The Manchester Titans, sponsored by Manchester Printers, bounced back from the narrow loss to the Chester Romans with a resounding 54-0 victory over the Walney Terriers in Cumbria on Sunday.
6 Passing TDs from QB Alan Mead to 6 different receivers, plus a rushing TD from RB Nick Copley and a Interception Return for a Touchdown by DB Andrew Higson were more than enough to overcome the Terriers.
Manchester’s defense set the tone from the opening kickoff forcing Walney to punt on their first possession, in part due to a sack by DL Rick McEwen. 3 runs by Copley took the Titans down to the Terriers 2 yard line where Mead hit WR Stephenson Ardern-Sodje for the score. Ryan Newton added the XP for a 7-0 lead.
Walney again failed to pick up a 1st down on their next series and when the snap to the punter was fumbled, the Titans’ James Newnes dived on the loose ball at the Walney 8 yard line. 2 plays later, Copley scored his 6th TD of the season from 5 yards out. Newton again kicked the XP making the score 14-0.
The Terriers were close to picking up a first down on the next drive but on 4th & 1, they were called for a false start, forcing another punt which rolled down to the Titans 20 yard line. From here, Manchester went on a 13 play, 70 yard drive culminating in a 14 yard TD reception by TE Ste Kimmins. The extra point was missed, 20-0.
On the next possession, Walney QB Gareth Jones threw an interception to Manchester LB Rob Bainbridge, giving the Titans the ball on Walney’s 26 yard line. 2 rushes by newly signed RB Carl Rugen Jr. and a 10 yard catch by Newnes set up Mead’s 3rd TD pass – a 5 yard throw to TE Chris Heap. Newton’s kick made the score 27-0.
Manchester’s defense once again forced a punt, and the Titans again drove to score – this time, WR Adam Simms with a great catch in the back of the endzone for a 16 yard TD. Newton added the conversion and the score was 34-0.
Walney’s next drive ended with a score, but it was again for the Titans – Jones’s pass was intercepted by DB Andy Higson who ran the ball back for a touchdown. A high snap on the point after attempt forced holder Nick-Nige Weston to improvise and he flipped the ball to Ryan Newton who scampered into the endzone for the 2 point conversion, bringing the score to 42-0.
The 1st half expired on the Terriers next possession as their offense started to move the ball.
After Walney’s 2nd half kick off went out of bounds, Manchester started on their own 35 yard line. 3 rushes for 20 yards by Copley plus a 19 yard reception by WR Danny Cabellero set up a somewhat fortuitous TD by TE Andy Burridge. Mead’s pass was underthrown but it went through the hands of Walney LB Kieron Bradbury and straight to Burridge who ran the rest of the way to score. Newton’s kick was wide left leaving the score at 48-0.
With the Terriers again held by the Titan’s rampant defense, Manchester took over in their own territory after the punt. An 11 yard catch by Kimmins, plus a 15 yard late hit penalty moved the ball into Walney’s half but they were facing a 3rd & 10 before Mead found rookie WR Jay Pitchford down the left sideline for a 16 yard gain and a first down. 3 plays later, Mead hit Caballero in the endzone for a 12 yard TD. The kick was again missed, leaving the score 54-0 to Manchester.
There was no further scoring in the game thanks to some great defense from the Titans and Walney’s defense finally stopping the Titans offense. Notably though both Bainbridge and Higson both made another interception each in the 4th Quarter, and some great tackling by DBs Ainsley Battel (6 tackles) and James Dean (5 tackles), kept Walney out of the endzone.
The Titans next play Staffordshire away on May 25th before the big game against Crewe in the AJ Bell Stadium on Sunday 1st June.
Tickets available from the stadium box office or online here: http://www.manchestertitans.co.uk/events/20140401.html