Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Game Of The Week: BNU vs. Southampton Stags Game Report.

As any avid follower of the TVC knows, this match up last season was an extraordinary encounter. For those unaware, the Stags narrowly beat the Bucs 52-48 with BNU's defence incapable of stopping Southampton's air attack and BNU's double wing offence running riot over the Stags D. Any neutral would again be hoping for a similar result.

BNU received the ball first and it was evident straight away that Southampton feared a defensive display similar to last year, lining up in a completely new front. Six down linemen, and middle linebacker, two outside linebackers and two deep safeties. For all this tactical prudence, it didn't seem to make a difference as on the first play BNU's captain #8 Danny Wallace took the ball thirty yards and into Southampton territory. BNU kept driving, getting into the redzone. BNU went backwards from there before switching to spread and dropping a pass in the endzone. They turned the ball over on downs after a 9 play drive.

As the Stag's offence took the field, it was equally evident BNU feared being passed all over again as they lined up in a deep cover 3, with their corners playing 10-15 yards off their man. It worked on the Southampton's first drive as they went three-and-out.

The first quarter went extremely quick and without event as both sides failed to put any points on the board. BNU had another drive led by full back #21 Martin Friedrichs running but again stalled in Stags territory. The scoring started early in the second quarter, with a drive of solid running from Stag's RB's #24 Henry Schlaefli and #80 Tristan Demuth, before QB Dana Neale found wide out #33 Henry Everett for a 24 yard score on a third and long situation. PAT good.

BNU now down 7-0 drove deep into the Stags half with a long run by Danny Wallace. BNU decided to go for the TD instead of taking the FG. Wallace was injured a few plays later and his backup #10 Said Rashad on 4th down was pushed out of bounds on the 4 yard line just 3 inches short of the first down. Southampton took over on downs and continued to run down the field, gaining a few yards at a time before another Neale-Everett connection from eight yards out gave the Stag's a 14-0 going into half time.

Coming out at half-time the defensive domination continued with both teams failing to score at all in the third quarter. However, two things of note did happen in the third. One comical, one serious. The former came as a bad long snap on a Stag's punt lead punter #28 George Lester to volley the ball out of the air straight from the snap, instead of the conventional catch and then punt technique. The penalty from this punting improvisation gave BNU the ball deep in Stag's territory for the second time in the quarter, managing to drive the ball inside the ten. Unfortunately, on first-and-goal, Stag's DT #59 Chris Mitchell took a shot to the head and was down with a neck injury for twenty-minutes.

This was the second Stag to end up in A and E on the day (both were absolutely fine in the end). The consequence of this being that the ambulance would take 1 hour to return from hospital, postponing play until it returned. Chaos emerged as the light was dwindling and if the referees were to call the game for poor visibility, by rule it would result in a Stag's win. Down by 14 and with possession of ball inside the Stags 10, BNU players desperately searched the premises for anything sturdy enough to act as one while the Stags players rested in their changing room. Three BNU players even attempted to tie three discarded football posts together with some rope in act to get the game resumed.

Fortunately, the ambulance returned in time and the game got back under way roughly 50 minutes after the incident happened. It was second and goal for BNU's offence and the Stags D stepped up yet again to deal with the double wing, forcing them to turn the ball over on downs.

It was now the fourth quarter and the Stag's only had one thing on their mind – kill the clock. Henry Schlaefli carried out the mission in exemplary style, rushing bit-by-bit to kill the clock and yet still move the ball. The BNU defence stood strong enough to get the ball back. 14 points down with the game on the line BNU’s fumble demons appeared. BNU managed to fumble and turn the ball over on four consecutive offensive plays in this final quarter, with all fumbles being forced by Stag's DT Harry Fuge. The Stags managed to score 13 points off these turnovers. The first was a BNU fumble on their own 10 yard line. With the win in sight Southampton took the field and Schlaefli was rewarded for his hard running with a touchdown, taking a toss-sweep in for two yards.

A few minutes later after another BNU fumble Southampton punted to the 1 yard line. The 3rd fumble in as many plays setup Stags QB Dana Neale for the sneak and the final score.

The 27-0 scoreline suggest an easy win for Southampton but BNU will be left disappointed after failing to convert multiple redzone trips and suffering their first shutout since Birmingham in 2008.

Total yards
BNU - 229
Soton - 223

Hounslow 2/7 - 19yards
Neale 5/12 - 55yards 2 TDs

BNU - 210
Soton - 168

by Dana Neale and Luke Plastow


  1. "ambulance would take 1 hour to return from hospital, postponing play until it returned"

    When are people going to realise that the rules do NOT require the ambulance to return for play to resume!!!

    An ambulance delivering someone from the game to hospital is still "available" for the game (within the meaning of the rules), provided it is set to return without delay!

  2. There needs to be a spinal board for the game to take place. There was no spare spinal board at the match or at the sports centre nearby.


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