The Manchester-Staffordshire game looked in doubt on Friday as the weather conditions that have ravaged the British American Football season set in once again. However a truly Titanic effort by the home team made sure a new venue was found and the equipment was transported within 24 hours to allow the game to go ahead.
The new field was less than ideal. It had to be marked within the 45 minutes prior to the game (even the home team’s quarterback was helping out!) and there were no goalposts but, with credit to Manchester for getting it done and to Staffordshire who agreed to the changes (with the condition of a rolling clock), the match went ahead.
And it was the away side that came out brighter, with their defence turning the ball over on downs on Manchester’s first drive, before the game got cagey.
A few exchanges in play followed before the Titans’ offence got into gear. Some strong running by Jonathan Gago drew them close to the Staffordshire end zone before running back Nick Copley punched in from the one-yard line for the first score.
Due to the lack of posts only two point conversions could be attempted, with this attempt no good, leaving the Titans winning 6-0.
Things would get worse for the Surge. Quarterback Richard Large threw a pick on the very next play, with Stewart Hay getting up well to snatch the ball before returning it to the Staffordshire one-yard line.
Again it was left to Copley to run in for the score before quarterback Alan Mead hit receiver Will Kinghorn for the two points. 14-0 Manchester.
Staffordshire began to run the ball well with Andy Black causing the Titans defence a few problems. However the defence took their opportunities and a fumbled ball was pounced on gratefully by Andrew Burridge.
Mead began to expose the tiring Staffordshire defence, hitting his receivers with short passes and allowing them to use their pace and blocking up front to get good yardage. One such pass out right to Adam Simms allowed the wide receiver to run across the field and in for a score that he made look easy. The quarterback then hit Jonathan Homer for the successful two point attempt to make the score 22-0.
Staffordshire continued to fight though, and a fumbled ball by Manchester running back Tom Spencer was almost capitalised upon before the Titans’ Niall Sweeney gathered it up, much to the relief of his sideline.
A huge sack on Mead by Jake Beevor forced the home team to go to the air to move the chains. A pass over the middle, though, was converted for huge yardage by Sweeney but Manchester couldn’t get into the end zone, turning the ball over on downs.
Staffordshire began to play without pressure and Large took to the air to find Pete Davis for good yards but once again they turned possession back to Manchester.
The home side wasn’t going to falter this time. Mead hit Simms deep down the right hand side, and the wide-open receiver jogged into the end zone untouched for the score. The same combination linked up to convert the two point attempt to make the final score 30-0 to Manchester.
Match report courtesy of http://www.dblcoverage.com