Bears @ Centurions – Match Report

Bradford Bears @ York Centurions- Game 5 of the 2015/16 Season

The York Centurions were looking start 2016 with a bang. The new kit finally arrived, albeit four games late – shout out to the suppliers – and they wanted to christen it with a victory. A victory is what York would earn, although not a pretty one in terms of conditions not the temperament of the game. York won the toss (as always) and received, Bradford Bears boldly went for an illegal kick-off formation and York returned the ball to the 30 and refs tacked on another 5 yards for the penalty so Offense took the ball at the 35. York went 3 and out on first possession as standard. The Running game struggling to find traction in what was fast becoming a mud bowl.  However Defence were ready to get dirty and shut down the Bradford Offense drawing them into committing penalties left, right and centre to force what was an extended 3 and out series. York went airborne and QB Tom Lathem launched a beautiful 30 pass from to WR Rob Lamont for the opening score. Unable to convert the two point conversion York led the game 0-6. On Bradford’s next possession they surrendered the ball quickly with a costly fumble which landed invitingly in the path of LB ‘Form’ Joe Ford. York had the ball back on the 50, and 2 plays later RB Dami Oloko rumbled  a 45 yard TD run straight though the gut of Bradford’s defence. An excellent cut block from guard LG Andy Welsh cleared out a Bear’s Defensive Lineman AND blitzing Linebacker which meant all Oloko had to do was navigate his way through a mess of bodies on the floor, he stiff armed the Bears Safety for good measure on the way to the end zone. Oloko then fumbled the two point conversion forward into the end zone but realised lady luck was smiling on him as he recovered it again to complete the conversion and took the score to 14-0

Both teams then traded 3 and outs before the injury bug struck and the Centurion’s squad depth was tested after it lost Rookie RT Athi Selvadurai to a shoulder injury and Rookie WR Max Lancaster to a broken collarbone. However Defence proceeded to set the tone for York after two consecutive interceptions coming from the defence. The first CB Jack Marley found himself totally alone in his zone, only for a Bears receiver to run an incorrect route leading to the Bradford QB throwing the pass to the ever ready Marley. The 2nd from Punter turned Strong Safety David Pink who sat on a route nicely and broke on the ball and even stepped a potential tackle on the return.

The first interception York could do nothing with, but the 2nd gave the Centurions short field and Tom Latham expertly found WR Chris Allen for his first career score to increase the lead to 0-20.  York’s Defence continued their domination with the Rookie D line of Satnaam Singh, and Ben Matthews, Tom Hodgson guided by wily veteran George Fox able to prevent Bradford scoring again with their heavy outside run game. On the next York drive we experienced the miracle at 22 Acres, Similar to the “Prayer at Jordan-Hare”. QB Tom Latham had quit clearly overthrown WR Joseph Mitchell and the ball hung in dangerous territory. However the oncoming Bear’s Safety committed the cardinal Defensive Back sin of thinking about the return before securing the ball. The ball cannoned off his expectant hands and back into the sprinting Mitchell who continued to sprint 50 yards downfield to score a touchdown and give the Centurions their longest touchdown of the season.

Not satisfied, he was soon at it again as he showed us some toe tap magic to grab snag another TD pass from resident Andy Dalton lookalike Rookie QB Theo Hewitt – his first career Touchdown. The score now 0-34 to York, Bradford did awake from their slumber and spoil the shut out party. They finally put points on the board as they got their running game going, they did however fail with their two point conversion after a heavy defensive blitz call that sent all the Linebackers and Safeties. The final score was Bradford 6 – 34 York, as York moved to 3-2 for the season whilst Bradford fell to 1-3.

MVPs

Defensive Rookie of the Game  – Thomas Hodgson

Offensive Rookie of the Game – Will Holbrook

Defensive Player of the Game – Ben Matthew

Offensive Player of the Game – Rafe Hunter Hallet

Overall Player of the Game – Joseph Mitchell

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Centurions @ Tyrants – Match Report

York Centurions @ Manchester Tyrants – Game 4 of the 2015/16 Season

York returned to Manchester just a week after suffering a disappointing first defeat of the season against Eagles, but this time to face the table-topping Manchester Tyrants. York started the game on their own 15 after the return team blocking faltered. After a nice couple of passes to Rookie WR Max York to move the chains, the Tyrants defence kicked into gear and York were on unable to progress and subsequently punted, it was clear today that York were going to be aggressive in the pass game. Manchester on their first possession took advantage of a fortuitous fumble recovery and a broken play to drive into the Redzone within the first three plays. FS Bates read the play perfectly but couldn’t hold on to the interception on the 3rd down. On the next play Rookie LB Rufus Gates rose to bat away TD bound pass to give York the ball back deep in their own territory. York finally decided to let their RBs loose, with Oloko and Uwotu advancing up the field from a multitude of air and ground attacks. However the drive fell just short on the Manchester 16 after York were inches shy of a first on a 4th down attempt. The first quarter finished 0-0, a very interesting 0-0, but a 0-0 nonetheless.

