The Gonzaga Varsity Rugby team defended its title as Boys High School Rugby National Champions, winning for the second season. The Eagles defeated Jesuit High (Sacramento, CA) 13-3 this past Saturday at the Rugby Athletic Center in Charlotte, NC. It was the third consecutive year the two heavyweights have met in the final with each having claimed a victory.
The rubber match and the day belonged to the Eagles with sufficating defense in the backs led by Patrick Sheehy, Nick Skalka and Rashan Jones. Reggie Corbin put Gonzaga on the board with a ball through the hands, breaking the last 40 meters for the try and a 5-0 lead. Patrick Sheehy added a penalty in the first half to make it 8-0 at half.
In the second half Jesuit settled for a penalty kick after several attempts to breach the Eeagle defensive wall, closing the gap to 8-3. At this point the Gonzaga forwards began to assert themselves behind captain Jack Iscaro, Dante Lopresti, Jack Carroll, Mike Shincovich, Patrick Hesse, D'Andre Easterling, Sean Fitzgerald and Jack Perry. After a series of settle balls to soften the defense, Jesuit was called for a ruck penalty. Gonzaga took the ensuing lineout and started to drive. Jesuit was able to stop the drive, but Gonzaga was able to win the ruck and get the ball to Johnny Jordan who had entered the game earlier. Jordan was set up on the weak side and powered in from 10 yards out, which closed out the scoring at 13-3.
Jesuit tried to attack many ways including tactical kicking which the back three of Corbin, Tyree Randolph, Cam Bohlander along with scrumhalf Danny Callahan thwarted those attempts on every occaision. The game was a very physical defensive struggle with each team playing with great intensity but also with great respect and sportsmanship for each other. Gonzaga defeated St. Thomas Aquinas from Kansas City 29-0 in the quarterfinals and Herriman High from Salt Lake City 39-34 in the semis.
Gonzaga finished the season 20-1 with the only loss coming on tour in Chile.