where he is.
Epic Lateral Fail from the Staffordshire Stallions 36-0 win over Worcester Royals at the weekend.
Linebacker Moses Ogundeji plucked the ball from the air on a kickoff and preceded to run down the sideline evading numerous tackles before attempting a lateral to a non-existant team mate.
The ball was recovered by the Royals, who somehow fumbled the ball and it rolled out of play.
If you don’t laugh you’ll cry!
The BAFANL 2012 fixture list was announced yesterday, throwing up some tasty looking matches.
The current BritBowl Champions London Blitz, open their 2012 campaign away at the Ipswich Cardinals after the Farnham Knights announced their intention to sit out this season, with the intention of re-joining in 2013.
Vernon Kay and his London Warriors will meet the Blitz in a re-run of their BritBowl showdown in May, with the hosts looking for a better result than the 18-0 loss they suffered in September.
Only 50 days till the big kick-off, bring it on!
|15/04/2012||14:30||Doncaster Mustangs||East Kilbride Pirates|
|22/04/2012||14:30||Leicester Falcons||Yorkshire Rams|
|28/04/2012||16:00||Birmingham Bulls||East Kilbride Pirates|
|29/04/2012||15:00||Tamworth Phoenix||Doncaster Mustangs|
|06/05/2012||14:30||Birmingham Bulls||Yorkshire Rams|
|06/05/2012||15:00||Tamworth Phoenix||East Kilbride Pirates|
|13/05/2012||14:30||Birmingham Bulls||Leicester Falcons|
|13/05/2012||14:30||Yorkshire Rams||Tamworth Phoenix|
|20/05/2012||14:30||Doncaster Mustangs||Leicester Falcons|
|20/05/2012||16:00||East Kilbride Pirates||Tamworth Phoenix|
|27/05/2012||14:30||Doncaster Mustangs||Yorkshire Rams|
|02/06/2012||16:00||Yorkshire Rams||Birmingham Bulls|
|09/06/2012||14:30||Yorkshire Rams||East Kilbride Pirates|
|09/06/2012||14:30||Birmingham Bulls||Tamworth Phoenix|
|09/06/2012||16:00||Leicester Falcons||Doncaster Mustangs|
|17/06/2012||14:30||Doncaster Mustangs||Birmingham Bulls|
|17/06/2012||16:00||Leicester Falcons||Tamworth Phoenix|
|24/06/2012||12:00||East Kilbride Pirates||Leicester Falcons|
|24/06/2012||14:30||Yorkshire Rams||Doncaster Mustangs|
|24/06/2012||15:00||Tamworth Phoenix||Birmingham Bulls|
|08/07/2012||14:30||Tamworth Phoenix||Yorkshire Rams|
|08/07/2012||14:30||Birmingham Bulls||Doncaster Mustangs|
|08/07/2012||16:00||Leicester Falcons||East Kilbride Pirates|
|14/07/2012||15:00||Tamworth Phoenix||Leicester Falcons|
|14/07/2012||18:00||East Kilbride Pirates||Birmingham Bulls|
|22/07/2012||14:30||East Kilbride Pirates||Doncaster Mustangs|
|22/07/2012||14:30||Yorkshire Rams||Leicester Falcons|
|28/07/2012||16:00||Leicester Falcons||Birmingham Bulls|
|28/07/2012||17:00||East Kilbride Pirates||Yorkshire Rams|
|29/07/2012||14:30||Doncaster Mustangs||Tamworth Phoenix|
|15/04/2012||14:30||Bristol Aztecs||Ipswich Cardinals|
|15/04/2012||14:30||London Olympians||Farnham Knights|
|21/04/2012||12:00||Farnham Knights||London Olympians|
|22/04/2012||14:30||Ipswich Cardinals||London Warriors|
|29/04/2012||12:00||London Blitz||Farnham Knights|
|29/04/2012||14:30||London Olympians||Ipswich Cardinals|
|29/04/2012||15:00||London Warriors||Bristol Aztecs|
|05/05/2012||12:00||Farnham Knights||Bristol Aztecs|
|06/05/2012||14:30||London Olympians||London Warriors|