Manchester managed to force a fumble from York’s next possession, their safety knocking the ball free on a big hit on a WR Max York, giving them the ball back in a dangerous field position. They managed to convert this into a TD, and even managed to kick an extra point – not that we even knew that was possible in BUAFL. York Offence failed to respond and had a pass tipped at the line of scrimmage and be picked off by the Tyrants on their own 25. All time Centurion interception leader Stephen Bates fancied a slice of the action and snagged an impressive interception of his own to allow the Offence another shot a score before the half. York drove down the field with passes to RB Oloko and some impressive YAC, and then a big laser throw from QB Will Muirhead to WR Max Lancaster. York couldn’t capitalise on an impressive looking drive as the clock hit zero before they were able to punch it in.

The third quarter started with more great defence from York as LB ‘Form’ Joe Ford picked off Manchester in their own half which is almost certainly the first time he has ever caught anything is his life. The next play York seemingly scored. A beautiful pass play on a wheel route from QB Muirhead to Oloko saw a fingertip catch a dive into the end zone, however a controversial flag for “Offensive PI” on WR Alex Walton meant the play was called back. The Centurions once again failed to punch it in after this and turned the ball over on downs. Manchester then managed to drive the ball down field with read-option plays, before lofting a fade to outside where their WR fought off the challenge from the York Cornerback and came down with the ball and make the score 14-0 with the PAT.

Both teams traded possessions in the midfield before a big run from the Tyrants RB increased their lead to 21-0. York finally managed to get on the board the next possession though, WR Rob ‘Miley’ Lamont taking the ball home for 60 yard score to make it score 21-6.

The Tyrants saw the game out with another score as rookie QB Theo Hewitt was threw a pick 6 to make the final score 28-6, whilst York were left ruing an inability to convert in Redzone after working themselves up the field more than enough times to take the game themselves.

Centurions @ Eagles – Match Report

York Centurions @ Manchester Met Eagles – Game 3 of the 2015/16 Season

The York Centurions suffered their first defeat of the season in an upset against the Manchester Met Eagles in the latter of their back to back to back meetings. After handing them a 0-34 loss the previous week, the Centurions stumbled to a 12-14 loss. The game started off in the right vein for the Centurions, who on their opening drive went down the field capped it off with a 12 yard rushing touchdown by Running Back Oloko. The failed two point conversion would come back to haunt the Centurions who at this point 6-0 up.

The York defence stepped up on Manchester first drive as Free Safety Stephen Bates snapped up a loose fumbled and advanced it all the way to the Manchester 4 yard line, the first time a Centurion had actually advanced a fumble in over 5 years. The very next play Oloko dived into the endzone to score again as the lead increased to 12-0. The Centurions again failed to convert the two point attempt. Both of these failures would have a major bearing on the end result. After both teams traded 4 and outs, Manchester used the short field to score and make it 12-6, however they also failed to convert the PAT.

On their next drive the Centurions fumbled the ball deep in their own territory after a muffed handoff which gave Eagles offence the ball in the Redzone. They didn’t waste any time and threw to a poorly covered hitch route and barrelled the ball into the Endzone. The the following play would decide the game. The PAT was initially wel blocked but it bounced straight back into the kickers hands, who proceeded to scramble around the edge after a few missed tackles and into the endzone. Plenty of deliberation followed but it was ruled a successful 2 point conversion much to the dismay of the Centurions the score was now 12-14 to the Manchester Met Eagles. After the half neither team managed to score again, both offences stalled repeatedly. York were left regretting a failure to convert any of their own two point conversions and failure to finish the play after initially blocking Manchester’s PAT. The playoff hopes took a massive dent, the large rookie core of Centurions took their first defeat and used it as a learning curve in the unforgiving world of competitive American Football.

Eagles @ Centurions Match Report

Manchester Met Eagles @ York Centurions – Game 2 of 2015/16 Season

On a cold Sunday afternoon, the Centurions met the Manchester Met University Eagles for the 2nd game of the season following two weeks off after a bye week and a postponed game against Bradford. York won the toss and following last week’s confusion surrounding deferring, they simply chose to return this time. MMU went straight for the jugular from the outset and tried to catch York unawares with an onside kick, however York always ready smothered the ball and gained excellent field position for their first drive.

The offense took to the field, but the next few minutes and indeed most of the first quarter was littered with procedural penalties. 3 consecutive offsides from MMU, left York inside the 10 but a poor series of plays, concluding with an interception on fourth down with an ill-advised attempt of shuttle pass, left York empty handed on the first drive, and left Coach Claringbold seeing red.

On the next drive however the offence came alive, sparked by strong running from Dami Oloko (who started the day off as questionable to play) and Drew Dadson, who combined in total for 200 yards, York having 250 rushing yards and 5 rushing TDs on the day. Dadson ran the ball in for a short TD to give York an 8-0 lead. A sour reminder of BAFA’s rules, came however with him drawing a 15 yard unsportsmanlike penalty for placing the ball on top of the pylon after scoring.

