Game Report: Phoenix vs Wando
Southern Classic Tournament, The Citadel, Sat. Dec.2Updated Thursday December 7, 2017 by Niall Fenton.
Alpharetta Phoenix laid down a marker for the upcoming season with a strong win over current MSIRL champions Wando HS in the Southern Classic Tournament in Charleston, SC at the weekend. This was the first year that this 15’s tournament featured a high school division and the anticipated final game matching Wando and Phoenix was going to be the game of the day. In the morning, Wando had easily defeated Ravens 46 to 5 while Phoenix beat Spring Hill 55 to 0.
Phoenix opened strongly and appeared anxious to avenge their MSIRL league defeat to Wando last year. Following early pressure, the visiting side were awarded a penalty that was easily converted by Ollie Kennett for a 3-point lead. Mid way through the half, Phoenix captain and flyhalf, Mitch Blair latched onto a beautiful offload from center JR Aldridge to sweep under the posts. Wando were playing strong rugby but had no answer to the Phoenix defense and the half closed at Phoenix 10, Wando 0.
The second half mirrored the first with the Alpharetta side scoring first following a flowing back move ending with a try in the corner from fullback Danny Pena. The difficult conversion from Kennett was good to make the score 17 to 0 and it looked like a difficult task for Wando. Typical of good rugby sides, they responded with a terrific solo try from their winger to narrow the gap to 17 to 5 but time was running out. Following several phases and great goal line defense from Wando, a storming try from Phoenix hooker Elvis Pressley sealed the game for the visitors. The final score was Phoenix 24, Wando 5. Phoenix left for the long drive home to Alpharetta feeling very good about their prospects for the coming MSIRL season. Next up in their pre-season is East Cobb Trojans on Saturday in Alpharetta.