The Manchester Titans Adult Contact Team improved their record to 8-0 with a 48-0 win over the Carlisle Sentinels on Sunday at AJ Bell Stadium. The rookie Sentinels made the trip with only 19 fit players and were forced to call the game midway through the 3rd quarter after an injury to Head Coach Chris Bond.
Manchester’s defense forced Carlisle to punt on their first possession, and on the next play RB Ryan Newton ran 33 yards to score his 10th TD of the year. Newton added the kick himself for a 7-0 lead.
3 plays later the Sentinels had to punt again and this time Ainsley Battel returned the punt 35 yards to paydirt. Newton’s extra point gave the Titans a 14-0 lead.
The Titans continued to dominate the Carlisle Offense. On 3rd Down, DE Andrew Burridge pressured the Sentinels QB, deflecting his pass which sailed up into the air and was caught by DE Charlie Dixon who ran the ball back for a 25 yard TD. The conversion was unsuccessful leaving the score 20-0, despite the Titans Offense only having had the ball for 1 play!
Carlisle again went 3 and out on their next series and the Titans offense drove 55 yards in 5 plays, culminating in Ste Kimmins 12 yard TD run behind a great block by OL Liam Twigg. Newton’s kick made the score 27-0.
The Sentinels started to move the ball on their next drive but a sack by DE Mike Ripley and some good tackling by DB Steve Spence led to a 4th down pass attempt which fell incomplete turning the ball back over to the Titans to end the 1st quarter.
Manchester then needed just 2 plays, a 21 yard run by WR James Newnes before QB Alan Mead threw deep to Newnes for a 33 yard TD. Carlisle blocked the extra point, leaving the score 33-0.
Both teams exchanged possessions before the Sentinels moved into field goal range but Burridge blocked the FG to preserve the shutout.
With time running out in the half, 2 powerful runs by RB Adim Irozuru moved the ball into the Carlisle half before Mead found Kimmins deep downfield and the big Tight End avoided a tackler to score from 39 yards out. Newton ran in the 2 point conversion to make the half-time score 41-0.
Chris Payne replaced Mead at QB and immediately led the offense downfield thanks to 2 big runs of 26 and 23 yards by RB Matt Kinsey, but a 9 yard run by Kinsey on 4th down just came up short and Manchester turned the ball over on downs.
The Sentinels also decided to go for it on 4th down but Titans DB Andy Higson stepped up and stopped the jet sweep short and forced a fumble which was recovered by Ripley. Ryan Newton broke outside and ran 23 yards to the endzone, adding the kick for a 48-0 lead.
After the subsequent kick off, Carlisle’s HC Chris Bond suffered an unfortunate injury when the Sentinels RB landed on his leg. After a brief stoppage, Bond limped off the field but after discussions with the referees, it was decided that with Carlisle being down to only 17 fit players, they should not continue.
Earlier in the day, the Titans Under 19s team had convincingly beaten the Leicester Falcons 32-0 to improve their playoff prospects.
The Adult Contact Team, who have already guaranteed a playoff spot, can claim the division title next week with the home game against the Staffordshire Surge who they already have beaten 58-33 in Stoke early this season.