The Alpha Aztecs finished up their first-ever appearance at the B.C. high school AA rugby championships with an 8-0 victory over Vernon in Abbotsford last Saturday.
With the win, the North Burnaby school placed 13th overall in its provincial debut.
Former under-17 national team forward Keegan Fletcher ran in a try off a tap penalty late in the second half, but a strong defensive stand by Alpha at the goal line just minutes later proved to be the difference in the game.
Thomas Branson booted a penalty goal in the first half for what proved to be the game-winning points.
"It could have been a pretty exciting finish had (Vernon) scored," said Fletcher, who was named to the commissioner's XV following the competition. "I think it's going to be a memorable experience - it's the first time ever. I think it's going to stick with the boys and hopefully leave an impression with the school, and helps keep the rugby program at Alpha."
The Aztecs opened with a 46-19 loss to eventual bronze medallist Rockridge.
Alpha was then relegated to the bottom tier following a 27-0 defeat to Windsor on Day 2.
But the 'Tecs had no plans to exit the provincials quietly.
The blue and gold responded with a 17-5 victory over Esquimalt.
Heinok Hagos got the Aztecs rolling, picking up a ball from the back of a scrum, side-stepping two defenders and rambling 40 metres for the team's opening try.
Outside centre Alex Vasquez then finished off a multi-phase buildup in the Vancouver Island team's zone with the team's second try.
Branson converted both scores and added a threepoint penalty.
"I think we finished off pretty strong," said Fletcher, who finished up his high school career with the win.
"It was our last game together. It was pretty emotional when the final whistle went."