The Pride of Perry Street Prep travelled across town to take on the Cadets of St John’s College High School. In their final match before heading into Spring Break, neither team was looking to begin their vacation early. Both teams appeared very intense and focused on the task ahead as they went through their pre-game warm ups.
The St John’s squad had a noticeable size advantage in the forwards with the Pride’s strength lying in their speed. That speed has served the Pride well over the season as they have exploited lazy defense and piled on points. St John’s quickly showed they were anything but lazy with constant, aggressive “in your face” defense and hard-nosed, smash-mouth offense.
The referee, Lelia True, had a busy day as both teams pushed the limit of offside line. St John’s was awarded the first scoring opportunity of the day with a penalty kick approximately 30 meters out and 10 meters from the touch line. Unfortunately, that kick sailed wide. The Pride replied several minutes later following a St John’s penalty 20 meters out. Quick tapping the penalty, the Pride worked the ball through five phases of pick and go’s when their efforts were awarded.
Brian Betts (’12) with the help of his brother Robert (’14), drove over the line from 5 meters out to open the scoring on the day. Ten minutes later, the Pride’s Marcus Mcintyre (’13) scored again off a very similar effort.
St John’s continued to pressure the Pride in solid scrums and consistent lineouts but failed to convert their efforts into points. After another SJC penalty attempt sailed wide, they opted to either tap and go to the forwards or kick to touch and try to drive the lineout into goal. The Pride somehow managed to repel these attempts and kept the Cadets out of their try zone.
Final scoring of the half came off another quick tap penalty 10 meters out from the St John’s try line. Pride flyhalf, Jihad Khabir (’14) made hard work of the try. Instead of using his 3 vs. 1 overload, Khabir cut back in and struggled to get the ball grounded as he went over for the Prides third score of the day. Halftime score: 19-0.
The second half proved to be a much tighter game as St John’s increased their defensive pressure and increased their inroads into the Prides territory. The only scoring of the second half was the result of Pride scrumhalf, Justin Owens (’14) chip kicking over the ruck. Flyhalf Jihad Khabir raced 30 meters to the ball but was unable to scoop the ball up and opted to kick the ball 20 meters further downfield. Khabir won the foot race and managed to dot the ball down just before it went into touch. Final Score: 24-0.
Following the game, the Pride’s Coach Bayer said, “I am really happy with the efforts of our forwards as they do a lot of the work that doesn’t get noticed or make our highlight tapes.” He went on to say, “as a team, we needed this type of game to test our resolve. St John’s physically took it to us today. Their size and strength and physical style were a real challenge for us and I am sure we will be feeling the effects for the next few days.”
Luckily, with Spring Break having begun there will be plenty of time to begin that recovery process. Following spring break, St John’s will face Landon and the Pride will face their toughest test of the season in an also undefeated Gonzaga side.