Blue Jay Rugby Shuts Out Niceville (FL), 66-0

Posted April 6, 2016 / Last updated April 7, 2016

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Senior Nick Fresneda battles for yards during Jesuit's 66-0 win over Niceville (Florida).

Senior Nick Fresneda battles for yards during Jesuit’s 66-0 win over Niceville (Florida).

Despite missing several starters, the Blue Jay rugby team cruised to a 66-0 victory over Niceville (FL) Saturday, April 2 at University of South Alabama in Mobile. Niceville is a U19 USA Rugby club team affiliated with Niceville High School.

The scoring came early and often for the Jays. Sophomore Gabe Massey got the Jays’ momentum started when he quick-tapped from a penalty, made a defender miss, and stiff-armed another on the way to a score. However, the referee thought Massey’s stiff-arm was too stiff, and disallowed the try.

The Jays quickly regained possession deep in Niceville territory. Following another Niceville penalty, senior Will Waguespack quick-tapped and charged through host of Niceville defenders for a score. Senior Scott Derbes scored the conversion kick, bringing the score to 7-0.

Shortly thereafter, Massey and junior Case Ellis combined to execute some crisp ball movement that ruptured the Niceville defensive line and resulted in a deep run by Ellis. With the Niceville defense disorganized and reeling, scrumhalf junior Josh Cashio passed to a charging senior Josh West, who sailed across the Niceville goal line for Jesuit’s second score. Derbes’ conversion was good.

In perhaps the most exciting play of the match, junior Bryce Duffy caught a high kickoff and immediately charged through the Niceville defense. As he was being tackled, Duffy off-loaded (lateraled) to Waguespack who continued the run. Waguespack kept the play going when he off-loaded to Derbes, who evaded another defender. Keeping the play alive, Derbes off-loaded back to Waguespack, who took it in for his second score.

Thereafter, the scoring was often and regular. Senior Evan Slattery scored two tries; Ellis scored two, as did senior Nick Fresneda and sophomore Matthew Palmer among a host of other Jays.

Shortly after halftime, the Jays substituted liberally, allowing rugby newcomers and sophomores Charles Lobrano and Zac Beckman to get a taste of the action. Both Lobrano and Beckman quickly showed they have a nose for the game, as they took turns punishing Niceville’s defense with powerful runs.

The Jays return to action Friday, April 8 when they take on league opponent Shreveport at 5:30 p.m. at the Marconi pitch.