|13/05/2012||14:30||Ipswich Cardinals||London Blitz|
|13/05/2012||15:00||London Warriors||Farnham Knights|
|20/05/2012||15:00||London Blitz||London Warriors|
|27/05/2012||14:30||Bristol Aztecs||Farnham Knights|
|03/06/2012||14:30||London Warriors||London Olympians|
|03/06/2012||15:00||London Blitz||Ipswich Cardinals|
|09/06/2012||12:00||Farnham Knights||London Warriors|
|10/06/2012||15:00||Bristol Aztecs||London Blitz|
|17/06/2012||14:30||Ipswich Cardinals||Bristol Aztecs|
|17/06/2012||14:30||London Olympians||London Blitz|
|24/06/2012||15:00||London Warriors||Ipswich Cardinals|
|24/06/2012||15:00||London Blitz||Bristol Aztecs|
|07/07/2012||14:30||London Blitz||London Olympians|
|08/07/2012||14:30||Bristol Aztecs||London Warriors|
|15/07/2012||14:30||Bristol Aztecs||London Olympians|
|15/07/2012||14:30||Farnham Knights||Ipswich Cardinals|
|15/07/2012||15:00||London Warriors||London Blitz|
|21/07/2012||17:00||Ipswich Cardinals||Farnham Knights|
|22/07/2012||14:30||London Olympians||Bristol Aztecs|
|29/07/2012||14:30||Farnham Knights||London Blitz|
|29/07/2012||14:30||Ipswich Cardinals||London Olympians|
|15/04/2012||14:30||Cambridgeshire Cats||Sussex Thunder|
|15/04/2012||15:00||Hampshire Thrashers||Kent Exiles|
|21/04/2012||15:00||Hampshire Thrashers||Berkshire Renegades|
|22/04/2012||14:30||East Kent Mavericks||Kent Exiles|
|28/04/2012||14:30||Berkshire Renegades||Cambridgeshire Cats|
|28/04/2012||18:00||South Wales Warriors||Hampshire Thrashers|
|29/04/2012||14:30||East Kent Mavericks||Sussex Thunder|
|06/05/2012||12:00||Kent Exiles||Essex Spartans|
|06/05/2012||14:30||Berkshire Renegades||South Wales Warriors|
|12/05/2012||14:30||Cambridgeshire Cats||East Kent Mavericks|
|13/05/2012||14:30||Essex Spartans||Hampshire Thrashers|
|20/05/2012||12:00||Kent Exiles||Cambridgeshire Cats|
|20/05/2012||14:30||Essex Spartans||Sussex Thunder|
|20/05/2012||14:30||East Kent Mavericks||Berkshire Renegades|
|26/05/2012||14:30||South Wales Warriors||Kent Exiles|
|27/05/2012||14:30||Sussex Thunder||East Kent Mavericks|
|27/05/2012||15:00||Hampshire Thrashers||Essex Spartans|
|02/06/2012||18:00||Sussex Thunder||South Wales Warriors|
|03/06/2012||12:00||Kent Exiles||Hampshire Thrashers|
|03/06/2012||14:30||Cambridgeshire Cats||Berkshire Renegades|
|10/06/2012||14:30||Sussex Thunder||Cambridgeshire Cats|
|10/06/2012||14:30||Kent Exiles||Berkshire Renegades|
|10/06/2012||14:30||Essex Spartans||East Kent Mavericks|
|10/06/2012||15:00||Hampshire Thrashers||South Wales Warriors|
|16/06/2012||14:30||South Wales Warriors||Essex Spartans|
|17/06/2012||12:00||Kent Exiles||Sussex Thunder|
|17/06/2012||14:30||East Kent Mavericks||Hampshire Thrashers|
|23/06/2012||14:30||Cambridgeshire Cats||South Wales Warriors|
|24/06/2012||14:30||Sussex Thunder||Berkshire Renegades|
|01/07/2012||14:30||Sussex Thunder||Hampshire Thrashers|
|07/07/2012||12:00||Berkshire Renegades||Essex Spartans|
|07/07/2012||15:00||South Wales Warriors||East Kent Mavericks|
|07/07/2012||15:00||Hampshire Thrashers||Cambridgeshire Cats|
|08/07/2012||14:30||Essex Spartans||Kent Exiles|
|14/07/2012||15:00||East Kent Mavericks||South Wales Warriors|
|15/07/2012||12:00||Berkshire Renegades||Kent Exiles|
