Lancashire Wolverine Colts @ Manchester Titans Youth 13/6/10
Sunday proved unlucky 13th for the Titans Youth as they dropped their 3rd straight game – this time to local rivals Lancashire Wolverines Colts.
Both teams failed to pick up a first down on their first possession and with the Wolverines failing on a 4th and 5, the Titans took over the ball in good field position on their own 43 yard line. FB Ste McGrath picked up a first down when he was face-masked and TE Matt Nelan’s 13 yard
reception moved the ball to the Wolverine’s 18 yard line. However a fumbled snap and 2 consecutive sacks of QB Matt Blinkhorn pushed the Titans out of field goal range and they were forced to punt.
The Titan’s defence stepped up on the next possession and forced a Lancashire fumble which DT Alex Riley recovered on the Wolverine 20 yard line. Nelan’s 7 yard catch on 3rd and 6 set Manchester up with a 1st and goal but 3 straight rushes by Tom Higham failed to produce any points. So Nelan stepped up and kicked a 21 yard FG to give the Titans a 3-0 lead at the beginning of the 2nd quarter.
The Wolverines got a fantastic return on the ensuring kick-off with the returner finally tackled by TE Shane Mageean on the Titans 22. But again the Titans defense held firm, forcing the Wolverines to turn the ball over on 4th down. The Titans offence also failed to move the ball and were forced to punt. The next Lancashire possession became the “Alex Riley Show” with the DT making 3 tackles and a sack to snuff out the Lancashire offense. A pass deflection by DB Ainsley Battel on 4th down preserved Manchester’s lead.
Disaster struck on the Titans next possession when Blinkhorn, scrambling to avoid pressure, was hit and fumbled the ball for Lancashire to recover on the Manchester 27 yard line. A 15 yard late hit penalty moved the ball back to the Manchester 42 but a 22 yard pass on 3rd & 11 set the Wolverine’s up with a 1st & 10 at the Titans 21 yard line. From here they scored on a 21 yard pass pass over the head of DB Ben Howarth just before the end of the 1st half. The XP was missed leaving the half-time score at 6-3.
The Wolverine’s received the 2nd half kick off and marched the ball 69 yards down the field, scoring on a 3 yard QB Sneak – the XP was blocked making the score 12-3 in favour of the Wolverines.
A fumbled snap and a sack forced the Titans to punt again but on Lancashire’s next possession DB Sam Nisbett made his 1st interception of the season.
Manchester’s offense took over on their 41 yard line but the Wolverine’s pass rush forced another sack and 2 incompletions from Blinkhorn, leading to another punt. Good tackles from Battel, Riley and LB Gordon Cheung forced the Wolverine’s into a 3rd and 12 situation but a well-executed reverse lead to a 58 yard TD run to increase the Wolverine’s lead to 18-3 as the 3rd quarter ended.
The Titans started moving the ball with catches by Riley, playing FB and WR George Warren (with a 15 yard late hit penalty tacked on) but a dropped pass by WR Dan Powell on 3rd down forced another punt. This time the Titans’ D held firm and forced a Lancashire punt, but again pressure by the Wolverine’s pass rush and a dropped pass by Warren on 3rd Down led to yet another punting situation.
An excellent return brought the ball all the way back to the Titans 3 yard line where Nisbett made the touchdown-saving tackle. However it only delayed the inevitable with the Wolverine’s scoring on a play-action pass into the endzone with only a few minutes remaining in the game. Again the XP was no good making the score 24-3.
The Titans’ final possession was more of the same – ineffective running combined with Blinkhorn’s 6th sack of the day forcing what would have been the Titans 8th punt of the day. But an injury to regular Centre Adam Barnett led to replacement Adam Carter snapping the ball high over Punter Nelan’s head for a safety as time expired making the final score 26-3.
The Titans must now regroup for the trip to Leeds on Saturday 26th June to salvage the season – another loss will put the Titans out of playoff contention.
Offence: Matt Nelan – 2 catches for 20 yards & 2 First Downs plus the Titans only points of the day.
Defence: Alex Reilly – 10 tackles including a sack, Fumble Recovery plus one catch for 7 yards.