Reports & News
The 2011 Premier final was always going to be a hard fought affair as London Blitz took on cross-town rivals the London Warriors for the title. That the Blitz won to make it three titles in a row shows the team is as good now as it has been for the last few seasons. In today’s 18-0 victory a lot of that success was on their defense, though a lot of their points came after mistakes by a Warriors offense that struggled all day.
The Warriors received the ball to start the game and quickly found themselves on 4th down a few yards from their own endzone. On the punt attempt there was a terrible snap and the ball sailed past the punter and through the back of the endzone for a safety putting the Blitz on the board 2-0. Blitz then came out on the field and moved down to the Warriors half where they tried a field goal which was the first of four 40+ yard missed field goals by the Blitz. Back on the ball the Warriors again picked up nothing and this time got the punt away. On this drive the Blitz were rolling, they worked their way down the field and a pass saw WR Rod Bradley in for the score. London Blitz were now on top 8-0 after a failed conversion attempt. The Warriors offence were back on the field again this time with a fumble changing possession over. The Blitz then had a fumble of their own which cost them 15 yards and caused another missed field goal.
The game turned into more of a hard hitting defensive battle in the second quarter as both team’s offenses failed to spark which lead to a number of punts. Then the Blitz fumbled it again and this time it was picked up by Warriors Defensive End Andrew Steadman. On the ensuing drive the Warriors worked their way down the field and picked up a fourth down conversion along the way. The Blitz defense was strong when it needed to be though and once again the Warriors were forced to punt. As we neared the end of the half the Warriors threw an interception and this allowed the Blitz to get into position for a long field goal. The Blitz kicker finally made one and it was a beauty from 56 yards. Score at the half was 12-0 Blitz.
The first five minutes of the second half was punctuated by three injuries to Warriors players, all were eventually able to get themselves off the field but it was not good for a team trying to get back into the final. The Blitz came out and had another field goal attempt blocked which led to the Warriors’ best drive of the game with two big passes from quarterback Jerome Allen to wide receiver Emmanuel Mukoro. The Warriors were in a good position to get on the board but on fourth down instead of going for an easy kick they went for a first down and failed. After a pick later in the quarter the Warriors were unable to stop the Blitz from scoring thanks to a 30 yard touchdown run by Gareth Dauley that increased the Blitz’s lead to 18-0.
At the start of the fourth the Warriors went back into the Blitz’s half but they turned the ball over again. From there they had to punt. The rest of the fourth quarter neither side was able to get big gains and the Warriors were not able to stage a comeback or get on the scoreboard.
The Blitz become deserving champions with a rock solid defense against a shaky Warriors offense. The Warriors defense should also be praised though, with a good number of the Blitz points being from reduced fields caused by the Warriors offenses mistakes. This though was a good hard game with lots of big hits and two teams deserving of the final.
Article courtesy of Jonathan Little
The South Wales Warriors may have been the fifth seed coming in to the playoffs but they looked superb throughout the postseason and played like the better team in this game with a near unstoppable offense that brought the unbeaten West Coast Trojans crashing down to earth in a 48-20 game that proved one of the weekend’s most exciting.
The game started with the Warriors receiving the opening kick-off and after a massive play down field to Sam Williams they were set up in the Trojans 20. From there it took just a couple of running plays for the Warriors to get in for the score. The scoring play a run by back Martin Tranter.
The Trojans first drive also worked its way down the pitch but on third down at the Warriors 20 Trojans QB Gary McNey threw a pick to the Warriors’ Alexander Deacon ruining a chance to tie things up.
The resulting drive had the Warriors hitting a big pass down the field to Kieran Cutlan to bring them into the red zone. From there another run from Tranter scored.
The Trojans really struggled to get things going early on, a bobbled snap ruined their next drive forcing them to punt on the fourth play. The Warriors meanwhile were looking unstoppable as another drive down the field saw the first of several passing TDs for Gareth Thomas and the two point conversion was good, score now 22-0.
At the end of the first quarter things were getting out of hand for the Trojans, they had had little luck on offense and were giving up huge yards on defense. Things did not improve on the first drive of the second quarter as on a 2nd and 3 play McNey threw another pick, this time to Geraint Roberts. The defense still was not in the game either allowing Thomas to complete a big pass to Cutlan to the Trojans 2 yard line.
From there Thomas showed great athleticism as he scrambled out of the pocket from one side of the pitch to the other and then passing to Richard Cochrane standing alone on the edge of the end zone for another touchdown. The score line now was 28-0.