|22/07/2012||15:00||Cambridgeshire Cats||Essex Spartans|
|28/07/2012||18:00||South Wales Warriors||Sussex Thunder|
|29/07/2012||14:30||Berkshire Renegades||East Kent Mavericks|
|29/07/2012||14:30||Essex Spartans||Cambridgeshire Cats|
|15/04/2012||15:00||Nottingham Ceasars||Coventry Jets|
|15/04/2012||15:00||Gateshead Senators||Lancashire Wolverines|
|22/04/2012||13:00||Merseyside Nighthawks||Nottingham Ceasars|
|22/04/2012||15:00||Coventry Jets||West Coast Trojans|
|28/04/2012||14:30||Shropshire Revolution||Coventry Jets|
|29/04/2012||14:30||Nottingham Ceasars||Lancashire Wolverines|
|06/05/2012||13:00||Merseyside Nighthawks||Nottingham Ceasars|
|06/05/2012||15:00||Coventry Jets||Lancashire Wolverines|
|06/05/2012||15:00||Gateshead Senators||Shropshire Revolution|
|13/05/2012||13:00||Merseyside Nighthawks||Gateshead Senators|
|20/05/2012||14:30||Nottingham Ceasars||West Coast Trojans|
|20/05/2012||14:30||Shropshire Revolution||Merseyside Nighthawks|
|26/05/2012||15:00||Lancashire Wolverines||Shropshire Revolution|
|26/05/2012||15:00||Coventry Jets||Nottingham Ceasars|
|27/05/2012||14:30||West Coast Trojans||Gateshead Senators|
|02/06/2012||14:30||Gateshead Senators||Coventry Jets|
|03/06/2012||14:30||Nottingham Ceasars||Shropshire Revolution|
|10/06/2012||13:00||Merseyside Nighthawks||Lancashire Wolverines|
|10/06/2012||14:30||Shropshire Revolution||Nottingham Ceasars|
|10/06/2012||15:00||Gateshead Senators||West Coast Trojans|
|17/06/2012||14:30||West Coast Trojans||Merseyside Nighthawks|
|17/06/2012||14:30||Nottingham Ceasars||Gateshead Senators|
|17/06/2012||15:00||Lancashire Wolverines||Coventry Jets|
|24/06/2012||15:00||Coventry Jets||Merseyside Nighthawks|
|24/06/2012||15:00||Lancashire Wolverines||Gateshead Senators|
|24/06/2012||16:00||West Coast Trojans||Shropshire Revolution|
|07/07/2012||13:00||Merseyside Nighthawks||West Coast Trojans|
|08/07/2012||14:30||Shropshire Revolution||Lancashire Wolverines|
|15/07/2012||14:30||Gateshead Senators||Merseyside Nighthawks|
|15/07/2012||14:30||West Coast Trojans||Nottingham Ceasars|
|15/07/2012||15:00||Coventry Jets||Shropshire Revolution|
|21/07/2012||14:30||West Coast Trojans||Coventry Jets|
|22/07/2012||14:30||Shropshire Revolution||Gateshead Senators|
|22/07/2012||15:00||Lancashire Wolverines||Merseyside Nighthawks|
|29/07/2012||14:30||Lancashire Wolverines||West Coast Trojans|
|14/04/2012||14:30||Lincolnshire Bombers||D C Presidents|
|21/04/2012||14:30||Lincolnshire Bombers||Chester Romans|
|22/04/2012||14:30||Staffordshire Surge||Crewe Railroaders|
|29/04/2012||14:30||Crewe Railroaders||Lincolnshire Bombers|
|29/04/2012||16:00||Chester Romans||D C Presidents|
|05/05/2012||15:00||Manchester Titans||Crewe Railroaders|
|06/05/2012||14:30||Staffordshire Surge||Sheffield Predators|
|12/05/2012||14:30||Lincolnshire Bombers||Crewe Railroaders|
|13/05/2012||14:30||Sheffield Predators||Staffordshire Surge|
|19/05/2012||12:00||Chester Romans||Crewe Railroaders|
|20/05/2012||14:30||Sheffield Predators||Lincolnshire Bombers|
|20/05/2012||14:30||D C Presidents||Manchester Titans|
|26/05/2012||14:30||Crewe Railroaders||Manchester Titans|
|27/05/2012||14:30||Chester Romans||Lincolnshire Bombers|
|27/05/2012||14:30||D C Presidents||Staffordshire Surge|
