For the newly promoted Manchester Titans, starting 3 games on the road in a new division was not going to be easy. But no-one suspected it would be this difficult as the Titans crashed to a 49-8 defeat at the hands of the Yorkshire Rams in the driving rain in Leeds.
Manchester’s opening drive showed promise with RB Nick Copley sprinting 11 yards for a First Down and WR Adam Simms gaining 31 yards on a reception from QB Alan Mead. But that drive, like so many to follow, ended without any points on the board.
On their first possession, Yorkshire drove the ball 57 yards, mainly on the ground before scoring on a 9 yard TD pass to their TE on 4th & Goal. The XP was missed, giving the Rams a 6-0 lead.
The Titans went 3 and out on their next drive and Ryan Farrell’s punt was returned 45 yards for a Rams TD. The 2PAT was converted for a 14-0 lead.
A 5 play, 15 yard drive resulted in another Titans punt but on the ensuing Yorkshire possession, Manchester LB Matt McCormack made his first ever interception to end the drive. However the Titans couldn’t capitalise as 5 plays later the wet conditions caused a fumble snap which the Rams recovered.
Yorkshire drove 22 yards on 4 running plays, the final play an 8 yard TD run with another two point conversion, extending Yorkshire’s lead to 22. No further points were scored in the remainder of the 2nd quarter and the half finished with the Rams leading by a convincing 22-0.
Both teams exchanged punts to open the 2nd half until Yorkshire’s QB threw up a jump ball which DB Adam Fox mistimed allowing the Rams WR to catch it and stroll into the endzone from 33 yards out. The kick was good and the lead was extended to 29-0.
A good kick return by WR Will Kinghorn gave the Titans decent field position and from their own 38 they drove 52 yards to score, predominately behind the running of Copley. But 2 receptions by Simms of 19 and 16 yards, set up Copley to score from 3 yards out. And after well-executed play-action fake by Mead, he hit a wide open WR Matt Barton all alone in the endzone for the two point conversion. But they would be all the scoring the Titans could muster.
The 4th quarter saw the Rams add 3 more TDs for a convincing 49-8 win.
Manchester now at last have their first home game, again against Yorkshire, where they know that only a win will do. Come and cheer on the home team as the Titans play the Rams at Aldwinians Rugby Club on Sunday 19th June at 2:30pm.
Offense – Nick Copley – 18 carries for 54 yards and 1 TD
Defense – James Dean, playing his first game at FS – 7 solo tackles, 2 assists.
Special Teams – Phil Cowey – solid blocking in the return game.