Our as it stands playoff bracket is back! This week we are in the divisional round of the playoffs with some huge games! Check out lastweeks results to see how the teams got here. And make sure you follow us onFacebook to get the latest updates first!
Hallam Warriors #3 @ Newcastle Raiders #2
This first divisional matchup of the weekend saw the Hallam Warriors head north to Newcastle to take on the Raiders.
The Warriors were the first team to register a score in the game as star running back Danny Pyle continued his good form for the season by receiving the first handoff of the game and taking it the house for a touchdown. This would turn out to be the only score of the first quarter as both teams defences dominated in miserable weather up north.
In the second quarter the game finally game to life as Aden Flannagan, forced and recovered a fumble giving the ball back to the Hallam offence. A few plays later James Musonda converted the turnover into points with his first rushing touchdown of the game.
The Raiders offence now finding themselves down by sixteen started to show up and drove the distance of the field and punched the ball in to bring them within nine points. Despite the Newcastle score, Hallam still found time for one late drive which ended with a Chris Webber scrambling for a TD of his own to once again give the Warriors a double digit score. Score at the half – 22-7.
Once again it was the Hallam defence that created the first big play of the second half as Anthony Marsden caused the Raiders QB to fumble, which was the recovered by Matthew Marsden who scooped and scored for another Warriors TD. Unimpressed by their lack of offence, the Raiders defence started to bring their team into the game with a score of their own as they intercepted a tipped Webber pass and returned it for a touchdown.
Despite being down by two scores the Raiders continued to give 100% in the final quarter and managed to shut down the high powered Hallam offence, but unfortunately all hopes of a comeback were extinguished as a Flannagan pick 6 wrapped up the game for the Warriors. Final score 36-15.
The Warriors advanced to the Championship semi finals for the second consecutive year.
|Newcastle "Texas Tech of the North" Raiders|
This MAC matchup ended up being another slobber knocker as the Birmingham Lions headed to ‘the cage’ to face off against their long term rivals the Loughborough Aces.
Loughborough wasted little time getting on the scoreboard as Adam Hope returned the opening kickoff back to the house to give the Aces an early six point lead. Not wanting to be outshone by his opposing number, Dan Conroy scored for the Lions on the third play of their first series to level the scores.
Finally getting their hands on the ball the Aces offence didn’t show any signs of nerves as they drove on the Lions defence and completed the drive with a Ben Burslem rushing touchdown. Fortunately for the Lions their offence was matching the Aces offence blow for blow as Johnny Glover hit Ben Brown for a long TD to even up the score at the end of the first.
Both teams defence turned up in the second quarter as when consecutive sacks for Denzil Byron forced the Aces to punt back to the Lions. Drew Newiss caught the punt, found a seam after good blocking and had nothing but green grass in front of him as he returned the ball all the way to the endzone.
The next Aces possession ended quickly as Nick Jacquets pass over the middle was picked off by Paul Zinkus. However the Aces didn’t have to wait long to get the ball back as a John Varney strip sack on Glover two plays later was recovered by his fellow linebacker Anssi Saari.
Adam Hope turned the turnover into points with another rushing touchdown to bring the Aces level. Score at HT – 21-21.
Half time speeches were well used by both defensive coordinators as there were no scores in the third quarter with both teams’ defences dominated the opposing offences. Jonathan Varney continued his good performance as he picked off Lions QB Glover, but Loughborough were unable to do anything with the ball and were forced to punt it back.
The scoring returned in the fourth quarter as Sope Dirisu, in for Glover, dropped back to pass in the Aces end zone, but ended up tucking the ball and scrambling in for the Lions score. However the excitement was short-lived as Adam Hope scored his third touchdown of the game for the Aces to bring the scores level . Pressure from the Aces defence on the next Lions possession forced an errant pass from Dirisu, which was picked off by Ross Watson who returned the ball to the Lions three after good blocking.
Hope took the ball up the gut to give the Aces the lead, but the PAT was missed. On what turned out to be the final drive for the Birmingham offence, the Lions still lead by Dirisu continued to move the chains against the Aces defence and ended up in the Loughborough 10. On 2nd and goal the ball was handed off to Conroy who was hit by Saari and fumbled the ball. The ball trickled forward into the endzone and Lions lineman Craig Harris who dove on the ball for the Lions score! The PAT was good and the Lions ended up winning 35-34.
|Touchdown hero Craig Harris Photo: Mike Hinton|
UWE Bullets #3 @ Southampton Stags #2
The first matchup from the South side of BUAFL saw the UWE Bullets travel south to square off against the Southampton Stags in what turned out to be another defensive encounter.