|02/06/2012||14:30||Sheffield Predators||Manchester Titans|
|03/06/2012||14:30||Crewe Railroaders||Chester Romans|
|09/06/2012||16:00||D C Presidents||Crewe Railroaders|
|10/06/2012||14:30||Lincolnshire Bombers||Sheffield Predators|
|16/06/2012||14:30||Staffordshire Surge||Chester Romans|
|16/06/2012||16:00||D C Presidents||Sheffield Predators|
|17/06/2012||14:30||Lincolnshire Bombers||Manchester Titans|
|23/06/2012||14:30||Manchester Titans||Chester Romans|
|24/06/2012||14:30||Staffordshire Surge||Lincolnshire Bombers|
|24/06/2012||14:30||Sheffield Predators||D C Presidents|
|07/07/2012||15:00||Manchester Titans||Staffordshire Surge|
|08/07/2012||14:30||Chester Romans||D C Presidents|
|15/07/2012||14:30||Sheffield Predators||Chester Romans|
|15/07/2012||14:30||Staffordshire Surge||Manchester Titans|
|22/07/2012||14:30||Crewe Railroaders||Staffordshire Surge|
|22/07/2012||14:30||D C Presidents||Lincolnshire Bombers|
|22/07/2012||15:00||Manchester Titans||Sheffield Predators|
|29/07/2012||14:30||Crewe Railroaders||Sheffield Predators|
|29/07/2012||14:30||Chester Romans||Staffordshire Surge|
|29/07/2012||15:00||Manchester Titans||D C Presidents|
|14/04/2012||12:00||Bedfordshire Blue Raiders||Peterborough Saxons|
|14/04/2012||14:30||Milton Keynes Pathfinders||Colchester Gladiators|
|15/04/2012||14:30||Maidstone Pumas||Watford Cheetahs|
|21/04/2012||15:00||Watford Cheetahs||Colchester Gladiators|
|22/04/2012||14:30||Maidstone Pumas||Milton Keynes Pathfinders|
|06/05/2012||12:00||Bedfordshire Blue Raiders||Watford Cheetahs|
|06/05/2012||14:30||Maidstone Pumas||Colchester Gladiators|
|06/05/2012||14:30||Peterborough Saxons||Milton Keynes Pathfinders|
|13/05/2012||14:30||Milton Keynes Pathfinders||Peterborough Saxons|
|13/05/2012||14:30||Maidstone Pumas||Bedfordshire Blue Raiders|
|20/05/2012||14:30||Colchester Gladiators||Bedfordshire Blue Raiders|
|26/05/2012||14:30||Colchester Gladiators||Maidstone Pumas|
|27/05/2012||14:30||Milton Keynes Pathfinders||Watford Cheetahs|
|02/06/2012||12:00||Bedfordshire Blue Raiders||Maidstone Pumas|
|03/06/2012||14:30||Watford Cheetahs||Peterborough Saxons|
|10/06/2012||14:30||Colchester Gladiators||Milton Keynes Pathfinders|
|16/06/2012||14:30||Peterborough Saxons||Bedfordshire Blue Raiders|
|23/06/2012||14:30||Milton Keynes Pathfinders||Maidstone Pumas|
|23/06/2012||14:30||Peterborough Saxons||Watford Cheetahs|
|24/06/2012||12:00||Bedfordshire Blue Raiders||Colchester Gladiators|
|07/07/2012||14:30||Peterborough Saxons||Colchester Gladiators|
|07/07/2012||16:00||Watford Cheetahs||Milton Keynes Pathfinders|
|14/07/2012||12:00||Bedfordshire Blue Raiders||Milton Keynes Pathfinders|
|15/07/2012||14:30||Colchester Gladiators||Peterborough Saxons|
|15/07/2012||14:30||Watford Cheetahs||Maidstone Pumas|
|21/07/2012||14:30||Colchester Gladiators||Watford Cheetahs|
|21/07/2012||14:30||Milton Keynes Pathfinders||Bedfordshire Blue Raiders|
|22/07/2012||14:30||Maidstone Pumas||Peterborough Saxons|
|28/07/2012||14:30||Peterborough Saxons||Maidstone Pumas|
|29/07/2012||14:30||Watford Cheetahs||Bedfordshire Blue Raiders|
|15/04/2012||14:30||Dundee Hurricanes||Carlisle Border Reivers|
|15/04/2012||15:30||Glasgow Tigers||Clyde Valley Blackhawks|
