Prairie Wolf Pack played Battle Ground Bulls at Prairie High School on Friday night in an epic battle in the High School Boys Varsity division. This match was dedicated to Pat Jenkins, a longtime friend of both rugby clubs.
Pat passed away in 2015. The trophy awarded to the winning team is a koru, an integral symbol in New Zealand Maori culture. Its shaped as an unfurling silver fern frond that symbolizes new life, growth, strength and peace. It is a fitting tribute to Pat and his love of rugby.
On Friday night, a crowd of 200 enjoyed the fine weather and the local derby match. Prairie kicked off the game with a try by Payton Millet (#10) 10 minutes into the match. Battle Ground hit back just before the half with a try by Nayland Toavs. Battle Ground kicked the extra points to head to the break with a 7-5 lead.
The tackling was outstanding from both teams and neither side gave an inch. Prairie’s big runner, (#8) Logan Jacques, made some bruising runs at close quarters. Center Carson Slagle broke the line with hard, straight running.
Battle Ground scored again with Brock Robinson getting outside his opposite and scoring under the posts. The try was converted, Battle Ground had a 12-5 lead.
Battle Ground’s center, London Williams, latched onto a loose pass and ran 50 yards to score another try for Battle Ground. Taking the lead to 17-5. Prairie peppered the Battle Ground defense and fullback, Gavin Schmitt (#15), crossed the line twice midway through the second half. With 10 minutes remaining, Battle Ground lead at 17-15. Fly-half, Paton Millet, broke the defense and stepped through the tiring Battle Ground defense to score a heart-stopping try, taking to score to 20-17 to Prairie.
The following five minutes were torrid as Prairie looked to defend their slim lead. Battle Ground tried to get one final score and win the match. However, Prairie’s defense held up and the varsity team won, 20-17.