York’s dominant defence started the day off well stopping a fake field goal, to give the offence the ball back. On the very next play Oloko broke off a 66 yard TD run (which in reality was only 56 yard due to the loss of 10 yard due to field). The two point conversation however was no good, leaving the score at 0-14.

The defence again stood firm, stopping the Eagles from putting up any points, and York came on drove with runs to the 20 with Uwotu and Dadson. However another poor play led to an interception on the MMU 5 on 4th down. A good play for the MMU defence, but they were probably better off just batting the ball down.

The York defence summoned due to the interception, replied instantly forcing a fumble on the first play, and York made no mistake this time round with Uwotu scoring on the first play, with the two point QB keeper good making the score 22-0.

On the next series the York defence then intercepted MMU, Zyen Ubeid on his comeback to the Centurions following an extended offseason plucked the ball out the receivers hands and followed some nice blocking from his DBs – President and Safety Stephen Bates throwing a particularly ferocious block to clear a path for his team mate –  which gave the Centurion offence the ball in great field position. After a heavy personal foul on Uwotu, Wayne Lack announced his introduction to the 22 Acres faithful, with a 8 yard TD run on his first snap for the York Centurions the two point conversion was no good but York went into the half 0-28.

York’s defence came out in the second half looking to cement the shut out, and went about the business well, limiting the amount of the time they were on the field forcing turnovers all day, and limiting to MMU offense to just 46 yards all day. The York offence however stuttered slightly in the 3rd quarter and failed to post any points themselves However corrected this in the 4th quarter, when QB Will Muirhead, subbed in for the injured Tom Latham, led the offence down the field from the 20, throwing a couple of quick completions, running for some yards himself. Oloko capped off a stunning clock eating drive with a diving leap for his 2nd touchdown. The final score remained 0-34. York once again stating claim for one of the top teams in the division, with a defence growing in confidence, and offense that can seemingly move the chains at will.

Defensive rookie MVP – David Pink

Offensive Rookie MVP – Wayne Luck

Defensive MVP – Joe Ford

Offensive MVP – Drew Dadson

Overall MVP – The Lights Out Defense

Celtics @ Centurions Match Report

Leeds Celtics @ York Centurions – Game 1 of 2015/16 Season

The York Centurions got their American football season off to a flying start with a 16 – 30 win against the Leeds Celtics. For the second year in a row, York’s first points were scored via a safety. Great pressure from the defensive front the front seven forced the Leeds quarterback into a mistake to give York a 0 – 2 lead. After another defensive stop, York’s offense came out running and pounded the ball 35 yards downfield. Cue Quarterback Tom Latham in his first start for the Centurions to throw a 40 yard touchdown to rookie receiver Max York to make the score 0 – 8. York’s defence were then at it again, hitting the Leeds quarterback as he threw to put the ball up for an interception by rookie defensive end Matthew Faulkner who ran it in for a touchdown to further extend York’s lead to 0 – 16. York’s offseason recruitment and training was clearly recouping early dividends, with major contributions from rookies all over the pitch. Going into the second quarter York’s defence was finally breached, Leeds pulled a touchdown back with a couple of large runs and then also scored the two point conversion to make the score 8 – 16. York’s offense came back out with a running mentality backed behind their ferocious offensive line. The three-pronged ground attack of Dami Oloko, Drew Dadson and Kevwe Uwotu gained 80 yards, with Oloko capping the drive with a 10 yard touchdown run, to make the score 8 – 22. However Leeds refusing to go down without a fight, threw a massive touchdown to make the score 16 – 22 going into the half.

Following an error from the York captains at the coin toss, Leeds got the ball again to start the half, but were unable to do anything with it. York’s offense then nearly scored a touchdown themselves however wide receiver Matthew Brindley was adjudged to have fumbled the ball before breaking the plane for the touchdown. The two teams then went back and forth until late in the fourth quarter a bad punt attempt by York led to Leeds having the ball only needing to go 12 yards to get a score. However the Centurions defence were in no mood for this and forced them back with forced them back with 2 sacks and 2 tackles for losses. With Coach Claringbold on the side calling for York’s offense to be men and finally take responsibility for its affairs they responded coming back out and on the very first play running back Dami Oloko broke out a huge 69 yard run for a touchdown, his second of the day which appeared to put the game beyond doubt making the score 16 – 30. Leeds did however give a score from the following kick off only for it to be ruled out for a block in back. York’s defence were eventually able to see out the game, where the final score remained 16 – 30. Jubilant celebrations led by new President Stephen Bates could be heard ringing around 22 Acres.  The York Centurions move to 1-0 on the season.

Offensive MVP – Dami Oloko (19 carries, 214 yards, 2 touchdowns)

Defensive MVP – Rufus Gates (4 tackles, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble)

Overall MVP – Offensive Line (Pancakes for days)