By David Butler
Three key first half turnovers forced by the Shropshire Defense and a second consecutive 100 yard rushing game from Leigh French were the key ingredients in a scrappy 26 – 12 away win over bitter rivals Staffordshire Surge.
Aiming for a fifth straight win in a series between the two bordering counties which began in 2009, the visitors making the short trip to Stoke on Trent got off to the perfect start when on the first Surge possession Defensive End Simon Dunkerley striped the ball free, Linebacker Mark Lingwood securing the recovery inside Staffordshire territory.
Running Back Leigh French ensured the away side would take full advantage by strutting in for score from 6 yards out to cap off a short drive. French had another Defensive End Andy Barnett to thank for his second score, Barnett hauled down the Staffordshire Punter just short of the end zone turning the ball over in the process. French walked in for another Touchdown on the next play which opened the second quarter, Adam Harris connected on both conversions to make the score 14-0. The Home side struck back when Quarterback Richard Large hit Moses Ogundeji at Midfield, the elusive Wide Out would out sprint defenders to get the Surge on the score sheet.
Not to be outdone Revolution signal caller Warren Thomas returning to his former club fired a pair of touchdown passes either side of half time to give the visitors a comfortable lead, Thomas found Receivers Sean Austin and Adam Harris with near identical close range passes to complete the scoring for the men in Purple at 26-6. Large found Wide Receiver Sam Podmore from 18 yards out for a consolation score in the fourth quarter to put an end to the day’s scoring.
Shropshire Head Coach Dave Reid bemoaned his sides lackluster second half display which was littered with penalties and mistakes “When you break it down we spent most of the second half scoreless and that falls short of the standards we set ourselves” Reid had kinder words for his Special Teams Unit “I was really pleased with our special teams play, Rookie Kingsley Brown punted brilliantly all day, we covered and tackled with real tenacity whilst our returners gave us fantastic field position I thought this was a huge difference between the teams today”.
Revolution now have a week off to prepare for the visit of the Merseyside Nighthawks on the 5th of May Kick off 2.30 pm at Oakengates Leisure Centre.