Snow Canyon topples East, advances to championship game

Snow Canyon topples East, advances to championship game


Snow Canyon topples East, advances to championship game


Snow Canyon defeated East in the state rugby semifinals at Murray Park on Friday.

Snow Canyon defeated East in the state rugby semifinals at Murray Park on Friday.

As Snow Canyon walked onto the field against East Friday night – a rematch of last year’s state title game – some people didn’t give them much of a chance.

“They (East) looked like they weren’t even in high school,” Snow Canyon’s Kody Jacobsen jokingly said. “They looked like college players to me.”

It was your typical David vs. Goliath moment, and the Warriors weren’t intimidated one bit.

Thanks to their up-tempo play, team speed and big plays, the Warriors – ranked 10th in the nation – defeated the Leopards, 46-26, on an overcast and rainy day at Murray Park.

“East is a great team,” Jacobsen added. “They’re big and physical, but we played Snow Canyon rugby, and when we play that way, we’re tough to stop.”

Jacobsen, a junior, had three tries on the day and helped the Warriors get out to an early lead.

Just three minutes into the game, Jacobsen sprinted 30-yards down the right side.

Just two minutes later, Dylan Parry broke off a 30-yard run and with just the fullback to beat, pitched it off to Jacobsen who took it the rest of the way to put the Warriors up 10-0, after just five minutes.

“Kody was absolutely awesome today,” Blake Day, a senior and co-captain said. “Kody knows how to run through the gaps really well and is always making big plays for us. Credit to the rest of our backs as well who helped set him up.”

Jacobsen’s third try came off another assist from Parry who chipped the ball perfectly over the East defense.

“It’s a great play and usually almost always works out,” Jacobsen added. “The fullback came up, Dylan noticed it, we both made eye contact and the rest was history. Dylan chipped it over, called my name and I was able to get the try.”

After assisting on some tries, Parry got in the scoring act with a try in the 22nd minute with an 18-yard run.

“We know we can always count on Dylan,” Blake said. “He’s as tough as they come.”

Wingman Chantz Perez had another terrific outing and made several key tackles. Perez added a try when he busted down the left sideline to put the Warriors up 17-0 early on before sitting out much of the game with some concussion symptoms.

Much like the championship game last year, Snow Canyon jumped out to another big lead at 27-0, only this time, they made sure to never let East get close after it almost cost them the title last year.

“The boys just really played well today,” Snow Canyon co-head coach Jay Day said. “They did a tremendous job in the first half to help us get out to a big lead, but in the second half we slowed down and East started to wear us down.

“But at the end of the day, the boys stuck to the plan, played their hearts out, and played Snow Canyon rugby. We couldn’t ask anything more,” he added.

Another team captain, Sam Sliver had another respective outing with two tries. After East looked like they were finally starting to get in their groove, the Warriors stepped up and made big play after big play.

During a lineout attempt, a Snow Canyon tipped the ball to one of his teammates and the rest was history. Blake pitched it off to Parry, who then found Slivers who sliced and diced his way 55 yards through the entire East defense for the try. Before anyone could blink, the rout was officially on.

While there were several spectacular plays, the highlight of the night came during the end of the second half when Parry flipped a backwards pass to fullback Richmond Anderson who shaked and baked his way in for the score.

“Richmond is the fullback and that’s like a safety in football,” Jay said. “He’s the last line of defense and because of this, he doesn’t get to handle the ball as much. He’s really talented and so we’ve designed some special plays just for him.”

That special play sealed the victory for the Warriors, who are now looking to win their fourth title in the last seven years.

“We just played our game and played to our strengths,” Blake said. “We tackled the way we were supposed to, and didn’t make mistakes.”

“We played a heck of a game today,” Jacobsen added. “But tomorrow is another day and we’re going to need to come out and play an even better game if we want to take state. We’re looking forward to it.”

Two top-10 teams will compete for the state high school title as the No. 10 Snow Canyon Warriors will take on the No. 5 Herriman Mustangs at the University of Utah soccer stadium. The match is slated to start Saturday at 3 p.m.

Follow Justin Giles on Twitter @Justingiles22 .


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