Rye Boys Varsity Rugby topped Canisius High School of Buffalo 18-0 on Saturday at Siena College in the state semifinal, earning a spot in the D1 New York state championship game.
“Freshman Archer Fenton opened the scoring right before halftime by scoring a try against the Canisius goal line defense,” said Rye Boys Varsity Rugby Coach Jim O’Hara. “Fenton, playing flyhalf in this game, eluded multiple defenders to dance into the end zone and score a try – 5 points.”
Rye started the match slow, but after Archer Fenton punched in a try right before halftime, the boys regained their momentum. Canisius came in to the match undefeated and two time Western New York champs, but the Garnets kept the pressure on in the second half. Strong defense from Rye kept Canisius scoreless throughout, and Rye showed talent in attack with strong runs from the forwards, nifty moves from the backs, and deft kicking from Junior Flyhalf Dan Dalton.
The state tournament is played over two days at Siena College, with the top four teams in the state playing the semifinals on Saturday, and then the final matches on Sunday. The semi-final win earned Rye a spot in the Division 1 State Final on Sunday, June 5th, the match that would decide the best team in NY State. The #41 Nationally Ranked Garnets were set for a rematch against league for Xavier HS of Manhattan, ranked #7 in the Country.
The game puts the Garnets at a 6-1 record. They are currently ranked 41st in the nation.