Despite their high scoring offence the Stags were unable to find any sort of rhythm as the UWE defence led by Cameron Parker and John Bateman managed to hold them to minimal gains on each drive. Fortunately for the Stags their defence was more than up to the challenge, as they also held the Bullets offence to no scores. Oli Robson leading the Stags defence with numerous tackles and a Thomas Mark Corfield interception were the highlights for the Stags defence. The score at the half – 0-0.
UWE finally managed to get on the scoreboard in the third quarter as a long J.J. Davies TD pass to Dayne Robinson gave the Bullets a seven point lead. The Stags managed to get on the scoreboard as well with their first score coming courtesy of a fumble recovery returned for a touchdown by their defence. John Bateman forced the fumble, which was recovered by Sunil Raj Sharma who picked the ball up and ran the ball back for the Stags score.
The Stags then took the lead when QB Stefan Taylor hit WR Adam Adeniran for a 30 yard TD. This would end up being the highpoint for Southampton as UWE were the next to score as Craig McLeod took the handoff, followed his blocks up front and squeezed through the open hole to bring the Bullets level with the Stags.
Heading into the final quarter neither team were able to carry any momentum as the score remained 14 apiece going into the closing moments of the fourth quarter. After a Taylor interception, the UWE offence got the ball and drove into the Stags half. Chris Green now filling in at QB for Davies turned out to be the hero for UWE as he scrambled away from the pressure and scampered into the endzone for the UWE score.
The Stags were unable to do anything on their next series as UWE sprung the upset and advanced to the semi finals with a 20-14 victory.
Portsmouth Destroyers #4 @ Hertfordshire Hurricanes #1
The final matchup of the weekend saw the current champions face off against the team we have down as #1, the Hertfordshire Hurricanes.
Things didn’t start off well as the Hurricanes quickly found themselves down by 13 after a Chris Chesney Percival pick 6 and a Folahanmi Dare rushing touchdown gave the Destroyers the lead at the end of the first quarter.
In the second quarter the Canes offence started to take control of the game after long gains from Gareth Davies and Temi Oduyemi brought Herts into the Destroyers redzone. The drive ended with a Joe Thompson touchdown pass to Andy Harrison.
The Herts offence found themselves with the ball again after recovering a surprise onside kick and the offence didn’t disappoint as James Howell rumbled into the endzone to give the Canes a one point lead. The Destroyers offence still managed to get one more score on the board before the end of the first half with a Simon Blow bomb to Gus Frazer that gave Portsmouth the lead at the half. Score at HT – 21-14.
Hertfordshire couldn’t have gotten off to a better start in the third quarter as Dave Jennison ripped the ball out of a Pompey’s receiver’s hands and returned the ball for the Canes score. However the Canes couldn’t capitalise on the momentum change and this would end up being the only score of the third quarter as we headed into the final quarter with the scores tied.
The fourth quarter ended up being a back and forth affair as both teams defences continued to dominate the game after the early domination by the offences. It would end up being Portsmouth who got the next score as another Blow TD pass was caught by James Haggarty to put the Destroyers up by seven. Despite being down by seven, Joe Thompson and the Herts offence still managed to drive on the Portsmouth defence and advanced to within the Destroyers 10. After three stops, the Canes managed to convert 4th and goal as Thompson connected with Nicholas Bagnall to tie up the score and took the game to overtime! Score at the end of the 4th – 28-28.
The Canes got the ball first in OT and didn’t disappoint as Oduyemi scampered into the endzone, but a missed PAT only gave Herts a six point lead. Fortunately for the Hurricanes they were able to end Portsmouths season on the second play of their drive as Dom Gould forced Blow to fumble the ball, which was recovered by George Gower to give the Canes the win. Final score – 34-28.
Once again the Hurricanes head to the BUAFL semi finals.
|Nicholas Bagnall scores Photos: Gary Neesam|
Next week’s matchups
Birmingham @ Hertfordshire
UWE @ Hallam
Do you think your team should have gone through? Or did you not score enough? Who do you think will win next week? Please share your thoughts in our comments section or post on our Facebook page (it makes us warm and fuzzy inside when you do)