|22/04/2012||14:30||Carlisle Border Reivers||Clyde Valley Blackhawks|
|28/04/2012||14:30||Dundee Hurricanes||Highland Wildcats|
|29/04/2012||14:30||Edinburgh Wolves||Carlisle Border Reivers|
|29/04/2012||14:30||Clyde Valley Blackhawks||Glasgow Tigers|
|06/05/2012||14:30||Clyde Valley Blackhawks||Highland Wildcats|
|06/05/2012||14:30||Glasgow Tigers||Edinburgh Wolves|
|13/05/2012||14:30||Carlisle Border Reivers||Dundee Hurricanes|
|13/05/2012||14:30||Highland Wildcats||Edinburgh Wolves|
|20/05/2012||14:30||Highland Wildcats||Clyde Valley Blackhawks|
|20/05/2012||14:30||Carlisle Border Reivers||Glasgow Tigers|
|26/05/2012||14:30||Edinburgh Wolves||Dundee Hurricanes|
|27/05/2012||14:30||Glasgow Tigers||Highland Wildcats|
|03/06/2012||14:30||Clyde Valley Blackhawks||Dundee Hurricanes|
|03/06/2012||14:30||Edinburgh Wolves||Glasgow Tigers|
|10/06/2012||14:30||Highland Wildcats||Carlisle Border Reivers|
|10/06/2012||14:30||Dundee Hurricanes||Clyde Valley Blackhawks|
|16/06/2012||14:30||Clyde Valley Blackhawks||Edinburgh Wolves|
|17/06/2012||14:30||Carlisle Border Reivers||Highland Wildcats|
|17/06/2012||15:00||Glasgow Tigers||Dundee Hurricanes|
|24/06/2012||14:30||Clyde Valley Blackhawks||Carlisle Border Reivers|
|08/07/2012||14:30||Dundee Hurricanes||Edinburgh Wolves|
|08/07/2012||14:30||Glasgow Tigers||Carlisle Border Reivers|
|14/07/2012||14:30||Edinburgh Wolves||Clyde Valley Blackhawks|
|15/07/2012||14:30||Highland Wildcats||Dundee Hurricanes|
|21/07/2012||14:30||Dundee Hurricanes||Glasgow Tigers|
|22/07/2012||14:30||Edinburgh Wolves||Highland Wildcats|
|29/07/2012||14:30||Carlisle Border Reivers||Edinburgh Wolves|
|29/07/2012||14:30||Highland Wildcats||Glasgow Tigers|
|14/04/2012||14:30||Gloucester Centurions||Bristol Apache|
|21/04/2012||14:30||Bournemouth Bobcats||Cornish Sharks|
|28/04/2012||14:30||Bournemouth Bobcats||Gloucester Centurions|
|05/05/2012||14:30||Bristol Apache||Oxford Saints|
|05/05/2012||14:30||Cornish Sharks||Gloucester Centurions|
|12/05/2012||14:30||Gloucester Centurions||Cornish Sharks|
|19/05/2012||14:30||Bristol Apache||Bournemouth Bobcats|
|20/05/2012||14:30||Oxford Saints||Gloucester Centurions|
|26/05/2012||14:30||Cornish Sharks||Bournemouth Bobcats|
|27/05/2012||14:30||Oxford Saints||Bristol Apache|
|02/06/2012||14:30||Bristol Apache||Gloucester Centurions|
|03/06/2012||14:30||Oxford Saints||Cornish Sharks|
|09/06/2012||14:30||Bristol Apache||Cornish Sharks|
|17/06/2012||14:30||Bournemouth Bobcats||Oxford Saints|
|23/06/2012||14:30||Cornish Sharks||Gloucester Centurions|
|24/06/2012||14:30||Oxford Saints||Bournemouth Bobcats|
|30/06/2012||14:30||Cornish Sharks||Bristol Apache|
|07/07/2012||14:30||Bournemouth Bobcats||Bristol Apache|
|07/07/2012||14:30||Oxford Saints||Cornish Sharks|
|14/07/2012||14:30||Bristol Apache||Oxford Saints|
|15/07/2012||14:30||Gloucester Centurions||Bournemouth Bobcats|
|21/07/2012||14:30||Cornish Sharks||Bournemouth Bobcats|
|22/07/2012||14:30||Gloucester Centurions||Oxford Saints|
|28/07/2012||14:30||Bournemouth Bobcats||Oxford Saints|
|28/07/2012||14:30||Gloucester Centurions||Bristol Apache|
