Game 1: Pyros @ Centurions

The Centurions opened the 2016/17 regular season by welcoming the UWS Pyros to Fort 22 – well that was the plan at least but come the allotted kickoff time there was not a Pyro in sight. Various delays in their travel down from beyond the wall meant kickoff was delayed for the best part of an hour. Eventually when the game got underway, York looked very much in the mood after a focused warm up.

The game started with fireworks as WR Yuki Shiroo took a handoff and weaved his way through the Pyro’s defence with impressive agility, only the endzone could slow him down. QB Theo Hewit, utilising his new found swagger, danced in to convert the 2pt attempt. There were a few disgruntled Centurion Old Boys on the sideline that were disappointed that York’s opening score was not a safety for the third consecutive season. Defence followed suit with a three and out, DE Ben Matthew notching the opening tackle of the game. Offence retook the field but did not fancy hanging around as RB Kevwe Uwotu exploded down field on the first play of the drive for the score, Hewit did his thing once more on the 2pt. The euphoria was short lived, as a botched kick landed in the Pyro’s wedge and they rumbled it back through a depressing array of missed tackles for the score. They failed on a quick pass for the 2pt.

Defence had another good series which culminated in LB Rafe Hunter Hallet blocking a punt to give the Centurions excellent field position. Enter Rookie RB Charlie Collier. He fought hard for a few runs, helped in one case by a nice double team block from C Alan Gray and LG Ben Grainger. It did not take long for him to juke his way into the endzone however the Wideouts had different ideas and had his score wiped off for a block in the back penalty. Embodying the age old Centurion mantra of “Persistence beats Resistance”, Collier took the following play to the house, sheepishly peeking back to see if another flag had been thrown. It had not. The 2pt attempt got intercepted but a strong tackle from LT Rob “Roboldemort” O’Brien knocked the ball loose, but agonisingly out of bounds.

A strong solo tackle on Special Teams by CB Sam Lock set up the next series and a sack from DT Joe Atkinson stalled the Pyro’s Offensive drive. WR Max York did not waste his only reception as he took full advantage of a Cover 0 formation and promenaded into the endzone surrounded by nothing but greenery and fresh air. Shiroo obliged by taking the 2pt home with him as well. The Defence has a coupled of nice plays, CB Ben Faulkner blew up a screen but was unable to hold on to the ball for what would have been a Pick-6.

As you can probably tell, the first half was action packed. For those of you getting tired by this report fear not, the second half was less so. It started interestingly as the opening kickoff was squibbed and picked up by Wedgeman and FS Stephen Bates who executed a crowd rousing truck as he returned it to just after halfway. This sadly would prove to be the Centurion’s longest play of the half. A couple of nice snags from Rookie WR Alberto Conti were among the highlights but the team failed to find the higher gears they had in the first half. The game ended slightly sourly for the Centurions as QB Tom Latham and Rookie FB Dalton Weir connected for a nice passing TD only to see it called back for an illegal formation. One of the WRs owes those two a pint…

Overall a solid win for the York Centurions outfit but not a complete performance by any means. Credit to the Pyros for bringing a great attitude to game despite a long and arduous journey down from Scotland. Sitting at 1-0 on the season, the Centurions will look to double their tally in a Roses-come-early season game against the old adversary. Lancaster Bombers, we are coming for you.


Preseason: Sabres @ Centurions Match Report

For the second consecutive week, the Centurions welcomed a higher ranked team to Fort 22. After narrowly missing out in the last week’s fixture, York were desperate to right the wrongs that had befallen them. The game opened at a fairly slow pace and both teams traded punts more often than big plays. There were a couple of missed opportunities as SS Max Cogan saw a clear pick chance sail between his hands. On Offence, determined running from Rookie RB Charlie Collier punctuated the drive. QB Theo Hewit also impressively scrambled for a tough first down despite being under serious pressure. The Centurions coverage forced Sheffield into mostly checkdown passes which were snuffed out early by the Centurions Linebackers, more often than not. In particular Andrew Chudnovsky and Dan Denby were there making plays. CB Zyen Ubaid intercepted a wayward pass to generate some energy amongst the Centurions and it was not long after, that WR Max York gained separation from his coverage and carried a well thrown pass all the way to the endzone. True to form, the Centurions committed a penalty on the 2pt attempt and then fumbled it second time around.

The second half saw an influx of rookies inserted into the lineup on both sides of the ball and also saw a number of Linebackers move to play Defensive Line due  to absence and injury. RB Kevwe Uwotu slithered his way through a labyrinth of would-be tacklers and then exploded through the open field for the long touchdown. York, somewhat accidentally, attempted an ill fated fake punt which was stopped short of the first down markers. The predominantly rookie defence hustled well, a particularly good gang tackle led by Rookie SS Jacob Beaman brought up a 3rd and long. However Sheffield forced the ball into endzone on the back of some aggressive O line play and some naivety within the Centurions’ play recognition.

The determination of the Centurions not to fall for a second consecutive week played out in an erratic offensive drive that started close to their own endzone. The first play was a large run of around 20 yards, immediately followed by a huge loss as QB Dalton Weir attempted to break free of the pocket. The third play saw Uwotu explode around the edge and was set up by the seemingly trademark blocking from WR Ed Mamet. The open field and the rockets in Uwotu’s boots meant the only possible result was the York go ahead Touchdown.

The York Special Teams unit pinned the Sabres on their own ten yard line with under two minutes and no timeouts remaining. Sheffield, subbing in again almost a full complement of starters, drove past the halfway line with a well drilled set of passes and read option runs. As they neared the endzone, Coach Tom Prosser paced up and down the sideline praying for a turnover to seal the game. His prayers would be answered as the Sabre QB launched the ball across the field attempting to find an out route. FS Stephen Bates was able to read the play, jump the route and intercept the pass, rather than sliding he opted to truck a wide receiver and then get hit by pretty much the entire Sabre’s offence.

York’s Offence went out in the greatest formation in football and knelt out the clock to end what was an enticing and exciting fixture. The Centurions demonstrated their Division One pedigree and have kept pace with two talented side in the passed weeks.

The York Centurions will look to carry all this winning momentum into next week when UWS Pyros come to town for the regular season opener.

* A Sabres receivers was knocked unconscious on a legal hit from a Centurion, Everyone here at the York Centurions hopes he is ok, makes a quick recovery and returns to football very soon.