The Titans matched the achievements of the youth team last week to start the season with a win against local rivals Lancashire Wolverines today. The game was a tetchy affair with both sides making errors but the Titans triumphed in the end to win 26 – 20.
The Manchester Titans begin their season with a 26-20 win over local rivals the Lancashire Wolverines.
The Titans received the ball to start the 2010 season and following a long kick return from WR Adam Simms, RB Ryan Farrell scored the first points of the season when he found the end zone from 4 yards out and then converted the point-after attempt himself to make the score 7-0 to the Titans.
Lancashire replied immediately, scoring on a 32 yard pass play due to a blown coverage, the point-after attempt was successful and tied the scores at 7-7.
The Titans started the following drive on their own 26-yard line and drove the length of the pitch, with the bulk of the yardage on the drive coming from a 22-yard run from Farrell and a 26-yard pass down the middle of the field from QB Alan Mead to TE Chris Heap. Farrell again capped the drive with a 1-yard touchdown rush. The point-after attempt was wide of the uprights, putting the Titans back in front 13-7.
The Titans defense then forced the Wolverines to punt, this marked the start of a scrappy period of play from both offenses, with Manchester throwing two interceptions and a lost Wolverines fumble, caused by LB Sandy Kyriacou and recovered by DE Andy Burridge, occurring on the intermediate possession. After the second Titans turnover, the Manchester defense held the Wolverines for no gain, forcing a field goal attempt from the home team’s 24-yard line, with the attempt sailing wide to the left.
The Titans regained possession on their own twenty-four yard line to start the second quarter and proceeded to drive into the Wolverines half. Following a false-start penalty, the Titans found themselves facing 3rd and 17, but this was converted into a first down with a 25 yard pass from Mead to Simms. Simms then received the ball on the first down but lost a fumble on an attempted sweep which the Wolverines recovered.
The Titans defense again held firm, forcing a 3 and out from the Wolverines and handing the Titans offense a fresh possession from their own 21-yard line. The Lancashire defense then forced another turnover by the Manchester quarterback with an interception on their 40-yard line. The Wolverines drove to the Titans 11-yard line where they faced 4th and 2, but they failed to convert the opportunity.
With only 2 minutes remaining in the first half, the Titans then drove 80 yards to score with Mead connecting with WR Rik Lowthion for a 32-yard touchdown. The point-after attempt was good making the score 20-7 to the home team. The Wolverines received the following kick off and managed to fit in one play before the second quarter expired.
The Wolverines received the ball to start the second half and, following a sustained drive, scored on a 15-yard Quarterback scramble taking the score to 20-13 to the home team, due to a failed point-after attempt.
The Titans replied immediately, driving 65 yards, with Mead connecting with Heap three times for 47 yards, before a pass interference penalty on WR James Dean in the endzone gave the Titans the ball at the Lancashire 1 yard line. Mead then hit Heap with a 1-yard touchdown catch to finish the drive. A missed point-after attempt left the score at 26-13 to the home team.
The visiting side drove to the Manchester 13-yard line where a holding penalty killed the offenses progress and left the Wolverines facing a 4th and 12 situation which they failed to convert.
After receiving possession at their own 21-yard line, the Titans drove the ball down the field with Mead finding Heap twice more for 26 yards. On the first play of the 4th quarter, Mead found himself the victim of an unfortunate rebound, the ball bouncing of Simms’ body and into the hands of a Wolverines player, resulting in his 4th interception of the day.
The Wolverines made good use of the turnover by driving for a touchdown, scored on a 3-yard pass play. The point-after attempt was initially missed, however a Titans penalty gave the Wolverines another attempt and the point was successfully converted taking the score to 26-20 to the Titans.
With 9 minutes left to play, the Titans gave the ball to RB Tim Barton to close out the game. However, following a holding penalty on a sweep, Manchester faced 3rd and 14. When the pass fell incomplete the Titans found themselves punting for the first time in the game. A 30 yard punt resulted in the Wolverines being pinned at their own 21-yard line.
Facing 3rd and 7, the Wolverines connected on a 50-yard pass taking them to the Titans 16-yard line and needing a score to win. Lancashire opted to run on first down and the play was stopped for no gain. A tackle behind the line of scrimmage for a 4-yard loss by Burridge left the Wolverines facing 3rd and 13. The 3rd down pass attempt was tipped by LB Graham Roberts, leaving the visitors facing 4th and long. On the 4th down attempt to Wolverines looked to pass, but having no options open down-field the quarterback checked down and the play was stopped for a 1-yard gain. LB Kiren Bharti was injured during the play and, after being attended to by the medics, hobbled off the pitch to applause from the stands following a fantastic defensive performance which included 14 tackles.
The Titans offense gained possession at their own 19-yard line with just over 3 minutes to play. Barton again received the ball and rushed for 36 yards, and importantly two 1st downs which allowed Manchester to run the clock out and end the game, winning 26-20.