intensity in contact, power, and plenty of pace and they matched Granite Bay try for try.

In an astonishingly entertaining game, Layton took the lead and held it until late in the first half as Granite Bay took a 15-12 advantage into halftime.

Early in the second half LCA exploded for a try to retake the lead, and with time winding down, held a 24-22 advantage. Granite Bay threw everything at the LCA tryline, but Layton held on.

Finally, with time frittering away, Granite Bay got a penalty. They pointed to the posts and Jackson Launey slotted it.

There was time for Layton to come back but they couldn't quite do it and Granite Bay held on 25-24.

San Diego Mustangs and Charlotte Cardinals also played in a bit of a barnburner. This was a game in which tries were hard to come by. Both teams tried to use the wind and the kicking game, but both teams had outstanding deep threes to handle the kicks. So it was a battle of attrition.

San Diego scored off a quick tap early but the Cardinals battled back. For much of the second half the game remained at 10-5 for San Diego. Late in the game the Mustangs had a chance at a penalty goal, but opted to run it. As it turned it, it was the right move. They scored, converted, and held on 17-5.


The other two HS Club games were almost as close. Pendleton was not given a huge chance against Belmont Shore, but they didn't back down at all and ended up scoring four tries against Shore.

Belmont Shore waited for their chances and while they were effective in making those chances count, winning 37-24, the players felt they could have done better.

"Our offensive mistakes kind of killed us," said Max Amasio. "Offensively we weren't, collectively, able to get going."

But the Belmont fitness saw them through.

Danville ran out to an early lead and looked in control against a Woodlands side that was perhaps a little flat.

The Oaks spun the ball well and started to cruise. But as the game wore on, Woodlands started to get more possession and they punished Danville up front. Slowly they hauled in the Oaks and then pulled away 39-29.

This HS Club Championship remains very close every year, and certainly a bit of luck can be involved—Granite Bay coaches said they were lucky. The chase for 5th will be intense.

Friday Games

HS Club 5th-Place Semifinals
1PM White: Layton Christian vs Charlotte Cardinals
2:30PM White: Danville vs Pendleton

HS Club Cup Semifinals
1PM Blue: Granite Bay vs San Diego Mustangs
2:30PM Blue: Woodlands vs Belmont Shore