Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Coventry University Jets 10 Leicester Longhorns 15 (Match Report)

#26 Alex Clarke led the Jets
in tackles
The Coventry University Jets suffered a heart breaking 15-10 defeat away to the Leicester Longhorns and end the first half of the season winless. A fumbled punt inside the games final two minutes gave the hosts a chance to steal victory late on and Alex McCormick duly obliged with a 13 yard touchdown run to earn the spoils for his side. Coventry did have one final chance to win it but as the weather continued to deteriorate Josh Randall was unfortunate to throw an interception on the games final play.

Coventry opened the game with a mistake, fumbling the opening kick-off and handing Leicester excellent field position. The Longhorns couldn't capitalise though as a couple of penalties and a Matt Ball sack forced them backwards. The Jets made decent progress on the ground behind Frasier Oliver and Mufaro Dune but their drive stalled shy of the halfway line. Leicester broke the deadlock on their following drive as Stuart Rawlings broke free on the left and scampered for a 59 yard touchdown run. A botched snap on the point after try prevented the Longhorns from extending their 6-0 lead.

Dune once again caused problems for the opposing defence, churning up yards with his power running style. However, a penalty and a sack on ensuing plays saw Josh Hughes punt on fourth down, pinning the Longhorns inside their own five yard line to start the 2nd quarter. Coventry had a slice of good fortune late in the period as Leicester's punter couldn't handle the snap, gifting the Jets possession inside the Longhorns' half. Rookie running back Seton Hunvey stepped into the backfield for the visitors and ripped off 41 yards on three carries including an eight yard touchdown run for the Jets' first points of the season. Hughes added the extra point to put Coventry 7-6 up late in the half.

#33 Mufaro Dune impressed with his hard running style
as well as his lead blocking
Hughes was immediately called into action on the following kick-off as Head Coach Adam Biggs attempted to catch the opposition napping with an onside kick. The decision almost paid dividends as the kick was muffed before the Longhorns eventually wrangled control of the football. Leicester found themselves with good field position but failed to convert on third down. A roughing the passer penalty offered them a reprieve however and put them in position for a Andy Wainscot 27 yard field goal and a 9-7 half-time lead.

Coventry didn't trail for long though as Hunvey, Dune and Ricky Livingstone carried them into field goal range. Hughes converted from 27 yards as the Jets regained their advantage on their first possession of the second half. It remained 10-9 to the Jets until the final two minutes of the game, when, in the midst of a torrential downpour, disaster struck. With Hughes on to punt he was unable to grasp a wet and dirty football. The Longhorns recovered the ball after a scramble and advanced it into Coventry's redzone. Two plays later McCormick sprang off the left end and fought his way into the endzone. Just like their first point after attempt, Leicester were unable to convert as the conditions wreaked havoc. Trailing 15-10 the Jets had little choice other than to look to the skies. Randall found Noach Ben Haim for a twelve yard gain as Coventry entered their two-minute drill. However, they couldn't repeat the trick and an interception marked the end of the game as well as dashing the Jets hope of a victory.

Coach Biggs remained upbeat, focusing on the positives "we've moved the ball well today and have our offence on track now. The defence played well again and aside from a few mistakes we put together our best performance of the season. The weather's played a large part in the result but we're not going to use that as an excuse. We had chances to win the game but didn't take them. We have plenty to build on and will look to come back a better team in February." The Jets now enter their winter break and will prepare themselves for the Varsity Match against the Warwick Wolves on the 5th of February.

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