21st July 2003 - O's take the Ravens record in dramatic finish
There can be no other word for it. The London O's broke the British record for most
consecutive wins by winning their 64th straight victory, and breaking the London Ravens
record in the process. They rallied for a 16-0 deficit at half-time, and trailed 22-6
early in the 4th quarter to defeat the Personal Assurance Knights 26-22 in Guildford.
The Knights took an early 3-0 lead on a field goal, and extended that to 9-0 when QB
Ashley Heath found a wide open Jon Wyse in the endzone. The O's could not move the ball on
the ground, whereas the Knights were untroubled in that department as Anthony Stitt
barrelled over numerous Os linemen that got in his way. Stitt scored his first TD of the
day in the second quarter from a yard out to give them a 16-0 half-time lead.
Early in the second half the O's RB Warren Keen scored on a short range TD himself as
the O's seemed to make a comeback, but at the beginning of the 4th quarter it was Stitt
who restored the advantage on another 1 yard plunge to give the Knights a seemingly
unassailable 22-6 lead.
Up to the beginning of the 4th quarter, the Knights had completely outplayed the O's
who had consistently failed to move the ball on the ground. With the O's having to take to
the air with little time left, many in the large crowd assembled were surprised to see the
Knights persisting with just a 3 man secondary. They gave up two long range passing scores
to Andy Boyle as the O's pulled to 22-20, and took over again with less than 2 minutes to
Again, the Knights just kept one man deep. The tactics looked like paying off, as the O's
faced a 4th and 9 with 20 seconds to go on the half-way line. However, Boyle caught a
slant pass for 10 yards to keep the drive going.
With just 9 seconds on the clock, Stuart Franklin lofted a perfect pass down the left hand
touch-line, and Clive Palumbo ran onto the pass and raced into the endzone for a 36 yard
score. There was no way back for the Knights, and the O's were left to celebrate a
historic win, and home field advantage in the playoffs.