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Jesuit of Sacramento scored three times, and Gonzaga of Washington DC scored four times, but it's the tries that count more and Jesuit defeated Gonzaga in the final of the single-school bracket of the Boys HS National Invitational 21-16 Saturday.
Gonzaga drew first blood with a penalty from Jimmy Ronan, but Jesuit struck back almost immediately, using their deadly backline to set up a try under the posts and claim a 7-3 lead.
From then Gonzaga was always chasing Jesuit. Another penalty made it 7-6,
but Jesuit attacked at every opportunity, and Gonzaga couldn't be shaken.
The DC team scored later in the first half to lead 13-7.
Some daring and often brilliant offloads from Jesuit put them up 14-13 in the second half, and then 21-13. With time winding down. Gonzaga again found themselves pressuring near the Jesuit posts. Another penalty. Three more points and a chance to win it, but Jesuit held on.
It was a bitter pill for Gonzaga to swallow, as they have played very well as season and had hoped to unseat the perennial contenders from Sacramento. But Jesuit's backline was just too fast, too fit, and too strong.
Jesuit 21 Gonzaga 16.
Meanwhile Xavier beat Penn to take third, and Herriman capped off a strong weekend, during which their only loss was by a point to Jesuit, by beating Charlotte Catholic for 5th. Brownsburg beat Chapin for 7th.