It was obvious that the Trojans needed something to go their way to stop the game getting out of hand. They finally got something going on the next drive. After a long methodical possession the Trojans went down the field thanks largely to some great runs from Jordan Falconer. A pass to McGeorge in the end zone finally got the side on the board 28-7.
The Trojans defense then echoed the offense’s success and finally got a stop. For a time it appeared the Warriors were going to get another score but they came up short on fourth down in the red zone thanks to a big stop by the Trojans number 15. That was how the half ended as the Trojans worked down to the Warriors twenty but ran out of time.
See the full report and photos in Issue 7 of Inside American Football
Article courtesy of Jonatham Little
The Division 1 final between Leicester Falcons and East Kilbride Pirates for a time threatened to be a blowout. In the first half East Kilbride amassed 42 points with Leicester scoring 0. The Falcons staged something of a comeback after the break though and at the end the result was 63-23.
You had the feeling that the Pirates were in control throughout. The side scored on its first three possessions while the Falcons struggled even to get a first down. The Pirates quarterback Ryan Hunter and running back Iain Dick showed exactly why they were first and fourth in rushing yards for division 1 this season. They cut through the Falcons line so many times with Dick picking up three touchdowns and over 150 yards. It made for a deserved MVP award.
With the score 21-0 at the end of the first you would hope that the Falcons offense might be able to show a spark and stand a chance of getting back into it but further drives failed to get them into the Pirates’ half. The second quarter was more of the same, the Pirates scored at will, picking up another 21 points, while the Falcons floundered and picked up little.
Things changed after the break, whether the Pirates took their foot off the pedal or the Falcons’ change of quarterback affected the game more it is hard to tell especially after the replacement Bradley Thompson threw several picks. The Falcons got on the scoreboard in the third with a touchdown and a two point conversion narrowing the score to 49-8 for the end of the quarter. Leicester were now playing at a level close to East Kilbride, unfortunately the first half’s runaway scoring made it impossible for them to catch up. In the final quarter both sides got two more touchdowns with one of the Pirates’ scores coming right at the start of the quarter. The game finished with a jumbo scoreline of 63-23.
The Pirates success was thanks to a great first half performance while Leicester failed to move up the pitch. East Kilbride’s running game was fantastic throughout and certainly laid the foundations for their victory. I don’t think anyone expected this game to be the blowout it was but Leicester took too long to get going.
Article courtesy of Jonathan Little
The final quarter of the game might not have shown the best of Junior football with a lot of penalties, an ejection and other issues leading to the game being called a minute early. The first half was strong with both sides getting on the board and competitive. It was the London Blitz juniors side who came out on top of the Gateshead Senators juniors though with a final scoreline of 44-14.
The Senators won the toss and their first possession saw them advance just two yards and nearly give up a touchdown after a wayward pitch. The resulting punt went only to their own 43. This put the Blitz offense in great position.
The first drive for London Blitz started slowly thanks to a four yard loss. The Blitz then got into gear first picking up a fourth down conversion and then following up with another first down. Charlie Joseph then showed some great moved after a catch to get the Blitz on the board with a touchdown.
On the next possession the Senators were forced to punt again after a penalty destroyed the drive but they got it right back as the Blitz had the first of several bobbled snaps, the ball just fell away from the quarterback and Gateshead landed on it, which gave them great field position. Quarterback Evander Harewood wasted no time on 2nd down running the ball in for the score from 11 yards out. Bringing the score to 8-6.
Article courtesy of Jonathan Little
See the full report in Issue 7 of Inside American Football
The Kirkcaldy Bulls team is known to be a dominant force in adult flag football. It will therefore not surprise that they came out on top in the final game of Britbowl XXV.
Their opponents were a Woodham Warriors side that started the game well getting on the board first.
The Bulls got the ball to start the game and while they did manage to work their way down the field ended up turning over on downs. The Warriors then got the ball and managed to take it for six to take the lead. Following this neither side managed to get it going on their next drives but after that the Bulls were nigh on unstoppable. The side managed two touchdowns before the break and got the conversions both times as well. The score at the half saw the Bulls on top 14-6.
In the second half the Warriors came out scoring again and this time managed to convert. The game now was incredibly tight at 14-13. Again though the Bulls proved unstoppable as their next two drives went for touchdowns while the Warriors were turned on downs. 26-13 was now the score, the game was now beginning to get away from the Warriors. This made their interception on the Bulls next drive very important for their hopes. The pick drew a flag but the interception stayed on the board and allowed the Warriors another score. The conversion failed and left them 7 points down. Unfortunately a score on the next drive for the Bulls pushed the score out of reach as time was running out.
