|June 6, 2010||2:30 pm||BAFL II South East||2010|
47 - 2Full Time
On a stormy and drenched Sunday Essex Spartans smashed their local rivals Maidstone Pumas as they remained second in the Second Division East only to next week’s opponents London Olympians.
On a smaller pitch that ran 90 yards, seven touchdowns were scored as the away team recorded their best win of the season, back under the charges of head coach Cyrill Weems.
He would see his side start with the ball from the kick off and wasted no time in getting points on the board. Starting from roughly the halfway line Spartans just about got the first down at 4th and 1 before Craig “Turbo” Willis took over and, after getting to the 22, got the first touchdown of the game with a twenty two yard run.
In what would appear to be a familiar occurrence throughout the game, Pumas couldn’t get the first down. But on a rare occasion so did the Spartans but they did have the ball again after the Pumas quarterback’s passing game was not getting any yards.
The away side were more clinical with this possession as it took only three plays before the ball was in the end-zone. After two short rushing plays quarterback James Dawson to Jon Tottman for a 27 yard touchdown which was followed up by the extra point kicked over by Aaron Davidson.
At the start of the quarter Spartans lost the ball from a fumble but were soon able to get it back with an interception from John Palmer, running 14 yards, with the Pumas facing 3rd and 13.
The next two possessions were like the previous two but in short. Spartans could not get the first down sending the ball to the Pumas only for them to give it up on their first play thanks to Marc Saunders’s forced fumble and recovery. On the fourth play, however the ball was intercepted.
In what better way to end a tipsy-turvy half then with another twist as Spartans ended the half on a high with a big drive from Saunders running over 30 yards for a 1st and goal before crossing into the end-zone for a third touchdown of the match from a short range. It wouldn’t the last action of the half as Aaron Millar sacked the Pumas quarterback with half time ending 19-0.
The second half started as well as the first ended for the defense as they once again stopped the Pumas from getting a first down and took advantage of the punt with Ally Minto running a full 52 yards to return for the touchdown. Davidson got his second conversion for the extra point. The score was now better than when the two sides met at Hannikans two weeks ago.
The next two possessions came to nothing with Pumas still not getting ten yards but there was a good run from Wallace to eating up 18 yards but the offense couldn’t get the next down.
Pumas finally got a first down but only after some controversy as after the runner ran twenty yards and hit a black and gold wall but as the referee stopped play Minto ran clear with the ball in his hands. The referee must have felt the ball was dead and that Minto had gained the ball after the whistle as it would have stood with the ball not going down.
They couldn’t get another first down so the ball went back to the offense. After a five yard penalty from both sides Wallace run 6 yards before a first down was gained from Willis’ run to the 34 yard line gaining eight yards entering the fourth quarter.
It took a while for the offense to get going losing two yards after gaining them then being 3rd and 5 but another penalty got them the first down. Again Willis gained Spartans another first down with a brilliant 16 yard run to the 25 yard line. He was involved yet again catching Dawson’s pass and running to the 11 yard line. He then ran to the 9 before Willis yet again was involved running to the 6. A small penalty saw Spartans on 3rd down with three yards to go for another touchdown which was achieved by (56)’s charging run and made better by Davidson’s kick for the extra point.
The next series of play would be a very entertaining one but in some ways a mix of emotions from the away side. From the Pumas first play Lee Millar and Aaron Millar doubled up on the quarterback and sacked him forcing the fumble which Lee duly picked up and ran in to give his side a 39-0 lead. Going for the extra point Davidson’s kick was blocked and picked up by the opposition and run in for a return adding 2 points to the scoreboard and ruining the chances of another shut out against the Pumas.
From the disappointment Spartans gained two points for themselves from similar circumstances with Lee Millar and Ash Woods both bringing down the quarterback in his own end-zone for the extra safety points.
As the game approached it’s end the Spartans offense had their tails up as they looked to end the game in style. With five yards to go on the first play Dawson ran 12 yards to the 29 before, running back, Wallace gained 6 yards from his run and a first down coming from a five yard penalty against the defense. With just 11 yards shy it looked like the Spartans would get another score but they did it the hard way gaining two 5 yard penalties before finally going 4th and long but Dawson pulled off a brilliant pass that was well caught by receiver Tottman for his second touchdown. Again the extra point was no good.
The away side used up their time outs without the ball at the death in order of a chance to get at least 50 points from the game. A pass was intercepted in the last play before being brought back for a penalty with seconds left but the next attempt was also not enough to cap a superb performance by the Spartans.
After two defeats in their opening two games Essex Spartans have shown the new side they have become by winning three games in convincing fashion and hoping to give their next opponents, London Olympians, the last team to beat to taste victory over the Spartans, a run for their money in what should be a cracking game at Hannikans come next Sunday.