Rams Bow Out on a High
The Yorkshire Rams rounded off their 2014 campaign with a 25-0 shutout victory over the Nottingham Caesars to finish with a 5-4 record. After torrential rain in the lead up to kickoff, there were some doubts as to whether the game would take place at all, however, the pitch held up and the game was able to kickoff on time. Possibly due to the earlier uncertainty, both teams started tentatively, not managing to effectively move the ball early on.
Late in the first quarter Yorkshire were able to get their first momentum shift when Defensive Back Jonny Dudley rose to pick off a looping Caesars pass down the sideline to give Yorkshire some great field position just before the start of the 2nd quarter. Although they were unable to score on the ensuing drive, the Rams were able to pin their opponents deep in their own territory. After a risky fake punt on 4th down that went awry, Yorkshire had the ball in the red zone and were knocking on the door. They soon blasted their way into the endzone behind the powerful rushing of Running Back Alex Hughes. Although the PAT was missed, the Rams had a 6-0 lead.
Later on in the quarter, following Rams rookie QB Chris Wood making his first competitive completion to Reciever Matt Ward-Stead, both teams traded fumbles. Picking up the ball again the Rams would once more make their way towards the endzone with their run-heavy offence. Finding themselves on the Caesars one yard a line, a fumble by Full Back Tim Mullinar looked to have have cut the drive short. However, veteren Offensive Lineman Adam Lilley reacted first, pouncing on the loose ball for his first ever score in his 10th season. The Resulting PAT was slotted through by Dudley, to put the half time score at 13-0.
The second half would see the Rams spending much of their time pressurising the Caesars resolve, although it wouldn’t be until the staunch Rams defence forced another Nottingham punt that they would get in the end zone again. This time it would be Running Back Elliot Jackson, who stepped in for returning duties and found the edge, behind a herd of Rams blockers. After avoiding a number of would be tacklers, Jackson found his way to paydirt for a 19-0 lead. Later in the quarter, defensive back Chris Lawton got another interception to add to his impressive haul for 2014, taking him to 12 for the year.
Yorkshire would score once more, this time in the 4th quarter, and again it would be the result of a long punt return. Although this time Jackson was stopped on the 3, Running Back Adim Irozuru swept round the edge to tack on another 6 and take the score to 25-0. After the Caesars made one more attempt to salvage pride late on, and the drive broke down, the game was called inside the final minute as a lightning storm hit the area.
The win means that the Rams finish with a 5-4 record, but will just miss out on post-season play as other results on the day went against them. Yorkshire will take pride from a winning record however, and will look to come back in 2015 firing as they make another assault on the Premiership North.