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Woodlands Celebrate 13-1-1 Season, Winning Texas

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Woodlands Celebrate 13-1-1 Season, Winning Texas

Prop Manual Guzman barrels on for some yardage. Richard Clarke photo.

The Woodlands defeated St. Pius X 29-19 April 28 to take the Rugby Texas Division I state title in Austin, Texas, bouncing back from a very difficult semifinal game the day before.

The Woodlands reached the final after narrowly defeating the Katy Barbarians the previous day by the score of 14-13; a game in which The Woodlands spent the last 25 minutes defending a slim lead while playing a player down due to a red card.  

(Photos by Richard Clarke)

In the final, The Woodlands scored first when Tom Dixon went over in the 16th minute; Manuel Zapata-Sanchez kicked the conversion. The Woodlands built upon their lead seven minutes later, when Landon Smith scored a try and Zapata converted to make it 14-0. In the 27th minute, Orrin Bizer got across the line, and Zapata was good for his third conversion and a 21-0 halftime lead.

St. Pius X didn't fold, however. In the second half, St. Pius X scored in the 46th minute to inch a little closer. Once again, The Woodlands ended up being a player down, this time due to a yellow card. Pius was able to capitalize with two tries, both converted, in the space of seven minutes.

That made it 21-19. Zapata-Sanchez padded the cushion with a penalty goal, and then, with time winding down, Mattox King scored to ice it 29-19.

The Woodlands finished upwith a 13-1-1 record, scoring 585 points and giving up 144. The only blemishes on their record came in The Woodlands first two preseason games back in the second half of January with a one point loss to Texas semifinalists Dallas Jesuit 34-33, and a tie to Louisiana state champion Jesuit NOLA 12-12.     

 

In the Rugby Texas High School Girls State Title game, Woodlands Youth Rugby Club Girls High School team came up short in their first state championship final in seven years. The Woodlands fell in the championship contest 17-7 to the North Texas Barbarians.