Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Crusaders Come to Canton Ahead of State Championship

The seventh week of Canton Middle School Rugby wrapped up Saturday at Weis Park. The Panthers, Oakwood-Hartford and Dover were joined by the Columbus Crusaders over the weekend as the four teams prepared for next week's state tournament, and the Crusaders proved to be a force to be reckoned with during the day of competition.

In Saturday's first run of play at Weis Park, the Panthers faced the Crusaders. The Panthers fought hard but were held scoreless by the Columbus squad. The Crusaders put in 31 points to take the win comfortably.

The second match had the Panthers against their old nemesis Oakwood-Hartford. The Panthers put up a strong performance, no doubt in response to their first loss on top of wanting to best Oakwood-Hartford. To that effect, John Haren scored a pair of tries for his team and Carter Varner was able to pull in one conversion catch. Unfortunately for the Panthers, it wasn't enough. In the end the Panthers fell for the second time on Saturday by a final score of 27-12.

In Saturday's final match, the Panthers played Dover and they were finally able to get a victory to salvage the day of competition. Scoring tries for the Panthers were Cody Ellis, Damian Keumerle, Tyler Watson and Mason Fiegly. Ellis put in a pair of scores. Varner and Keumerle assisted with the conversion catches. The final score was 35-17 in the Panthers' favor.

"This was a good warm-up for next week's state tournament. We saw some competition that we haven't seen all year. We realized we still have plenty of things to work on, and we will make every effort to keep getting better in this last week of the season," said Panthers Head Coach Jason Doyle. "We are all excited to travel to Hudson to play in the Rugby Ohio 2015 Middle School Championship tournament and see how we fair against the rest of the teams in the state. But no matter the outcome, Coach Doug Higgins and myself are proud of the inaugural Panthers and all the success they have had this year."

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