Final score 32-19. The Woodham Warriors proved competitive against the dominant Kirkcaldy Bulls and it was a strong match to close out the weekend.
Article courtesy of Jonathan Little
Published in Flag
Introducing the latest edition to the rapidly expanding Lancashire Academy of American Football: The Preston Panthers!
The newest side to The Lancashire Academy of American Football continues the tradition in raising youth talent in the British game with squads across the county across all ages in Burnley, Chorley, Standish and Blackburn.
With the increased interest in American Football in the UK, the Panthers have been formed initially as a 14-16 year old kitted team, allowing both boys and girls to get involved and enjoy the rapidly developing sport.
Led by one-time Coventry Jets player and now offensive line coach/player of the Lancashire Wolverines Chris Bradley, the Panthers are sure to have great leadership in training and match ups.
Speaking on his appointment Coach Bradley said: “I’m really looking forward to developing grass roots American Football in the Preston area.
We have a number of adult players in the area and the response we’ve had so far suggests the interest will be even greater at the younger age range. I will now be looking to put together a coaching staff and confirming training details in the next few weeks”.
Assisting Coach Bradley will be the experienced Programme Leader in Great Britain Lions’ youth coach, Simon Purcell. He said, “Our aim is to create a thriving Youth Kitted team to go compete against the existing teams within the Academy - the Chorley Buccaneers, the Burnley Tornados and the Standish Raiders. It is our hope that players from these teams will graduate to the Lancashire Wolverine Colts and then onto our adult team. The Academy aim is simple – to be the best American Football programme in the UK!”
With the British American Football Association (BAFA) backing them, following the Panthers’ successful application to the Kick-Start fund, the team will be provided with ten sets of equipment to establish the team.
The Preston Panthers will be eager to maintain the winning ways of the Academy’s teams and like the others will be counting on your support to roar them to victory!
The inaugural Preston Panthers Rookie Camp will take place on Saturday 6th August. Any boys and girls aged 14-16 who are interested in playing kitted American Football are invited to come along and join in this FREE introduction to the game.
The London Blitz have been awarded home field advantage in the EFAF Cup final.
The game, which takes place on Saturday July 2nd, will be hosted by the Blitz at their Finsbury Park Stadium in north London. They will take on the Kragujevac Wild Boars from Serbia.
A spokesman for the European federation of American Football said: "Home field advantage in the semifinals and finals of both EFL and EFAF Cup is awarded in a bidding process amongst the competing teams. The process was standardized by EFAF in 2009 and enables clubs to formally apply, if they wish to host one of these games. The EFAF Board of Directors after evaluation of all applications decides based on financial, strategic and quality aspects. The goal is to showcase the top European games to a broad public, thus past attendance figures or possible TV coverage are amongst the most important in the mix of criteria that leads to the decision." IAF hopes to feature a report & photos on the final in Issue 7 of Inside American Football
Premier Division team the London Blitz have made it through to the final of the European federation of American Football Cup.
The Blitz took on the Sollerod Gold Diggers from Denmark at the Blitz's home ground in Finsbury Park in London.
The opening of the game saw an extremely shakey start for the Blitz when they kicked off to the Gold Diggers who immediately made 3 great plays to score a TD. They converted the extra point and found themselves 7 - 0 down in the first coupe of minutes of the game.
The Blitz went to the air and looked likely to score when they fumbled the ball into the Gold Diggers' end zone. In the second quarter they managed a passing TD & a field goal to go into the break 9 - 7 up.
The second half saw the Blitz consolidating their game & they eventually came away 23 - 7 winners to go into the final on July 2nd.
You can see a full match report and photos in Issue 6 of Inside American Football
The Division Two East conference Norwich Devils have announced their intention to withdraw from competition football for the rest of the 2011 BAFACL season.
In an announcement on the BAFA Community League Forums, Club Secretary, Ben Stockwell, said: "It is with great regret that the Norwich Devils senior team have today (24/5/11) withdrawn from competition in the 2011 season of the British American Football Association Community League (BAFACL). The Devils committee was left with no other choice as with mounting injuries along both the offensive & defensive lines the club was not in a position to safely field a team in upcoming matches, and no prospect of the situation improving in time to play a meaningful part in the remainder of the season.
