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Chillicothe wins Tier 3

bragging rights in region, state


By Phil Gautschy

Eventually it was a classic battle of speed versus power in the Illinois Youth Rugby Association Tier 3 State Championship.

After a thunderstorm cancelled two rounds of earlier games and delayed the start of the Tier 3 match by an hour and a half, the Chillicothe Barbarians and the Metamora All Reds finally faced off on Memorial Day afternoon on a mushy pitch at the Chicago Blaze fields in Lemont.

Chillicothe (12-0) jumped out to an 18-0 lead, and then held off a late Metamora charge for an 18-12 victory.

“It was a fun game,” Chillicothe coach Laurence Hornibrook said. “It was one we anticipated since last year (when) we played them in a simulated championship and they beat us. It left a lot of feelings. We were looking forward to this all season long.”

Early in the match, Chillicothe’s speed ruled. They drove deep into All Red territory several times, but could not get it those last few yards. They finally hit paydirt with a try as the half ended. 

The Barbarians (12-0) added a second try six minutes into the second half. This time the conversion was good to make the score 12-0. Later they concluded their scoring on a pair of penalty kicks.

But late in the second half, Metamora (8-2) made its run. The Barbarians scored two tries, the second with seven minutes left, to cut their deficit to 18-12.

Chillicothe scrum-half Trace Miller wasn’t nervous about the All Red comeback.

“I had full confidence in the team,” Miller said. “I knew we would keep it up. They just started running the ball harder than us. We slowed down a little bit, but our back line picked it up. We didn’t lose our composure.”

The All Reds made one last push, but came up short.

“We are very proud of the boys,” Metamora coach John Huschen said. “They really came back. It seems to be their mantra; whenever they get behind a little bit, they play harder and smarter. They just got down a little too much.

“Our penalties really hurt us. It’s been a problem for us all year. We had one at the end of the game that hurt us. It’s just the nature of the team.”

Metamora earned Chillicothe's respect.

“They came out tough,” Barbarian fly-half Shane Hornibrook said. “Sometimes they showed they were the better team, but we continued to work and we came out on top.”

Chillicothe's speedy Shannon Zwicki earned Player of the Match honors.

Today's Schedule: Season Schedule