Manchester Titans Juniors @ Lancashire Wolverine Colts 26/05/12

The Titans took the short trip up to Blackburn to play their local rivals, knowing that they would have to improve dramatically on their poor performance when the two sides met on May 5th.

As a result, changes were made with Tom Hargreaves starting at QB and Sol Webber getting the nod at Running Back.

They couldn’t have asked for a better start as they won the toss, and Webber returned the opening kickoff to midfield. Four plays later Webber broke through the Lancashire defense to score a 40 yard TD run. The XP was blocked giving the Titans a 6-0 lead.

On the subsequent kickoff, James Newnes’s kick held up in the wind and wasn’t fielded cleanly by the Colts so the Titans dived on the loose ball. Hargreaves and Webber drove the Titans down to the Lancashire 11 yard line but the decision to go for it on 4th & 3 back-fired when Hargreaves was sacked for a 9 yard loss.

The Colts immediately capitalised in just 3 plays, scoring on a 40 TD pass. The XP was no good, but the scores were tied 6-6. After Hargreaves scrambled for a first down, Manchester were unable to move the ball and were forced to punt. But an excellent kick by Punter James Newman pinned Lancashire on their own 5 yard line.

However the Colts drove down to Manchester’s 25 where they decided to go for it on 4th and 15. The pass fell incomplete and the Titans took over on downs. However a fumbled snap gifted the ball back to the Wolverines and they scored 4 plays later. A successful 2 point conversion gave them a 14-6 lead.

2 Interceptions by DB Toby Kane kept the Wolverines offense in check but a bad snap on a punt cost the Titans a safety, causing them to trail 16-6 at half-time.

On the first play from scrimmage in the second half, sloppy tackling by the Titans Defense allowed the Colts to run the ball in from 70 yards out. However, another good kick return by Webber gave the Titans good field position on the Lancashire 40 yard line. Despite a couple of penalties, a 12 yard run by Webber had left Manchester with a tricky 4th & 8. But Hargreaves hit Newnes with a 10 yard pass to move the chains.

Unfortunately, back to back sacks of Hargreaves then turned the ball back over to the Colts.
Lancashire then drove 51 yards, converting two 4th down plays to score another TD, making the score 28-6. Another fumbled snap gave the ball immediately back to the Colts but stout defense led by LB Kieran Candon (10 total tackles for the game) held the Wolverines out of the endzone.

Hargreaves got the Titans offense moving with completions to WR Dan Johnson and TE Patryk Tomaszewski but heavy pressure on 4th down caused a fumble and the ball went back to Lancashire. 2 plays later the Colts added another score.

Manchester’s last chance to score ended when Hargreaves’s pass to Newnes fell incomplete and the Wolverines appeared to be running out the clock. However with 3 seconds to play the Colts QB called time-out and then threw a TD pass that angered the Titans sideline as it just seemed to run up the score.
An improved performance but another loss filled with disappointment. The Titans next game will be away to Gateshead on June 10th.

Juniors Current Standings:

[standings league_id=6]