The St. Charles Predators won the high school division at the 65th Annual Gateway Ruggerfest Sunday at Creve Couer Park in Maryland Heights, Mo.
The suburban Chicago team opened the weekend with an overtime win over Tulsa Union (OK). The Predators outkicked Union in the penalty shoot-out, advancing to the second round.
The Predators then ran up against Saint Louis University High School (MO), who beat Shawnee Mission Northwest (KS) in their first-round match-up. St. Charles came out and its our pattern very effectively to take a 14-5 lead at half, letting up a try on a very nice line break from SLUH.
Second half went pretty much as the first, with the Predators sticking to the pattern and tightening up the defense en route to a 24-10 win, advancing to a championship bout with the Kansas City Junior Blues (MO). The Jr. Blues reached the final having beaten Waubonsie Valley (IL) and Eureka (MO).
The Match was primarily spent in midfield with a couple of line breaks from both sides. The Jr. Blues midfielders ran hard and set each other up nicely. The Blues were very organized on defense. The first half ended 5-0 with a lone try coming from Predators fullback Andrew Fecteau after some very nice offloading.
In the second half, the Blues marched down the field right off the bat keeping possession in the predator 22 for the next several minutes before Predator lock Wes Pasholk got a yellow card for repeated ruck infringements. With that penalty directly in front of the posts the Blues converted with ease.
With about one minute left in the sin bin, the Blues marched down the field on nice line breaks from the centers before the forwards were eventually able to bully their way over the line to take a 10-5 lead.
Back at full strength, the Predators picked their energy back up and were able to squeak through a couple gaps out wide via outside center Quincy Jones. With the ball in the Blues’ half for the next 10 minutes, the Predators were finally able to convert pick-and-goes for a try just outside the posts by openside Zachary Fringer, who converted his own score to recapture the lead at 12-10.