Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Birmingham Lions vs. NTU Renegades Game Report

In the cold windy weather battering the majority of the UK, the NTU Renegades led by Marcus Boswell, Danny Miller and co, headed to the University of Birmingham to take on the Birmingham Lions in a battle between two of the top three teams in the MAC.

Starting at their own 22, the Renegades came out firing as QB Danny Miller found Wide Receiver George Charlesworth for a long gain after a juggling catch. The Renegades drive came to a sudden end when on the third play of the series, a QB-RB exchange between Miller and Glasgow was fumbled. Maxwell Petitjean dived on the fumble to give the ball back to the Lions.

The Lions offence, as per, opened with a mix of powerful running from Dan Conroy and short passes from Tristan Varney. After being forced into a fourth down play, the Lions went for it and were stopped by the Renegades D. However, an offside penalty on the Renegades defence gave the Lions a new set of downs. NTU were forced to regret this penalty as Varney hit Will Hussey on a WR screen and Hussey followed his blockers all the way to the endzone. After a successful PAT, the Lions were up 7-0.

After a long kick return by Chariman Marcus ‘Patches’ Boswell, the NTU offence drove on the Lions D thanks to a facemask penalty, a roughing the kicker penalty, and a pass interference penalty. Once the flags stopped flying, the Renegades went for a field goal to try and get their first points on the game, but the ball sailed wide left.

The first quarter ended with the Lions in possession of the football and a seven point lead.

The first play of the second half was another Lions score as Conroy outraced the NTU D (and the cameraman) to find the endzone for a 70+ yards TD run. After another successful PAT, the Lions led 14-0.

Both teams’ next possessions ended in punts and after an excellent punt, the Renegades began their second drive of the second quarter at their own four yard line. And it wasn’t long until the Lions D forced the Renegades O to make a mistake so close to their own endzone. On a failed fake reverse, Danny Miller was brought down in the endzone by Julian Morgan and Greg Pearson for a Lions safety! 16-0 Lions.

With a shorter field to play with, Birmingham’s offence went to work on the Renegades D, and it wasn’t long before Conroy found the endzone again for his second score of the game. Greg Freeman knocked over his third PAT of the game to give the Lions a 23-0 lead.

The next two drives ended in interceptions, but with different end results for the teams. First off, Danny Miller’s pass attempt was picked off by A-Jay Crabbe to give the Lions the ball in the NTU half. Despite being in the oppositions half, the Lions drive didn’t go as planned as Jamie Johansson-Otoo stepped infront of the screen pass and rumbled all the way into the Lions endzone for the pick six. A successful PAT cut the deficit to 16.

With the first half coming to an end, the Lions O whipped out their two minute offence to drive on the Renegades defence, and it wasn’t long before the Lions found the endzone again. Another Varney-Hussey passing TD gave the Lions a 29-7 lead. A high snap on the PAT forced the holder, Johnny Glover, the scramble around before a pass into the endzone found Angus Hotchkies for the two point score.
NTU were unable to do anything on their final possession of the half. At the half, the Lions led NTU 31-7.

The Lions began the third quarter with the football and it looked like the Renegades D had picked off Varney for the second time in the game, but the referees ruled that the pass fell incomplete. A couple of plays later, Varney found Hussey once again as the QB-WR duo combined for their third score of the game. Once again, the PAT was good to give the Lions a 38-7 lead.

The Renegades first drive of the third quarter was one long time-consuming drive as good running from Danny Miller and Leonardo Glasgow, as well as short passes to Rob ‘Gronk’ Cartwright and Sam Williams, allowed the NTU offence to drive on the Lions D. Unfortunately for the Renegades, the drive came to a sudden end when Crabbe picked off Miller for the second time in the game.

The Lions went three and out as the fourth quarter came to end. The Lions leading the Renegades 38-7.
As it was with their previous drive, the Renegades drive ended with A-Jay Crabbe intercepting the Danny Miller pass for the third time in the game.

With backup QB Alex Wake now in for the Lions, Birmingham began the drive at their own 10 yard line, and despite a fresh set of down on the drive, the Lions would end up punting the ball back to NTU with minimal time remaining.

Even though the result was all but confirmed, the Renegades began the final drive of the game full of determination to get another score, and it looked like they would as they drive into the Lions half of the field. In the end though, the Renegades turned the ball over on downs to hand the ball back to the Lions who were able to kneel out the game for their third victory of the season.

In a well thought battle between two playoff teams, the Lions came away with the victory to improve their record to 3-0. The Renegades dropped to 2-1 following their defeat.

It was difficult to pick a Double Coverage MVP for this game, so we decided to split the award between Will Hussey (three TD’s) and A-Jay Crabbe (three interceptions).

Highlights courtesy of InkspotMedia.


  1. A fumbled exchange was fumbled...brilliant journalism

  2. Looks like an interception to me (8.35)


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