Loughborough Aces may have been beaten for the first time at the weekend but Head Coach Paul Sherratt isn’t panicking just yet, preferring to concentrate on next week’s crucial encounter with Nottingham Trent Renegades.
“We have NTU this Saturday, our homecoming game, kicking off at 1pm. Lots of our old boys are coming back to watch the game and for a social afterwards. We’ll focus on getting better at practice and putting in a whole four quarter performance. We’re not looking past that at the moment, NTU are a good team who always give us problems”.
Reflecting on Saturday’s first half collapse against a talented Birmingham Lions unit, Sherratt drew comparisons to their Buafl Championship game in 2010.
“I was disappointed with the opening quarter offensively; we missed a lot of blocks which put our quarterback under a lot of pressure”.
He continued, “Defence played well but when you play man coverage and try to bring a bit of pressure there’s always the chance of the other team completing the big pass and all credit to Birmingham, they did. It was a copycat of the 2010 final in many ways, we almost need to get a half out of the way before we start playing”.
Fortunately for the Aces the second half was much improved as they protected their quarterback much better, got running back Adam Hope into the game and shut Birmingham out.
“Second half I was really proud of the team and how they responded to being behind. There were a lot of great individual performances and a lot of guys played hurt which showed their toughness”.
Sherratt’s assessment of Birmingham was a gracious one considering the Lions have seriously dented the Aces play-off hopes, especially if the Northampton Nemesis continue their remarkable run and he also had time to wish defensive end Kyle Burrows all the best after he picked up a nasty looking knee injury.
“They’re good but we knew that. Their defensive line was strong which caused us some problems and they have speed behind them so that makes it tough offensively”.
“I think we showed we can compete with them and a couple of yards on a few plays here and there and who knows? They played well, deserved to win and best of luck to them. I would also like to wish Kyle Burrows a speedy recovery”.
FightForTheYard would like to thank Paul Sherratt for his time and willingness to conduct this interview
Before I get to the nitty-gritty of what actually happened, I’ll set the scene. Pulling up at the University complex, the rain is lashing down on the windscreen of my little Nissan Micra, which had performed miracles just staying on the rain swept motorways, I look out and I think to myself, ‘Was this really worth it?’
Hat. Scarf. Gloves on, I make my way to the pitch side with notebook and pen in hand and what I was about to witness, was in fact, worth the effort.
Loughborough started proceedings, after both sides had done their hardest to psyche each other out in the huddles, with Birmingham returning the ball to the Aces 40 yard line after a late hit was flagged.
Two pounding runs up the middle from GB running back Dan Conroy and then a pass to the flat put the Lions in a fairly strong position but after quarterback Jonny Glover rolled to his right on fourth down, he could not connect to wide receiver TeeJay Dar-Orunega, who should have done better.
