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.