The Manchester Titans Adult Contact American Football team improved its record to 6 wins and zero losses with a 55-0 win over the Walney Terriers in Cumbria on Sunday.
Titans WR Mateusz Kupinski returned the opening kicking deep inside the Walney half and just 2 plays later, RB Ryan Newton opened the scoring on a TD run. The missed XP gave the Titans a 6-0 lead.
A miskick by Kicker Matt Kinsey on the ensuing kickoff became a piece of good fortune for Manchester when the ball bounced off a Walney player and Titans WR James Newnes fell on the loose ball. This time, it took Manchester 4 plays to score, with a 30 yard catch by TE Ste Kimmins setting up RB Adim Irozuru’s run into the endzone for a 12-0 lead.
Walney’s offense now finally got the ball and despite picking up a first down they were forced to punt. The Titans Offense then went 3 plays to score, with RB Jon Gago getting his 3rd TD of the season. The Titans again failed to convert the score, leaving it 18-0.
A couple of good runs by the Terriers picked up 2 first downs but the Titans Defense led by LBs Adam Newton and Rob Bainbridge stiffened and forced a punt. Walney’s punter put up a long, high punt that soared all the way down to the Titans 10 yard line, but Ryan Newton picked it up, avoided a couple of players, and following some great blocking, scored his 2nd Punt Return for a TD this season from 80 yards out. 24-0.
Manchester forced the Terriers into a 3 and out to end the 1st Quarter and on the second play of the 2nd quarter, Ryan Newton added his 3rd TD of the game, rushing for 55 yards to score, making it 30-0.
After a 17 yard run had picked up a Walney first down, the Terriers were facing a tricky 4th and 4 around midfield. The pass was incomplete and the Titans took over on downs.
Rookie Alex Back stepped in at QB for the Titans and led them on a 47 yard drive, capped off by Irozuru’s 2nd TD of the game, this one from 24 yards out. 36-0.
The Terriers were again forced to punt on their next possession, and the short kick went out of bounds, gifting the Titans excellent field position. Gago scored on the next play, running in from 35 yards out making the score 42-0.
With 2 minutes left in the 1st half, Walney again went 3 and out and the Titans ran out the remaining seconds, Manchester 42-0 Walney.
Walney received the 2nd half kickoff and produced their best drive of the game, moving the ball down to the Titans 43 but then a series of penalties and a fumbled snap led to another punt. Ryan Newton returned this 37 yards to the Walney 33 yard line. From there, it took just 3 plays, an 11 yard run by RB David Blake, and an 18 yard catch by Newnes, before Back hit TE Ben Nuttall from 4 yards out for his first TD pass and Nuttall’s first ever score. Shockingly, Kinsey managed to convert the extra point, increasing the Titans lead to 49-0.
Solid defense by the Titans again forced another 3 and out and this time it was Newnes returning the punt 26 yards to the Terriers 22 yard line. 2 plays later, Back hit Blake on a swing pass and the running back took it 19 yards to paydirt. The point after attempt again failed, making the score 55-0 at the end of the 3rd Quarter.
Travelling with a smaller than usual squad, the Titans 45 players still outmatched the Terriers 30 players, and by the 4th Quarter it showed with many of the Walney players playing both ways and showing fatigue. Despite this, they put together a solid 9 play offensive drive which was only halted by DT Michael McGougan’s tackle on 4th & 5.
Manchester turned the ball over on their next possession when normally sure-handed TE Chris Heap fumbled after a 15 yard catch. Walney tried to take advantage of this and were in field goal range with 2 minutes to play.
A sack by McGougan, and a good tackle by DE Charlie Dixon, left the Terriers facing 4th & 14. After the obligatory “icing of the kicker time-out”, the teams lined up for the field goal. Newnes shot around the outside of the line and threw himself in front of the kick, blocking it and preserving the Titans shut-out.
With former Carlisle Reivers QB Nick-Nige Weston now in for the Titans, the Manchester team ran out the clock and moved onto 6-0 with the victory.
The win leaves the Titans in 2nd seed position for the playoffs, and if they manage to continue their winning streak, will see a home playoff game on Sunday 23rd August.
The Titans’ next game is away to the Halton Spartans on Sunday 28th June at Select Security Stadium in Widnes.