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Top Utah Teams Flex Muscles as Playoffs Loom

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Top Utah Teams Flex Muscles as Playoffs Loom

Everyone seems to be chasing Genesis right now. Daliny Jones photo.

The cream is rising to the top in Utah Youth Rugby, but regardless of where a team is in the standings, there is quality throughout.

Herriman is atop the Red Conference Tier 1 with a 3-0 record and should remain so after this weekend's clash with Kearns. Olympus is right there at 2-1 and plays Tier 2 top team Copper Hills. East has had a tough time of it in a difficult conference and will be looking to get a win when playing fellow 0-2 team Mountain Ridge.

Noteworthy is that East has maximum bonus points in their two conference losses, having scored four tries each time and been within a try.

In the Blue/White Tier 2, Layton Christian leads but it's close with Brighton right behind them and Wasatch lurking. 

Of course the big clash last week was between undefeated Genesis and undefeated West Valley. Genesis won that game 40-33 and followed it up with a big defeat of Provo to improve to 4-0. 

“The West Valley game was incredible," said Genesis Head Coach Eric Nelson. "West Valley showed how talented they are by coming out and putting us in a hole very early in the game.  Our boys had to give everything they had to get that win.”

In one of the more exciting and intense games in club history, added Nelson, Genesis leaned heavily on their highly-experienced senior class to finish the game. With several lead changes happening throughout the second half, it came down to scores by flyhalf Willie Leota, prop James Cardon-Leota, and wing Reed Johnson to put the game away. 

“West Valley proved that they are one of the best teams in the nation.  They took us to the brink.  Kudos to our senior leaders for rallying their teammates to finish strong,” Nelson said.  With time expiring, Johnson broke free for a 70-meter gallop that put the game away for Genesis 40-33. 

Following the West Valley game, Genesis was matched up with the Provo Steelers in a mid-week clash. This one proved to be less arduous as Genesis romped to a 63-7 victory with scores coming from Johnson, Leota, senior No. 8 Isaiah Jones, and a host of others.  Regarding the win Nelson said, “After two consecutive games where we faced ranked opponents that took us all the way to the wire, I worried a bit about a letdown.  Fortunately, we came out very strong and never looked back.”

With the win against Provo, Genesis now looks ahead to Saturday’s matchup against #33 Snow Canyon in their final regular-season match.  After that the playoffs begin.

“All of our goals are still in front of us. Our first goal is to win Utah’s state championship. We know that won’t be easy with all the great teams in Utah that we will have to play again in the playoffs. After that we will be going to Nationals where we expect to finish strong,” said Nelson. 

VARSITY BOYS- 2021 Spring 15s Conference Play
Red Conference Tier 1 W L T BP PTS
Herriman HS 3 0 0 3 15
Olympus HS 2 1 0 2 10
East HS 0 2 0 4 4
Mountain Ridge HS 0 2 0 0 0
Red Conference Tier 2 W L T BP PTS
Copper Hills HS 2 0 0 2 10
Kearns HS 0 2 0 3 3
Blue/White Conference Tier 1 W L T BP PTS
Genesis 4 0 0 4 20
West Valley Warriors 3 1 0 4 16
SLV Rhinos 2 2 0 4 12
Snow Canyon HS 2 2 0 2 10
Provo 1 3 0 1 5
United 0 4 0 1 1
Blue/White Conference Tier 2 W L T BP PTS
Layton Christian 4 1 0 5 21
Brighton HS 4 1 0 3 19
Wasatch HS 3 1 0 3 15
Genesis 2 2 3 0 6 14
West 2 3 0 2 10
Cache 2 4 0 2 10
American Fork HS 0 4 0 0 0