West Coast Trojans 0 Yorkshire Rams 52
The Rams kept their play-off destiny in their own hands with a convincing 52-0 win over an under-manned West Coast Trojans side at Irvine Meadow.
There were two touchdowns apiece for Elliott Jackson, Chris Winrow and Ram of the Day Alex Hughes, with Keimar Stuart and Christian Davies also finding the end zone. Winrow’s second score, above, wrapped up the previously elusive “50-burger”.
And with the Manchester Titans beating the Newcastle Vikings 50-14 at the same time, it means this coming Sunday’s Vikings-Rams match-up on Tyneside is effectively a wild card play-off game. The winners will join the Titans in the post-season, while in the unlikely event of a tie it will be the Rams who progress.
After the six-hour journey north, the Rams’ offence wasted little time getting on the scoreboard as Dan Haywood, starting at quarterback in place of Taylor Umland as coaches David Pawson and Nathan Deeley rotated their squad, led a smart drive capped off by a short pass to Winrow.
Tyler Broad‘s interception set up a short field and Jackson took advantage with a running score, and as the Rams defence also proved dominant Broad soon produced a repeat performance – Davies this time was the man to take advantage.
The day brought a first sack for Sam Clutterbrook, with the likes of JP Walton and even receiver Mohammed Arfan also active on defence.
Hughes, right, also racked up his personal tackle count in his new position of linebacker and also reverted to his running-back roots to punch in the fourth touchdown. The ensuing two-point conversion provided an opportunity for Lil Bush to add to her historic score against Doncaster recently, this time floating a perfect ball to Hughes by the pylon.
Last season’s visit to “The Medda” produced one of the highlights of the Rams’ season – Charlie Vincent’s ‘discus throw’ on a fake punt – and this time around it was Stuart‘s turn to improvise a pass which found Winrow, keeping the alive a drive which ended with Stuart himself crossing the whitewash to make it 32-0 at half-time.
The second half was a quieter affair, with the running clock in operation after a Jackson touchdown run which will be sold short by the official measure of around 80 yards – he must have covered closer to 140 as he bounced out to the left sideline before cutting all the way back across the field.
Hughes added another and, after a frustrated Broad was denied a punt-return score by a penalty flag against fellow defensive back Will Johnson, it was left to Umland – the American this time on fourth-quarter mop-up duty, along with a handful of defensive snaps – to find Winrow for the eighth score.
Offensive MVP: Elliott Jackson
Defensive MVP: Tyler Broad, right
Coaches’ choice: JP Walton
Ram of the Day: Alex Hughes
Video by Jayne Pawson; photographs by alexdanielphotos.co.uk