Our Under 17 South team traveled to Chorley on Saturday 13th May for the 2nd tournament of 2017, with games against Chorley Buccaneers, Titans South and Chester Romans.
Game 1 – Titans South 14-13 Chorley Buccaneers
Having played the other three teams in their division in tournament 1, Chorley represented the only unknown for the Titans. The Buccaneers are one of the perennially successful teams in Youth and Junior football in Britain.
Chorley started with the ball and looked to run early, the Titans looked to have stopped the drive but a 4th down pass gave Chorley a 1st down and 3 plays later another pass allowed them to take an early lead, the XP was crucially blocked.
The Titans O struck straight back, Alex Lakinson carrying the ball 3 times to the 1 yard line before QB James Gordon found Max Gracie-Ainscough in the end zone to tie the game at 6-6.
Good work from Sean Howe and Michael Tomlin shut Chorley down on the their next drive and the Titans O had a 10 play drive behind the running of Lakinson again stopped just short with Jack Gabbitas tackled on the 2 yard line.
Chorley then took the lead, initially losing ground a big run on 3rd down set them up before an 11 yard pass into the endzone, the XP was good making it 13-6 at half time.
The Titans O took just one play to even scores in the 2nd half as rookie RB Louis Thomas took his first ever carry the length of the field to make the score 13-12.
Trailing by 1 point the Titans D produced their best drive of the game, Ryan Weaver with a tackle for a 3 yard loss on 1st down before the returning Frazer Green kept his containment and made an excellent tackle on the outside to ensure no gain. Then on 3rd down Chorley attempted the pass and Weaver sacked the QB in the endzone for what would be the game-winning safety.
Both teams had two further posessions, the Titans behind Lakinson again stopped inside the 5 yard line while Chorley were unable to get another first down as Max Le Flohic and Lenny Izzard backed up by Green, Weaver, Howe and Tomlin saw the defense take control. The Titans O were able to run down the clock to take a tense victory against a strong divisional rival.
Game 2 – Titans South 38-18 Titans North
The second Titans derby of the season saw the South team score first this time. Running from Lakinson and George Harvey set up 1st down 14 yards out and Gordon found Gracie-Ainscough, the two combined again for the XP. The North team hit straight back, tackles from Le Flohic, Green, Tomlin and Weaver looked to have halted progression but a large 4th down pass gave the North the TD to make the score 7-6.
Both teams exchanged possessions, Le Fohic again proving to be a brick wall in defense with four straight tackles for a net 1 yard gain making sure the North couldn’t advance before the South extended their lead, the rushing of Ben McDonald and Tom Tudor this time setting up the 12 yard pass as Gordon and Gracie-Ainscough teamed up again before Gabbitas took a short catch and broke through two tackles for the XP to give the south a 14-6 lead.
The North took to the field again but tackles from Tomlin and Will Sculthorpe halted progress before a tackle for a loss of 4 yards by DT Ellie Partington forced a 4th down pass that was picked off by Ryan Weaver and returned for the TD. Undeterred, the North’s offense hit straight back with a 2 play scoring drive making the score 20-12.
The South offense was fully in the groove by now though, Lakinson carried the ball 18 yards before Gordon found Tudor in end zone for a 17 yard TD. Not to be outdone, the D scored again, tackles by Partington and Green forced the pass on 4th down and Michael Tomlin jumped the route and took the ball to paydirt.
Down in the game the North took to the air on their next drive and rookie LB Daniel Calder was able to get to the QB and force a fumble. The South offense took full advantage as Louis Thomas took a 2 play drive for the score to make it 38-12. Not yet down and out, the North offense took to the field and despite tackles from Nathan Webb and Sculthorpe were able to score a 28 yard rushing TD to make the final score South 38-18 North.
Game 3 – Titans South 53-0 Chester Romans
Game 3 saw the second game of the season against 2016’s division champions the Chester Romans. Coming off the back of a shutout victory in tournament 1 the Titans defense picked right up were they left off with another shutout display.
The offense started and Louis Thomas showed why, despite it being his first tournament, the coaches are predicting a big future with another 35 yard length of the field touchdown.
Chester started with an air attack, which the Titans were able to shut down with Sculthorpe making the tackles. It took the Titans just 3 plays to extend their lead with Alex Lakinson taking all three carriers for 10, 18 and then 7 yards for the TD.
Back on Offense Chester again tried to pass on 1st and 2nd downs, runs on 3rd and 4th were shut down by Partington and Xander Jacques to turn the ball over and this time it was George Harvey carrying the ball for the Titans before Gordon found Sam Van Den Branden in the end zone from 3 yards out.
The Titans D then got their third pick 6 of the day to a third different player, tackles by Webb and Le Flohic forced the 3rd down pass and Lenny Izzard picked the ball off and ran it into the endzone. The 2PAT was run in by Ben McDonald for a 26-0 half time lead.
Into the second half and the defence carried on dominating, Green and Jacques made tackles before a strip sack and fumble recovery from Ellie Partington turned the ball over, just three plays later Gordon found Tudor again for the TD.
Then came back to back defensive touchdowns, tackles from Webb and Tomlin held Chester for no gain and a 4th down hail mary was picked off by Ryan Weaver and ran home, Gordon finding Gabbitas for the XP. Just two plays later Weaver did it again for his 3rd pick 6 of the day and this time Gordon found Gracie-Ainsclough for the XP and a 47-0 lead.
Chester had one final drive closed down by the efforts of linebackers Le Flohic, Calder and Tomlin before Gordon and Gracie-Ainscough combined one last time to give a final score of Titans 53-0 Chester.
The Titans South move to 5-0-1 on the season and sit top of the Northern Division at the half way stage in the season. Two more tournaments in June and July will show us if they can clinch the divisional title and a place at the National Finals.