Top-ranked Cathedral Royal Irish of Indianapolis defeated Chicago's Brother Rice 38-24 Saturday in Midwest high school action.
It was a good result despite the loss for Brother Rice, as they lost 13 starters from their 2012 team.
It was a windy day in Chicago, and Cathedral started with the wind at their backs, and used it. They scored quickly through the forwards to lead, but Brother Rice replied right afterward.
That's how the game seemed to go, with each team responding to the other.
Cathedral got the last word in at halftime to take a 26-12 lead, but now Brother Rice had the wind.
"I was very concerned at this point as Brother Rice had a stiff wind at their backs for the second half," said Cathedral Coach Scott Peterson. "Fortunately the wind was so strong that a kicking game on the turf field was not very productive as numerous kicks rolled dead."
Cathedral scored early, but Brother Rice scored also, and the teams traded tries again, and the defending national HS club champs held on.
Cathedral were missing a few players due to injuries and disciplinary issues, and Brother Rice were missing players due to spring break. Only one back for Cathedral was playing his normal position.
Royal Irish No. 8 Max Schroeder, prop Zach Shellinger, flanker Noah Schrader, and fullback Mike Weimer all played well, while Brother Rice's entire back row were outstanding.
"Overall it was a very good game for both teams to see where they stand," said Peterson. "Our forwards were very strong, but they had a couple of good back row players. Their backs were stronger on the day and were well drilled, as you'd expect."
That last comment a reference to Brother Rice's Head Coach, former Eagle wing David Fee.
The big bad news for Cathedral is that High School All American Bryce Campbell is out for the season with a broken foot. It's an injury he might have picked up playing for the HSAA team in Las Vegas, but whether it happened then or later, he now will play no further part in Cathedral's season.