Playing under lights in LA on Friday night, View Park Prep High School edged out Fallbrook High School to earn a spot in Southern California’s High School Single-School division.
View Park lost starting senior prop Tyler Laititi to a broken leg in the first play, and Fallbrook then controlled possession early and through several phases of forward play, worked their way down the field and scored on a pick-and-drive to go ahead 7-0.
View Park bounced back and after some good defense, senior open side Noah Trotter picked up a loose ball and raced 50 meters to score under the posts. Senior flyhalf Aaron Lewis converted, 7-7.
View Park were now enjoying more possession and territory. Senior Cameron Griffin, who just committed to play football for UCLA, picked up from the base of a scrum and charged over in the corner to make it 12-7.
Fallbrook junior and flyhalf Sierra Artaga cut his way through the defense more than once and with a good kicking game kept the pressure on View Park. Finally the pressure told and Fallbrook scored again to make it 12-14.
With time running out in the first half some quick hands from the View Park backs let Griffin get in the open. He showed a clean pair of heels to the Fallbrook cover defense and scored in the corner to make it 19-14 at the break.
View Park started the second half with speed and ferocity. Captain and senior Leodes Van Buren took on the Fallbrook defense from 20 meters out and dragged the last defender the last 5 meters to score. Aaron Lewis converted to make it 26-14 to View Park.
Continued pressure from View Park earned a penalty and while Fallbrook were retreating, junior Jabari Fernandes took the quick penalty and sneaked past the defense to dot down making it 31-14.
Fallbrook weren’t finished though, and mounted a comeback led by junior number 8 Steven Branham. Branham scored after a bulldozing run to make it 31-21. With time running out, Branham then charged down a 22 meter restart and scrambled to score again. 31-28.
View Park dug deep for the last 3 minutes. Good team defense and a steal by senior Jordan Adolphus helped View Park control the ball for the last seconds and earn a win for View Park and a berth in the Southern California Single High School Championship game on February 15th.
The two teams, bloodied and bruised after a ferocious game, exchanged man of the match awards and talked on the side of the field until the lights finally went out at Jackie Robinson Stadium. – See more at: http://www.rugbytoday.com/high-school/view-park-heads-socal-single-school-final#sthash.cRY29OyD.dpuf