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Strake Jesuit Edges Dallas Jesuit in Texas

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Strake Jesuit Edges Dallas Jesuit in Texas

Cold and wet the Strake Jesuit players celebrate a first-ever win over Dallas Jesuit.

On a cold, rainy, unpleasant day Strake Jesuit edged Dallas Jesuit 19-14 in a clash of two of the strongest school teams in Texas.

The Dallas Jesuit Rankers scored two first-half tries— one a startling long-range effort from center Olayinka Lamikanra and one a crash over in traffic from Charlie Borowczak—with Jordan Mason converting both to go up 14-0. However, the Strake Jesuit Crusaders stormed back for 19 unanswered points to claim their first ever varsity victory over Dallas Jesuit.

The Crusaders were paced by flanker Michael Melton and outside center Jared Broussard. Both players were stout with ball-in-hand, but really made their mark on defense. Newcomer Melton's work rate was particularly impressive for someone playing only his third rugby game. He led the team in tackles on the day.

The Strake comeback started with a 50-meter line break by inside center Jake Foster, who was tackled short of the goalline. However, a penalty for a high tackle kept the Strake Jesuit attack going and a quick tap from Marc Arsham set up Michael Ukona, who was over.

In the second half, Arsham moved from fullback to flyhalf and used his passing and kicking skills to put pressure on the Ranger defense. The second score was set up by sound defense that resulted in a knock-on by the Rangers and a quick counter from Strake. Melton streaked across the pitch calling for the ball and plugged his way into goal from 10 meters out. That made it 14-12 with Dallas Jesuit holding onto the lead.

The decisive score was off of a Strake Jesuit lineout. Ukona took the first pass from Foster (who had moved to scrumhalf) and made ground. Quick ball from the breakdown gave Arsham a seam to move into, and as the defense collapsed around him he offloaded to Foster running a hard inside line. Foster was through and touched down; Arsham added the conversion to give his side a 19-14 lead.

Strake Jesuit's D2 side also won, beating the Dallas Jesuit D2 side 40-7.

In the varsity match, Lamikanra and Borowczak were standouts for Dallas, while Broussard and Foster produced and excellent midfield effort, and Melton was a force at flanker.