Tamworth Phoenix 43 – 0 Yorkshire Rams
Written by Mark Gaze
The Rams travelled to top of the division Tamworth Phoenix, to face a side that were unbeaten and had only conceded 18 points in their previous 3 games.
The ‘Nix had the first drive of the game and were perfect on their execution as with only 4 plays they moved the ball 40+ yards and scored the first touchdown of the day. On the backfoot from the off, the Rams struggled to get anything going on offence and the teams traded punts for a few drives before Tamworth went on another long drive which was finished off with a long run through a lot of missed tackles by the Rams to give the home side a two score advantage.
The Rams started to move the ball a little better on the next drive but once again needed to punt. This time though the Phoenix would fumble the ball and the Rams would get another drive almost straight away. Peter Yianni stepping in at RB for the game (and would win Offensive MVP for his performance) moved the ball successfully on a couple of plays but the Rams would once again have to punt. Tamworth would block this one though and, with good field position, must have thought they would extend their lead even further but they would turnover the ball for the second drive running as James Hudson came up with the interception.
Yianni once again made some yards but as the second quarter began, the Rams were forced to punt again and a ‘Nix punt followed soon after. The Rams started deep in their own half and again resorting to punting, the Rams benefited from a roughing penalty on the home side and would get another set of downs. They couldn’t take advantage though and on third down a high snap was recovered by QB Mark Gaze with Tamworth defenders seeing a chance for an extra TD.
This time the punt was returned to just outside the endzone by the Phoenix returner and on the next play, they would finish the job with a pass to a Receiver sat on the floor. Nothing much would happen in the rest of the half, except for another punt from the Rams that was muffed by the returner that gave the Rams a long-awaited chance in the Phoenix half. The ball was picked off though but Tamworth couldn’t take advantage.
After half time the Phoenix pressure continued and they scored a passing touchdown into the corner of the endzone after a long run from a pass earlier in the drive. The lead would grow steadily throughout the second half as turnovers started to creep into the Rams’ play. An interception got the ‘Nix to the one yard line and it was run in for another TD.
Straight after that the ball was fumbled on a run play and the Tamworth defence ran the ball straight in and the game was effectively over as it petered with only a Safety added on for the home side as QB Dan Berry was adjudged (debatably) to have intentionally grounded the ball in the endzone.
The Rams will have plenty of work to do as they go on the road to face the Lancashire Wolverines on 14th June, having been defeated by that very team 50-0 at home.