Gateshead Senators 12 Yorkshire Rams 32
The Yorkshire Rams made it two wins from two this season with a 32-12 success away to the Gateshead Senators.
The north-east side twice went ahead with early touchdowns but failed with two-point conversions on each occasion, meaning converted scores from Daunté Wint-Angus and Spencer Whybrow gave the Rams a narrow lead which was added to just before half time with a Tyler Broad pick-six.
Running back Alex Hughes added another and offensive MVP Taylor Umland threw his second touchdown pass of the day to Andrew Cheeseman to finish the job.
The Tynesiders’ unusual offensive formation caused problems for the Rams in the early stages and a 33-yard running touchdown put them ahead on the first drive of the match, though a committed gang tackle prevented the two-point conversion.
Following an exchange of punts, a 24-yard burst by Wint-Angus and three useful scrambles by quarterback Taylor Umland helped the Rams build a 16-play drive which ended when Umland brilliantly bought time and space in the pocket, allowing the wily Whybrow to get free in the back of the end zone. Charlie Vincent’s extra point made it 7-6.
A long run to end the first quarter set the Senators up to score early in the second – the Rams’ D again regrouping to prevent the conversion – but this time the reply was immediate.
A short kick-off dropped to the powerful Hughes, who advanced it around 10 yards to secure good field position. A long completion to Cheeseman took us into the red zone and Umland recovered a low snap before pitching to Wint-Angus to run it in, Vincent again adding the extras.
The end of the first half was scrappy, with interceptions on both sides, a Gateshead fumble and a failed Rams field goal attempt. It was rookie Broad who came up with the Rams’ pick, his second in as many games after stepping up to the senior side, and this time he took it to the house.
Vincent missed the extra point but, in his regular position at safety, made a vital tackle to preserve a 20-12 half-time lead.
That became 26-12 early in the second half as Hughes powered over from close range, the extra point this time blocked as Gateshead pushed the one-second rule to its limits in going through the centre of the line.
The second half became scrappy and low-scoring, marred by frequent penalties and with defences on top. Another Rams field goal was blocked and a diving Tom White was just unable to haul in Umland’s pass in the end zone – though the touchdown would have been negated by a penalty in any case.
The fourth quarter saws Ross Dixon ejected for a clash after the play was over and frustrations grew as a Gateshead player was ruled down before fumbling a ball which Broad recovered on the goal line.
The Rams kept their focus, though, and Umland hit Cheeseman for a late score, Chris Helme chasing to prevent a return score on Jonny Dudley’s blocked kick. A late interception – rookie Dillon Vollans’ tip falling to Vincent – rounded off a convincing win.
Offensive MVP: Taylor Umland
Defensive MVP: Charlie Gough
Rookie of the Day: Tyler Broad
Ram of the Day: Ross Dixon