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Black and Blue Rugby

 The Daily Inter Lake

FRENCHTOWN — Despite a slow first half, the Kalispell Black and Blue was able to find its form after the break, beating Frenchtown 40-7 in a MYRA rugby match on Saturday. The Black and Blue (5-0) finished the regular season undefeated and will enter the state tournament as the top seed. Kalispell team captain Arik Lybeck was the difference in the first half, scoring a pair of tries to give the Black and Blue a 12-0 halftime lead. “Arik Lybeck dominated the game,” Kalispell coach Bob Keisel said. “We really didn’t move the ball well offensively in the first half. Arik Lybeck is probably the best player in the state right now. With a couple of breaks he was able to pop a couple in the first half.” The Black and Blue broke things open in the second half, with Jarrett Broughton adding the first try. Lybeck added his third try of the match and Matt Gash-Gilder and Tucker Nadeau also touched down for scores to help the Black and Blue pull away. The Iron Horse, which was undefeated entering the contest, managed one try in the second half. “They were a very young, good team,” Keisel said. “They played us a lot harder than the score would dictate.” The win ends the regular season for Kalispell, which has a bye week and a possible friendly before heading to the state tournament on May 15-16 in Helena.

The Daily Inter LakeDaily Inter Lake

HELENA — The Kalispell Black and Blue couldn’t find its footing on a mud-soaked pitch, falling flat against fifth-seeded Helena 25-20 in the semifinals at the MYRA state rugby championships on Saturday. Helena would go on to beat second-seeded Bitterroot 27-20 to win the state title. Helena held possession for most of the game and took a 10-5 lead into half. The Black and Blue tied the game at 15-15 in the second half, but turned over the ball on the ensuing kick and surrendered another Helena try. Helena tacked on a try in the last 20 minutes to seal the win. The Black and Blue scored one final try in the waning seconds of the match, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the scrappy host squad. Logan Jones and Arik Lybeck each scored two tries for Kalispell in the loss. “They were just out in front of us all day,” Kalispell coach Bob Keisel said. “We just got outplayed. Our kids are awesome, they just had a bad day.” Neither team was able to convert a kick in the sloppy conditions, leaving points off the board. The conditions also made for tough footing and a slew of knock-ons. Helena handled the conditions better than most teams at the tournament. “We couldn’t get any offensive flow going, they dominated the ball,” Keisel said. “Having said that, I’m glad they won (the championship).”

The Daily Inter Lake

The Kalispell Black and Blue pulled away from a physical Billings team in the second half to win their final home rugby match of the season 48-17 on Saturday at Evergreen Junior High. Arik Lybeck opened the scoring for the Black and Blue, notching the first try of the game. Billings would tie the score and trailed by just a few points at half despite Kalispell taking a two-score lead. The Black and Blue pulled away in the second half, holding Billings to one try while Logan Jones and Jacob Ridgeway broke off a series of long runs for tries. Ridgeway scored twice, each from more than 60 meters out and Jones had three tries to help the Black and Blue in the rout. Jarrett Broughton and Matt Gash-Gilder also added tries for Kalispell. "Billings is so big, so physical," Black and Blue coach Bob Kiesel said. "We're just a little bit fitter." Colten Boyle and Truman Pisk helped Kalispell match up physically with Billings, which carried a much larger team into the match. "(Boyle) just manned up so well against their size," Kiesel said. Kalispell also hosted MYRA Fest on Saturday, with all seven high school teams, four girls teams and a pair of middle school squads taking part in a full day of rugby.

The Daily Inter Lake
Kalispell Black and Blue dominated Simms on Friday at Evergreen Junior High, topping the Vigilantes 73-14 in a Montana Youth Rugby Association conference game. A rematch of last season's state title game, Simms, the defending state champions, looked the part scoring the game's first try and converting for a 7-0 lead five minutes into the match. The Black and Blue found its form though, senior Truman Pisk scoring the first of the team's 13 straight tries, with seven conversions, to take a 73-7 lead before the Vigilantes added a late try. "Our boys took the field with a chip on their shoulder," Kalispell coach Bob Keisel said. Logan Jones scored four tries and Riley Leigh and Tucker Nadeau each had two for the Black and Blue. Ryder Day, Matt Gash-Gilder, Justin Richmond and Arik Lybeck also had tries. Lybeck, the team captain, set the tone for Kalispell in the win. "He led the way," Keisel said. "He knows the game so well. He pretty much dominated the field tonight." The Black and Blue host their final home game of the season today at 4:30 p.m. against Billings. The game will take place along side the day-long MYRA Fest at Evergreen Junior High. All seven high school teams in the state will be in attendance along with four girls teams and two junior high teams. The festival begins at 9 a.m. and will run through 6 p.m..
The Daily Inter Lake
CORVALLIS — The Blue and Blue youth rugby club from Kalispell shut out the Bitterroot Warriors on Saturday, 29-0. In a match that was played predominately in the Warriors' zone, Logan Jones started the scoring for Black and Blue early in the first half with a 40-meter break for a try. Jones added another try late in the game. Charles Calobeer car-ried three Warriors on his back for the second try of the contest 25 minutes into play. Black and Blue enjoyed a 12-point lead at the half. Justin Richmond opened the second-half scoring and Jarrett Broughton join in the point parade as he also dotted the ball for another try with 10 minutes to play. Black and Blue dominated defensively, led by veteran captain Aric Lybeck. Lybeck pressured the Warriors' Sam Burdette, one the state's better players, for much of the contest. Black and Blue's Jacob Ferkin was named Man of the Match for his hard play on both sides of the ball.

By JOSEPH TERRY The Daily Inter Lake

Black and Blue rugby lived up to its name on Thursday at Evergreen Junior High, bullyingMissoula in a 47-7 rout in its first of two home games this season. The Black and Blue didn’t take long to show superiority. The team scored four tries in the first 20 minutes of the contest, each more impressive than the last. Senior left wing Austin Foucher scored the first try on a pitch from Brenden Windauer at midfield, breaking through a tackle and running past another defender to touch the first score of the game. He scored the second try just minutes later, sprinting 75 yards up the left sideline to outrun the entire Mud Dogs team to give the Black and Blue a 14-0 lead. The local club piled on two more tries before half, the third of the game coming after an interception deep in the Missoula half was pitched to senior outside center Blaine Newman for a quick score. Newman added another minutes later after juking two Mud Dog defenders and running 75 yards past the rest of them to give the Black and Blue a 28-0 lead at half. “That definitely set some sparks,” Windauer said “We’ve got so many different factors. We’ve got kids that stay back that come out of nowhere and then you’ve got kids like Blaine, who’s always got some wheels.” It was Windauer himself who showed his wheels 10 minutes into the second half, splitting five Missoula players to score a try from 65 yards out. Riley Liegh powered through a crowd minutes later to give the Black and Blue a 40-0 lead before Newman capped their scoring with his third try of the game. Missoula was held off the board until the fleeting seconds, touching a try with time running out to end the shutout. “The team played awesome,” Windauer said. “This is the first time we’ve connected really good. We’re a young team (but) we’ve developed a team that can work together. We mess up quite a bit, but now that we’re getting used to rugby. You can see it breaking through. It’s nice.” The Black and Blue stay home next week for the last game of the regular season. They host Frenchtown in Evergreen on May 3 before taking a week off to prepare for the MYRA state tournament in Corvallis.

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