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BAFA Game Reports (21)

Thursday, 06 October 2011 01:13

London Blitz Retain the Title

Written by Garry

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
BAFANL News Editor

Thursday, 06 October 2011 01:07

Warriors beat the odds in division 2 final

Written by Garry

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
BAFANL News Editor

Thursday, 06 October 2011 00:59

East Kilbride Pirates run away with it

Written by Garry

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
BAFANL News Editor

Thursday, 06 October 2011 00:51

Blitz juniors add another title

Written by Garry

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
BAFANL News Editor

See the full report in Issue 7 of Inside American Football

Wednesday, 18 May 2011 00:30

Pirates hit the Road running

Written by Garry

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
Wednesday, 18 May 2011 00:08

Watford enter 25th Anniversary Season with a Win

Written by Garry

The Watford Cheetahs celebrate their 25th anniversary season this year & kicked off the season with an away win at the Bedfordshire Blue Raiders.

Watford have seen a huge increase in both numbers & talent over the off-season, partly due to their new relationship with fellow Hertfordshire team, the University of Hertfordshire Hurricanes, which saw their number boosted by several BUAFL semi-finalist 'Canes.

The Cheetahs ran out winners with a score of 15 - 0.

You can see a full match report in Issue 5 of Inside American Football

Friday, 15 April 2011 14:39

Kent triumph in high scoring victory

Written by Garry

The Exiles got their 2011 campaign off to a winning start with an emphatic 62-20 mauling of the Maidstone Pumas.

Renewing a rivalry that dates back to the early 1990's, but has not been played since 2005, both teams were obviously pumped up for the game as is kicked off, but it was the Exiles who were to start fastest, and then finish even faster.

After some to-ing & fro-ing the Exiles went into the lead at half time by 34 - 20.

The Exiles came out firing an all cylinders for the second half which saw them ramp up their score to a final 62 - 20.

You can see a full match report in Issue 5 of Inside American Football
Friday, 15 April 2011 14:26

Shropshire make disappointing start to season opener

Written by Garry

A disappointing start to the 2011 season saw the Revolution go down 34 - 6 to the Lancashire Wolverines.

Shropshire conceded an early TD after a costly penalty & then a fumbled snap meant a 2-point safety against them. They went into the half 12-0 down.

The Wolverines put four more scores on the board over the second half to come away with a good start to their season in their first home game.

The Revolution's Head Coach is quoted as saying: “You cannot give a team of the Lancashire Wolverines quality the kind of help we did today and expect to win, over a 100 yards in penalties, fundamental mistakes in the kicking game made it a near impossible task. Take nothing away from them they beat us soundly in all 4 phases of the game coaching, offense, defense and special teams.”

You can see a full match report in Issue 5 of Inside American Football
Thursday, 30 December 2010 16:42

Disappointed Jets as Blitz Triumph again

Written by Garry

The Coventry Jets came up short in their bid to regain the British American Football title, falling 34- 20 to the London Blitz. Three Lorne Sam touchdown passes and a stellar defensive effort weren’t effort to prevent the Blitz repeating as National Champions as turnovers and penalties proved to be Coventry’s downfall.

ourtney Pope chipped in a solid shift for the Jets, another two touchdown receptions were added to his league high tally of 12, Mark Cohen also scored, the 101st touchdown of his vaunted Jets career.

Coventry won the toss and decided to kick off, Alan Steel sending the ball down to the Blitz 20 where Aaron Percival collected the ball to set London up on their own 40. Clive Palumbo’s reception on a receiver screen converted a big third down for the Blitz as Fred Boyle showed some good early poise in the face of Coventry’s pass rush. Gary Clark came up with a big sack to force a third and thirteen as the Jets applied early pressure.

 

You can read the full match report in Issue Three of Inside American Football.

Thursday, 30 December 2010 16:30

Olympians crowned Division Two Champions

Written by Garry

In keeping with their dominance of the entire 2010 season the London Olympians showed experience and execution Offensively, Defensively and on Special Teams. Despite being run close during the first half when unbeaten Manchester Titans closed the half tying 7 - 7 the Olympians were able to pull away and complete their championship run to become BAFACL 2010 Division II National Champions.

Defensively the titans were held to two scores, one either side of the half as the entire Olympian Defence worked together to close down what had been an impressive titans offence Key instances included DB Adeodatus Ronie Twumasi making an incredible leap to break up a touchdown bound pass, LB Artem Bakmanidis having an amazing game with 13 solo tackles, and LB James Goddard doing an amazing job containing the strong side of the Titans Offensive formation.

 

You can read the full match report in Issue Three of Inside American Football.

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