@GonzagaRugby Wins 2 at Xavier University & Hosts St Ignatius of Australia on Buchanan

The varsity purple Eagles had a great trip to Ohio and Xavier University last weekend, winning two games versus very good competition.  The Eagles beat #4 St Ignatius (OH) and #7 KC Blues, 24-10 and 21-10 respectively.  The photo above is of members of the team with former captain Matt Flynn ’13 who is now at Xavier.  Here are a few more shots from the trip:

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The Eagles hosted St. Ignatius of Riverview, Australia on April 13, falling to the Jesuit school 52-15 on Buchanan Field.

Here is a complete recap of the two wins in Ohio via http://www.GoffRugbyReport.com:

Three of the highest-ranked high school teams converged on Xavier University in Ohio over the weekend to play a three-game series.

Gonzaga HS, the #2-ranked single-school team, Kansas City Junior Blues, the #7-ranked HS club team, and St. Ignatius, the #4-ranked single-school team, met up.

All coaches praise Xavier University’s hosting, from the facilities, to feeding the players, to washing the teams’ jerseys during the weekend, they stepped up in an impressive way.

The games, too, had much to recommend them.

The Junior Blues met up with St. Ignatius on Friday night, and the Cleveland-area team beat the KC team 19-7. St. Ignatius had the run of the game for the first half, dominating field position and territory in leading 19-0 at the break. The Wildcats had scoring opportunities in the second half, but keep committing penalties, and the KC Jr. Blues scored a nice try to make it a 19-7 final score.

KC Jr. Blues Head Coach Eddie Cummings put the loss on his own shoulders, saying it was his fault the team arrived at the field with hardly any time to warm up.

“We didn’t start well and that is completely my fault,” he said. “We did get it together more in the second half. But the start was all about me misjudging Cincinnati traffic.”

St. Ignatius then took on Gonzaga on Saturday afternoon. In a clash of two really big packs, Gonzaga unleashed a very physical defense looking to contain the Ignatius forwards. Gonzaga broke through for two early tries and a 14-0 lead.

“The key was who was going to win at the contact area,” Gonzaga Head Coach Peter Baggetta said. “St. Ignatius is a very good team.

Ignatius scored a try to make it 14-5. Gonzaga replied, and then with 15 minutes to go, Ignatius scored to make it 21-10. Both Ignatius tries were near the posts, but they didn’t get the conversions, and down two scores, they had too much to do. Gonzaga won 21-10.

On Sunday, Gonzaga took on the Junior Blues, and won 24-10 in a very competitive game. Cummings said he was much happier with his team’s performance.

“If you want to be one of the upper-level teams you’ve got to find these sorts of challenges,” said Cummings.

Centers Quinn Dougherty and Eli Snyder showed very well for KC, while No. 8 Mason Tasset scored an impressive try against Gonzaga and was a handful all weekend. Their opposition scored a lot on pick-and-go moves from the forwards, and the lineout-and-maul. But in the backs, Dougherty and Snyder didn’t let too much get by them.

“If we figure out the pick-and-go and the maul we’ll be in pretty good shape,” said Cummings.

As for Gonzaga, flanker Will Lyke was a huge factor all weekend, while flyhalf Owen Sheehy made some key plays before leaving the field injured. Center LJ Koi-Larbi continues to be a dangerous attacker.

For all of these teams, it doesn’t get any easier going forward.

St. Ignatius plays a league game on Wednesday and then travels to Penn State to play Xavier HS, and then Ohio State to play Royal Irish. KC Jr. Blues have rivals St. Thomas Aquinas and Colorado league-leaders East HS coming up. Gonzaga hosts St. Ignatius Riverview out of Australia, and then looks to the Jesuit Classic, which will be a barnburner.

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