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Wild Results in HS Club Semis

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Wild Results in HS Club Semis

Post-try happy for San Diego. Alex Goff photo.

A last-minute try unseated the defending national HS Club champions Friday in Elkhart, Ind.

The San Diego Mustangs unleashed an excellent defensive performance against a very skilled and physically strong Granite Bay team to keep GB in check throughout much of Friday's semifinal.

Granite Bay scored early but had trouble building on that lead because the Mustangs were very quick to the breakdown and kept forcing turnovers. The Mustangs answered with a penalty goal to make it 7-3.

The Mustangs continued to thwart Granite Bay's efforts to go wide, The Mustangs broke through with center Rocco Balisteri but Granite Bay answered and it was 12-10 to Granite Bay as time wound down.

Finally, late in the game, hooker Kai Caulfield crashed over. Jony Lee was good on the conversion and San Diego had their victory. And it was a victory predicated on defense.

It will be an all-Southern California final as Belmont Shore defeated Woodlands 40-15. The Texas side came into this game having mounted a stirring comeback to win the previous day. That was an impressive performance, but it took a lot out of Woodlands. Belmont Shore looked spry and balanced their big front row and scampery inside backs to keep Woodlands guessing.

Belmont Shore's tight five players were very comfortable in the open field and as a result Woodlands couldn't quite predict what the Californians would do. It was an excellent showing and Belm0nt Shore won 40-15.


There was plenty of drama in the rest of the bracket. Danville, unhappy about their quarterfinal loss to Woodlands, put Pendleton under enormous pressure. The Indiana team held on for a while, but the Oaks finally pulled away 29-5.

It wasn't quite that way with Layton Christian Academy vs Charlotte Cardinals. Layton mounted massive break after massive break, but Charlotte somehow held on most of the time. LCA took a 7-0 lead, but Charlotte took points when they were on offer, slotting three penalties to lead 9-7. LCA stormed back in the second half with a brilliant open-field try, but Charlotte answered with a try of their own. 

It was 14-12 for Charlotte and the Cardinals came very close to putting the game away late with an attacking lineout near the LCA line. Somehow Layton Christian stopped them and mounted a speedy counter down the field. Desperately the Cardinals defended, and then were penalized. But as everyone assembled for the kick, an LCA player pushed a Charlotte player. After a chat with the AR, the referee reversed the penalty. Charlotte tapped and kicked to touch, and the game was over.

As a result, Charlotte will play Danville for 5th. LCA, having lost two games by a total of three points, will play Pendleton for 7th.

Scores and Upcoming Matchups at Boys HS National Championships

Tier II Quarterfinals

SOC Raptors 38-22 Raleigh Redhawks
KC Jr. Blues 57-3 Berks
Penn 15-22 Aspetuck
St. Thomas Aquinas 15-26 Vienna

HS Club Quarterfinals
Granite Bay 25-24 Layton Christian
Charlotte Cardinals 5-17 San Diego Mustangs
Woodlands 39-29 Danville
Belmont Shore 37-24 Pendleton

Single-School Quarterfinals
Gonzaga 40-15 Rye
Herriman 24-26 Xavier
Jesuit Sacramento 46-5 Greenwich
St. Ignatius 44-10 Regis Jesuit

Tier II 5th-Place Semifinals

Raleigh 17-29 Berks
Penn 36-6 St. Thomas Aquinas

Tier II Cup Semifinals
SOC Raptors 29-19 KC Jr. Blues
Vienna 57-14 Aspetuck

HS Club 5th-Place Semifinals
Layton Christian 12-14 Charlotte Cardinals
Danville 29-5 Pendleton

HS Club Cup Semifinals
Granite Bay 12-17 San Diego Mustangs
Woodlands 15-40 Belmont Shore

Single-School 5th-Place Semifinals
Rye 10-44 Herriman
Regis Jesuit 31-42 Greenwich

Single-School Cup Semifinals
Gonzaga 45-12 Xavier
St. Ignatius 20-22 Jesuit Sacramento


9AM White: Raleigh vs St. Thomas Aquinas Tier II 7th Place
9AM Blue: Berks vs Penn Tier II 5th Place
10AM Red: Aspetuck vs KC Jr. Blues Tier II 3rd Place [Note New Time]
1:30PM Blue: SOC Raptors vs Vienna Tier II Final

10:30AM White: Pendleton vs Layton Christian HS Club 7th Place
10:30AM Blue: Charlotte Cardinals vs Danville HS Club 5th Place
1:30PM White: Granite Bay vs Woodlands HS Club 3rd Place
3:15PM Blue: Belmont Shore vs San Diego Mustangs HS Club Final

12:00PM White: Rye vs Regis Jesuit Single-School 7th Place
12:00PM Blue: Herriman vs Greenwich Single-School 5th Place
3:15PM White: St. Ignatius vs Xavier Single-School 3rd Place
5:00PM Blue: Jesuit Sacramento vs Gonzaga Single-School Final