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