Sunday, February 23, 2020

Colorado High School Opening Day: Regis Jesuit Raiders v Denver East High Angels


Regis Jesuit Raiders v Denver East High Angels for “The Old Boot”

Regis began its 2020 campaign in much the same way it ended 2019, with a close, hard-won result over arch-rival Denver East in the annual boot contest.
Clear and cool for kickoff with a steady breeze outcoming the southern end of the pitch, which would figure large in the late stages of the derby.

Angels received opening kickoff and worked the pill crossfield in three phases before turning ball over at their ten meter line. The Jesuit worked steadily forward until East were assessed a penalty near 40 meters away from the sticks on the left between the hashes. Raiders first five-eighths Gordon McKeehan, cool as you like, nailed the three-pointer and Regis were up 3-nil early.

Denver were into Regis territory when field magistrate, Chris Brewer, awarded a penalty to East, and Angels standoff Ollie Walker’s strike sailed across the face of the uprights in the 5th minute.

Steady stuff from both sides featuring pick-and-go smashes in the near channels and backline misdirections, which saw some jittery handling errors that resulted in possession reversals.

McKeehan got three more for the Jesuit in the 12th from 35 meters in front and 6-0 for the home side just then.

East were working patient, with Walker’s halfback partner, Quintin Wolfe, serving swift and fluid from sets and the breakdown.

Wolfe-to-Walker pipeline afforded the Angels much quantifiable possession

Angels scrum-put, 30 meters from their own goaline. Wolfe’s quick cycle made for a movement outside and three-quarters, Darius Yavala, was loosed on the wing for a 70-meter scorcher to touch down for Walker’s conversion: new leader at 7-6 East in the 18th.

An East clearance that didn’t find touch, instead was collected by Raiders fullback, Dylan Renner, inside his own 10 meter line. A twisting, dodging return saw the ball into Denver territory and McKeehan in support. The Regis inside center took possession and his leap into the end zone to touch down the go-ahead try made tallies of 11 and 7 for homeys after 25 minutes of play and that was the scoreline when Brewer’s midpoint signal sent the lads to lockers for hydration, instruction and inspiration.

Not much difference in the XVs in the opening 30 minutes, though the brilliance of Yavala and McKeehan made for engaging excitement in that first half.

East drew within a point, 10-11, after Walker slotted three and the match was one of attrition with each side tearing at ball-filled arms in the maul and wrestling determined at breakdowns to secure the pill; both XVs keen for contact.

Twice Angels booted a ball carried by the wind through the Raiders goal, and the ball was returned; back down the pitch and Regis were gifted scrums inside Denver’s 22.

And twice East were down inside the Regis 22, into their business district within 10 meters of the Promised Land, when Jesuit backrow lock, Fenton Dowling, snatched ball and stepped to space for 40-plus meters in a get-out-of-jail sprint and Angels were on their back leg and scrambling.

Mr. Dowling commands this lineout

Regis scrum, just outside the traveler’s 22, won and spun to the middle of the line enabled a slick misdirect, springing flyer, Zach Van Haselen, to close in the corner and extend the home team’s lead to six at 16-10, where it remained until Brewer’s last blast for the record.

Scoring:
        Regis - Try: McKeehan, Van Haselen; Pen: McKeehan (2);
        East - Try: Yavala; Con: Walker; Pen: Walker

Match Official: Chris Brewer

One would do well to pay attention to Angels three-quarters, Darius Yavala, for the underclassman has power, pace, and size aplenty to go along with savvy smarts. we're talking a Ben Pinkleman or Cody Melphy here...



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