The Manchester Titans Adult Contact Team bounced back from a tough loss to the Edinburgh Wolves, with a hard-fought victory over the West Coast Trojans. In a game that featured 6 lead-changes, the Titans managed to pull away in the 4th quarter to secure a 34-22 win.
WCT took the opening kickoff and drove downfield for the opening score 6-0 but the Titans hit back immediately when QB Alan Mead hit WR Ryan Newton with a short pass that the speedy receiver took 68 yards for a TD, tying the game at 6-6 with the XP attempt blocked.
Manchester’s defense forced a 3 and out on the Trojans next series and the Titans took full advantage, driving 80 yards in 9 plays, culminating in RB Luke Campbell’s 18 yard scamper to paydirt. Again the kick was blocked but the Titans had taken a 12-6 lead.
The 1st quarter ended with West Coast driving again though and 6 plays into the 2nd quarter, they added a 2nd TD and a successful 2 point conversion gave them a 14-12 lead. Manchester had to punt on their next drive and the Trojans had again driven into Manchester territory when DB James Dean came up with a big hit that forced a fumble that DB Jack Hipperson recovered. The Titans couldn’t capitalise and were again forced to punt.
But once again the Titans Defense forced a huge stop when they had to. With WCT camped out on the Titans 12 yard line, the D forced 3 straight incomplete passes to turn the ball over on downs. From here, with under 2 minutes remaining in the half, Mead moved the ball quickly downfield, with of 31 and 20 yards passes to Newton and a crucial 4th down catch to keep the drive alive by WR Ross Murison. 2 plays later, Mead hit TE Ben Nuttall in the corner of the endzone for the TD, and with Campbell running in the 2PAT, the Titans had taken a 20-14 lead at halftime.
Neither teams troubled the scoreboard in the 3rd quarter as a promising Trojans drive was ended by an interception by LB Rob Bainbridge and a 14 play, 81 yard drive by the Titans Offense, failed on 4th down to score. West Coast scored early in the 4th and the successful 2 point conversion gave them a 22-20 lead.
A huge kick return by Newton, gave the Titans great field position, but an ill-advised pass by Campbell was deflected and intercepted. But Manchester’s defense forced a punt and once again Mead and Newton hooked up – this time from 76 yards to give the Titans the lead. The failed 2PAT attempt, left the game in the balance at 26-22.
However, Dean once again came to the Titans rescue with an interception and 38 yard return all the way to the WCT 19 yard line. 3 plays later, Campbell added his 2nd TD, from 4 yards out. On the extra point attempt, Mead found Nuttall, who made a toe-tapping catch in the back of the endzone, making the score 34-22.
The Trojans, trying to score quickly, threw the ball downfield but they could only find Birthday Boy Bainbridge who grateful accepted his 2nd interception of the game. Backup QB Dan Hall went in to kneel out the clock to end the game and keep the Titans playoff hopes alive.
A win next week in Gateshead, whom the Titans have already defeated this season, should see the Titans qualify for the playoffs.