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Regis Jesuit Tops Palmer for CIRA Title

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Regis Jesuit Tops Palmer for CIRA Title

Regis Jesuit players celebrate their win.

In the third meeting of these two teams, Regis Jesuit defeated the Palmer HS Terrors 33-17 this past weekend to win the inaugural Boys Colorado Interscholastic Rugby Association (CIRA) championship.

It took about eight minutes for Regis to take the lead; flyhalf Eddie Maxfield saw some room in the backline and chipped a kick over the top. Center David Dody chased the ball down, beat the cover defense, and was in for the try. Sam Storey his the conversion and Regis was up 7-0.

The ensuing restart didn't go ten meters and so Regis got a scrum at midfield. From there, No. 8 Logan Hilliard picked up the ball, drew two defenders, and offloaded to Storey, the scrumhalf. He weaved through the Palmer defense to go the distance and score. Storey converted and it was 14-0 Regis Jesuit.

Palmer rebounded and put Regis under pressure, making several line breaks which forced Regis Jesuit to kicked clear and try to relieve pressure. All that did was give Palmer a lineout from which they could attack again. One such lineout led to a turnover by Regis, but Regis knocked the ball on. At the ensuing scrum Regis engaged early—penalty to Palmer. No. 8 Dalton Slaughter saw the Regis players turn their backs and he tapped quickly, broke a few tackles, and then fed flanker Landon Neel for a try in the corner. That made it 14-5.

The game was once again back and forth for the next 10 minutes as both teams tried to get an advantage on territory and possession. The game was played between the 22s for the most part. Finally inside Palmer’s 22, Eddie Maxfield tried a grubber kick which pinned Palmer’s backline on the goalline, but a dangerous tackle from Regis flanker Dieterich Miller earned him a yellow card.

Now up a player, Palmer kicked for territory, but wasn't able to capitalize. From a penalty Regis used multiple phases to run the ball from the right side to the left and back. This over-committed the Palmer defense and Storey then saw a massive overload on one side. He sent a high skip pass to prop Spencer Aye, who split the reaming defenders and crashed in for the try. Regis Jesuit 19 Palmer 5.

The second half saw both teams come out with stellar defensive responses to their opponents attack. Both teams had several opportunities to score, but big tackles stalled any forward momentum for either side. A Palmer lineout on their own five-meter failed to find Palmer hands and Regis sophomore Zack O’Reilly grabbed it. After several phases, Dody fed Storey, who broke a tackle to score his second try of the game. Storey’s conversion was good and it was 26-5.

Palmer rallied the troops and won the restart by tapping the ball back to their supporting forwards. From there the Terrors built a multiple phase attack, which saw flyhalf Abe Kamara, and scrumhalf Derric Torbido use Palmer’s larger forward pack to over-commit the RJ defense. From a ruck, Torbido passed out to center Dylan Mercer, who weaved in and out of the Regis defense to score. Torbido’s conversion kick was no good and it was 26-10.

With 20 minutes to go in the game, Palmer seemed to have found their stride and were on the attack and holding off any Regis Jesuit attacks. Pressure and huge tackles by Landon Neel and Abe Kamara halted any breaks that Regis Jesuit could build. This led to some undisciplined play from Regis Jesuit and a penalty for Palmer on the Regis Jesuit 22-meter. Palmer kicked for touch and had a lineout on the Regis Jesuit five-meter. Palmer won their lineout and mauled the ball, drawing in the Regis Jesuit forwards. Torbido passed out to an attacking Kamara, who broke the line and dotted down between the sticks. Torbido’s conversion was good. Regis Jesuit 26 – Palmer 17 with less than five minutes to go.

The kickoff saw Palmer build multiple phase ball which led to another Regis Jesuit penalty for side entry. Palmer kicked for touch and was awarded a lineout just inside the Regis Jesuit half. Palmer’s throw-in was to Dalton Slaughter in front and he set up a ruck to begin what seemed to be another Palmer attack. Torbido passed the ball out to an attacking pod that was met by a wall of Regis Jesuit defenders. Flanker Zee Carroll was able to strip the ball from the carrier, spinning out and breaking one tackle and with support whizzed between two Palmer defenders to score under the uprights with little time left. Sam Storey’s conversion was good.

The referee whistled full time with the final score Regis Jesuit 33 – Palmer 17.

This ended a very successful CIRA season, with competitive games throughout the season. Next year more teams are expected to join the league, but even if that happens, Regis and Palmer will be forced to be reckoned with.

Regis Jesuit Raiders 33
Tries: Dody, Aye, Carroll, Storey 2
Convs: Storey 4

Palmer Terrors 17
Tries: Neel, Kamara, Mercer
Convs: Torbido