The Manchester Titans Adult Contact Team reached the halfway point of the regular season with a perfect 5-0 record by beating the Crewe Railroaders 53-0 on Sunday 31st May at AJ Bell Stadium.
The Titans Defence set the tone on the opening play when LB Rob Bainbridge marked his return from suspension by a ferocious tackle on the Crewe RB. DE Andrew Burridge and LB Phil Carson then sacked former Titans QB Rik Lowthion that forced a punt, which Ryan Newton returned 43 yards for a TD and a 6-0 Titans lead.
Crewe went 3 and out on their next possession but strong winds hampered the Titans passing game and 8 plays later they were forced to punt. This was the story for the 1st quarter as both defences held the offenses scoreless.
At the start of the 2nd Quarter, Crewe were driving and had reached the Manchester 13 yard line when Bainbridge shot the gap and knocked the ball loose from Lowthion, recovering on the 24 yard line. A promising Titans drive ended when a pass bounced off WR James Newnes hands and was intercepted deep into Railroaders territory. Both teams exchanged punts before a 34 yard run by Titans RB Adim Irozuru set up Newnes 4 yard TD run. Then Titans DB Ainsley Battel intercepted Lowthion and another big run by Irozuru, gave RB Jonathan Gago the opportunity to score from 1 yard out just before the end of the quarter. Ryan Newton’s kick gave Manchester a 19-0 half-time lead.
Following the 2nd half kick off, the Titans offense continued to roll, scoring on their 3rd consecutive drive – this time Newnes running it in from 20 yards out. The extra point made it 26-0. Manchester’s defense led by DL Matt McCormack was now in top gear, shutting down Crewe’s running game and forcing another punt. The Titans actually had 2 Touchdowns called back on their next drive, before QB Alan Mead hit TE Ste Kimmins in the back of the endzone for an 11 yard TD. The PAT gave Manchester a convincing 33-0 led. Crewe were forced to the air and on 3rd down Lowthion found his TE for a short gain but a thunderous hit by Titans FS James Dean, brought a chorus of oohs from the crowd and the Railroaders had to punt again.
Manchester then drove 60 yards in 6 plays, finished off by WR Carlo Richards 12 yard TD catch. Ryan Newton kicked the extra point for a 40-0 lead. Crewe started moving the ball through short passes but Carson again sacked Lowthion, this time forcing a fumble which Burridge picked up and ran 49 yards for a TD, with the PAT extending the lead to 47-0.
With time running out and Manchester facing a 3rd and long, Mead hit rookie WR Jake Ashcroft with a short pass that the receiver pulled in with one hand and scampered 26 yards to score the final points of the day. The Titans finished with a 53-0 victory and extended their record to 5 wins and 0 defeats.
For the Titans, RB Adim Irozuru, recorded his 2nd 100 yard rushing game as the team racked up over 200 yards rushing for the 5th straight game. The Defense also scored for the 5th straight game and recorded their 3rd straight shut-out.
Titans GM Jon Homer said after the game:
“Obviously we’re very pleased with our a record so far but we’ve still got a long way to go this season.”
The team’s next game is away to Walney Terriers on June 14th.