The Titans U17 South team hosted their home tournament on Saturday 18th June, the visiting teams of Chorley Buccaneers, Burnley Tornados and Chester Romans gave the Titans a chance to solidify their place at the top of the division.
Titans 35-8 Chorley Buccaneers
The first game between the two sides had ended in a single point win for the Titans who emerged victorious 14-13 in Tournament Two. With the Titans unbeaten and Chorley suffering just that one loss against the Big Blue Wrecking Crew is promised to be another close game.
The Titans started with the ball and looked to drive early with the running of George Harvey but a 2nd down fumble gave Chorley the ball in the Titans half. The Titans starting defence immediately went into shutdown mode, tackles from Ryan Weaver on 1st down, Frazer Green and Michael Tomlin on 2nd down, Sean Howe on 3rd down and a defended pass by Lenny Izzard on 4th down meant Chorley couldn’t move the ball.
The Offense took over, Harvey and the returning Tom Jones took two carries each and moved the ball down to the Chorley 8 yard line before Max Gracie-Ainscough ran home for the TD. QB James Gordon then found Jones for the XP.
Chorley were able to strike back, initially going nowhere on the ground they took to the air for a big gain, only a TD saving tackle from Izzard held them back, three plays later though they were able to punch it in on the ground. The XP was no good as good pressure meant the QB had to scramble and his throw was wayward giving the Titans a 7-6 lead.
Jones took the lead again and Sam Van Den Branden scrambles for the 1st down. Gordon found Harvey in the air for a big gain before Louis Thomas ran to paydirt for the score. Jones found Jack Gabbitas who was tackled just short on the XP.
Chorley went four and out, strong tackling from Weaver and Green stopped any run game and a bruising tackle by Sean Howe on a 3rd down pass, timed perfectly as the receiver caught the ball forced a long 4th down pass that Green batted down.
Despite running from Jones and Thomes the Titans came up just short, a 4th and goal pass from Gordon was batted down. The defence took back to the field and continued to dominate; in fact they would not concede another point. Weaver, Howe and Green all made tackles before Izzard batted down a 3rd down shot at the endzone and on 4th down good pressure on the QB meant the he had to throw the ball away on the last play of the first half with the Titans leading 13-6.
Chorley started with the ball and Frazer Green came up with the big play, a diving tackle on 1st down was followed by Howe swallowing up a sweep on 2nd down. On 3rd and long Green jumped a route and got the first turnover of the day for the Titans returning the ball to the Chorley 15. Gordon found Gracie-Ainscough for a big gain on 1st down before a short pass to Gabbitas who broke a tackle on his way into the endzone, Gordon and Gracie-Ainscough combined for the XP.
The defence took over and another no gain run on 1st down and Chorley passed on second down, excellent linebacker coverage meant a short dump pass to the Centre was the only option and a devastating tackle by Sean Howe jarred the ball loose and the Titans scooped it up for the TD. Gordon found Jones for the XP and the Titans lead had raced to 27-6.
On Chorley’s next drive Matt Crawley made a 1st down tackle before Tomlin batted down a pass. Pressure from Ellie Partington on third down meant the QB had to throw away and a 4th and long pass was picked off by Ryan Weaver for the Titans third takeaway in three second half drives.
It took three plays for the Titans offense to convert, running from Thomas and Van Den Branden moved the ball inside the 5 yard line where Gordon found Gracie Ainscough. Gordon found Will Shaughnessy for the extras to finish the scoring.
Chorley drove again, this time tackles from Crawley, Xander Jacques and Daniel Calder halted progression. The Titans O gave up a safety after a high snap making the score 35-8, one last Chorley drive was halted by 4 straight tackles from Matt Ellis to close the game out and give the Titans a huge win.
Titans 20-12 Burnley Tornados
The Titans moved on the Burnley and a battle of the two undefeated teams in the division after they had shared a 25-25 tie in the first game of the season.
Starting with the ball it took the Offense just four plays to register a score. George Harvey again led off at running back, making progress on 1st and 2nd down before Tom Jones took the ball over half way. The Max Gracie-Ainscough took over and went 25 yards to the dance. James Gordon found Jack Gabbitas on the XP who put an ankle breaker on the tackler to make it in for the XP and a 7-0 lead.
The Titans defence picked up where they left off, tackles from Tomlin, Izzard, Weaver and Partington stopping progress. The Titans took over, Tom Jones led off before Alex Lakinson carried the ball for a just short of a first down, a spilled pass on 4th down turned the ball over.
Howe, Green and Weaver looked to have stopped Burnley before a long 4th down run was dragged down by Izzard and Weaver, Burnley took 3 shots at the endzone before the Titans got their third interception of the day to turn the ball over.
The Titans extended their lead immediately as Jones did what seem normal to us now as he evaded multiple tackles to go 30 yards for the TD. The XP was batted down and the Titans led 13-0.
Weaver, Tomlin and Crawley combined for the stops on Burnley next drive and the Offence took over again, driving well progress was abruptly stopped after a the ball was stripped and it took just one play for Burnley to score with a half field run into the endzone. The XP shuttle pass was sniffed out by Howe and the Titans led 13-6 at half time.
Starting the second half the Titans D pinned Burnley back after successive tackles for losses by Tomlin and Weaver, on 3rd down the Titans looked to have a safety but Burnley were saved by an inadvertent whistle and the drive ended on downs two plays later.
The Tians offence made up for the missed points, two runs from Louis Thomas the second bulldozing though tackles from 35 yards away for the score. Gordon, impressive all day in the air found Gracie-Ainscough for the XP and a 20-6 lead.
Tackles from Howe and Tomlin again had Burnley pinned back, a fumble in their endzone was recovered and ran just outside and a 4th down pass was deflected by Izzard.
The Offense was stopped inches short of first down with Jones stretching for the line but just denied. Weaver, Crawley and Partington made tackles on the next Burnley drive but a strong 4th down run gave Burnley 1st down by inches. A trick play then picked up a TD, the ball was pitched to the RB who swept wide before finding the WR deep in the endzone. The 2PAT attempt was stopped by Green and The Titans led 20-12.
Jones on the ground and the Gordon passing to Jones moved the Titans to inside the Burnley 5 but with 3 attempts the Titans couldn’t punch the ball home. Burnley had one last drive to try and tie the game up, a 1st down pass was broken up by Weaver before a saving tackle on 2nd down by Izzard kept Burnley at bay, Green made the tackle on 3rd down but not before Burnley picked up the 1st down. Howe made another fantastic tackle on a 1st down pass, assisted by Izzard before Weaver picked off the Burnley QB on 2nd down, returning to halfway and icing the game.
The Titans 3rd game of the day was supposed to be against Chester who forfeit to the Titans due to a lack of players. This meant the Titans moved to 8-0-1 and remained the only unbeaten team in the North division ahead of their final tournament next Saturday.