Loughborough Aces quarterback Nick Jacquet entered the field knowing he would need a big day if the Aces offense were to prevail against a talented Lions defence but it could not have got off to a worse start, with only his second snap, a double effort from Sam Marshall and Denzil Byron brought Jacquet to his kness in the end zone to concede a safety and give Birmingham a very early lead. [ 2 VS 0 ]
The next Birmingham possession also brought points with Glover completing a throw to wide receiver Ben Brown, who had an excellent game, resulting in a touchdown and [ 8 VS 0 ] lead after the field goal attempt was blocked.
Jacquet took to the field for the second time and was hopeful of recouping some confidence and making yards on the Birmingham defence. Former league MVP Adam Hope was given his chance but was gang tackled, making just two yards.
With second and eight remaining, Jacquet was like a rabbit caught in the headlights of the Birmingham express, as he was once again sacked giving Loughborough no choice but to punt the ball away.
The rest of the quarter was played out with errors on both sides of the ball. Glover and Julian Morgan collided after the snap and fumbled but were able to retrieve the bouncing ball; while Loughborough quarterback Nick Jacquet was once again sacked after a fake handoff to Hope failed to distract the oncoming pass rush.
This meant Loughborough were left with no option but to punt the ball away, yet a lack of discipline by the Lions special team gave the Aces the ball back after a flag for roughing the kicker.
The Aces resumed the game in similar fashion to the way they began it with slot receiver Ben Burslem grinding to a halt after a big hit by defender Greg Pearson and then the inevitable sack on Jacquet came with the offensive line offering little protection resulting in a punt.
The next Lions possession saw them march on Loughborough with Glover being given the time of the day to pick a pass and he duly obliged, completing to wide receiver Drew Newiss for a 60 yard gain before being brought down by Aces linebacker Jean-Paul Jones.
Running back Dan Conroy then thought he had scored a mesmerising 20 yard run for it to be called back for illegal motion in the Birmingham backfield. The disappointment didn’t last long on the Lions sideline as two plays later Glover threw his second touchdown of the day, this time to Drew Newiss. The resulting field goal was fired wide left leaving Birmingham ahead by fourteen points. [ 14 VS 0 ]
The Loughborough offence skipped on to the pitch trying to motivate each other and instil some extra belief into what they were trying to do.
Quarterback Jacquet must by now have been thinking ‘what do I have to do to avoid falling on my ass?’… he was kept wondering after being brought to the ground once again as stand-out performer Sam Marshall lay on top of him.
Fortunately for the Aces, Jacquet was able to brush himself down and complete a well thrown pass to receiver John Mathewson who galloped forward to reach the first down marker.
After finally finding some rhythm, Jacquet managed to wriggle free of the Birmingham defensive line and scamper away for a 12 yard gain.
At last it looked like the Loughborough offence that had been so prominent in previous games had arrived, but it was a false dawn as just like that Sam Marshall pounced on a tip ball and sprinted 75 yards for a Birmingham defensive touchdown while the Loughborough sideline watched on in horror. [ 21 VS 0 ]
The half ended with Jacquet throwing an interception into the Birmingham end zone and defensive back AJay Crabbe coming away with the ball.
After the break Jacquet and the Loughborough Aces sprung out of the trap, surely knowing that if they were to avoid an embarrassing score line, they would need to step up their game and take it to Birmingham.
After connecting with slot receiver Chris Ossom, Jacquet scrambled to the left and was taken out by Great Britain defensive end Kyle Burrows who would injure his ankle on the play and be unable to continue.
Ben Burslem completed a big run for a first down before Loughborough would finally get on the scoreboard with a well thrown ball to Chris Ossom. The extra point was fumbled after the snap so the score remained [ 21 VS 6 ] to the Lions.
The Lions were aware that the tide was turning so they handed off to the reliable Dan Conroy but even he was thrown to the floor by the physically impressive linebacker, Jon Varney. Could the Aces actually come back from this?
Quarterback Sope Dirisu was now under centre for the Lions and began with a confident pass to Ben Brown but ultimately the drive would stall and Birmingham was forced to punt.