"The Devils players, coaching staff & committee will be working hard in the coming months to bolster the club and will look to work through the associate club status with the BAFACL to ensure a return to the league as soon as the club are in a stable enough position to return to competitive league play. The Devils would like to thank the league & their division opponents for their understanding at this difficult time for the club and we look forward to renewing acquaintances with rivals old & new, very soon."
The Devils are the second team this season to find themselves being unable to fulfill their league committments following the withdrawal of the Division One Peterborough Saxons earlier this month.
The Peterborough Saxons have released the following statement after their decision to pull out of league football after just 3 games of the 2011 BAFACL adult kitted season.
Saxons Press Release
The 2011 Season has been a tough one for the Peterborough Saxons. A few weeks ago our long standing General Manager Mark Kerr stepped down. After over 5 long years of hard work as the face of the Peterborough Saxons the time had come for change. Mark decided that he could no longer dedicate the ever increasing time that it was taking to run the organisation. The Saxons appreciate all the effort he has put in to the club over the past few years and wishes him all the best in the future. He is and will always be a friend of the club and has by no means left us in the lurch - he has offered all his support going forward.
Within a week of this our Head Coach resigned. After guiding us through the first 3 games of the season he decided that he was no longer capable of doing this job. This was a personal choice and he is no longer associated with the Saxons organisation.
With a number of departures in the off-season and the untimely departure of our Head Coach the Saxons were put in a desperate situation. After originally rescheduling our home fixture against Leicester we had to take a serious look at the squad we had left and make some very tough decision. We did not have enough healthy linemen to safely field a team. By the time enough players had returned from injury, we would have been too backed-up with fixtures to be able to complete our schedule.
We have decided to pull out of competition for the 2011 season.
That said, this is by no means the end of the Saxons. We have already started planning for the 2012 season in Division 2. New management has been put in place with aim of setting up a Football Committee in Peterborough to guide the Saxons to all their future successes.
The Saxons Youth team is unaffected as they have been set up such that they were protected from this and will continue as normal. We are proud of our Youth and look forward to see the kids progress to the senior level, for years to come.
I'm happy to announce the for the 2012 season, the Peterborough Saxons will have a new Head Coach. William White will be taking over this role. After careful consideration it was decided that he was our man. The man we needed combined Passion with Leadership - Will brings this and a lot more.
Will has had football running through his veins since playing as a child in Alabama. He brings to the job a vast array of experience in both playing and coaching the game.He's had played at school, in the military and won titles in the British game. After coaching both abroad and in our Premiership he has decided to take on a new challenge.
We are very excited for the future and look forward to get back on the gridiron.
Ryan Toone - Interim GM of the Peterborough Saxons
Brave sports star Jen Hilton is about to make history - by becoming the first woman to play alongside men in the British American Football Association’s Community League. The tough cookie from Tile Hill is putting on her pads in tireless training to make her debut with the Coventry Jets this May. The sport’s national governing body has confirmed the 27-year-old will be the first woman to play the full-contact game at premier league level.
Coventry is already a hotbed of young female talent with Warwick and Coventry universities hosting the UK’s first established women’s non-contact “flag” teams. But 5’10” Jen will be the first – and only – woman to play with and against men in the national league and, as one of the Jets’ running backs, she’ll be guaranteed contact with burly blokes on the field.You can see a full match report in Issue 5 of Inside American Football.
The Pirates hit the road running in their 2011 campaign opening fixture away against the Gateshead Senators, but not before it looked like it might stall at the first attempt. They had to wait while their hosts and the match day officials debated the level of medical cover available. The problems were eventually resolved and the game kicked off almost an hour after the scheduled start time.
Into the second quarter and the Pirates’ defence were dominating their opposite numbers and it wasn’t long before Gateshead were forced to punt the ball back again. This time however, Hunter saw his pass tipped by his receiver straight into the hands of a grateful Senator. This was only a temporary aberration and normal service was resumed the next time East Kilbride got the ball. An 8-play drive was capped by a 2-yard run from Iain Dick and the extra point made it 21-0. An Ivor Clark interception quickly regained the ball for the visitors and two plays later, Hunter was again in the endzone, this time on a 25-yard dash. So, 28-0 to East Kilbride at the interval, and that would have been more had Defensive Back Scott Findlay not had his 45-yard Interception return called back for an infringement by a team-mate.You can see a full match report in Issue 5 of Inside American Football