Adam Hope had so far been used as a battering ram for the Aces but was given a chance to shine, receiving the ball on three consecutive plays making almost 40 yards in the process. This new found faith in Hope resulted in Loughborough reaching the Birmingham 20 yard line only for a fumbled pass to ruin all their hard work and leave Birmingham gasping with a sigh of relief.
The Lions had a chance to close out the quarter on top but a fumbled snap gave Loughborough possession back immediately as the referee signalled for time.
A rejuvenated Aces offense carried on the feel good factor with Jacquet throwing to Ossom and Hope dancing through missed tackles as smiles turned to frowns amongst the Lions ranks.
After a series of penalties on both sides of the ball, Nick Jacquet rolled to the right looping the ball to running back Hope, who tip toed down the sideline and dived for the pylon. The call was good and Loughborough were serious contenders again. [21 VS 13]
Knowing that time was against them and a team in front of them capable of running down the clock, Head Coach Paul Sherratt decided to go for the onside kick, a brave decision that would prove unsuccessful as Birmingham gathered the ball.
Both sides were misfiring under the pressure and traded punts before Sope Dirisu threw to Drew Newiss to enter Loughborough territory leaving Aces fans fearing the worse.
After a misplaced throw and sack by Dirisu the pressure was on to convert third and long and he thought he had done when the Lions executed a screen play for Dan Conroy perfectly before it was brought back for a hold.
Loughborough had 2min 52 seconds left on the clock and would have to go the full length of the pitch if they were to force overtime, at the very least but a sack by Game MVP Josh Vine, ended all hopes and they conceded the game with about a minute remaining.
Birmingham showed today why they were runner-ups last season and why they are red hot favourites to make a finals appearance once again. They exploited the weaknesses on the Loughborough offence and executed some well drawn out plays.
Loughborough were in danger of being blown out of the water in the first half but they deserve huge credit for having the desire and ability to get back in to the game.
*FightForTheYard would like to thank Sope Dirisu for the interview and Michael Gill for standing in the cold with him.*
FightForTheYard has secured the thoughts of Birmingham Lions star quarterback Sope Dirisu on the eve of the first Football America UK Bowl.
The clash between the Birmingham Lions and Loughborough Aces is itself worthy of a Championship game but on Saturday 19th February, the winner of this conference brawl will be in pole position and favourites for an assault at national glory.
One of the men hoping to be on the winning team is veteran quarterback and team president Sope Dirisu.
Dirisu has been left frustrated by the postponement of recent games but is excited to finally be playing again, “I’m really psyched and looking forward to the Loughborough game. Having had two of our games in the run up to this one called off, the whole team is just raring to go, eager for a game and wanting to properly get back to football”.
Playing at the quarterback position, the spotlight is always going to be on you and some players either rise or crumble under the pressure, Dirisu thankfully has another quarterback who can carry some of that burden and expectation, Jonny Glover.
Glover sounds like he should be in an American television show like ‘Friday Night Lights’ but Dirisu is adamant that he has no qualms about the rotation system currently in use in Birmingham.
“We have a motto at the Lions which is ‘Always Compete’ and I guess we’ve been competing with each other since preseason. It provides great competition between the two of us and I think we play better when we know the other is nipping at our heels and if it makes us better, it makes the team better”.
“The competition doesn’t hinder our friendship at all, Jonny’s a great guy. With this being my last year with the Lions, I know the team is in great hands with Jonny and our new Rookie Alex ‘Flacco’ Wake-Warlow under centre”.
Without beating around the bush, the two teams on show today are the ‘crème de la crème’ of the Midland Athletic Conference and it promises to be a tight, physical encounter.
“Loughborough are clearly one of our greater rivals in the BUAFL and I’ve never played a mediocre or lacklustre game against them and I’m sure that this will be no different. They’re a great side with some talented ‘ballers’ and always provide a stiff competition”.
Dirisu is respectful of the competition but ultimately expects his troops to get the job done, “Without being biased and having looked at the way my guys have trained I see plenty of desire and their attitude towards preparing for the game has been great. I know we’ll be more than a match for the Aces”.
Whatever the outcome, it is set up to be one hell of a game.
FightForTheYard will be delivering a full match report in due course.