7th May 2005

BAFL Division One

London Olympians 14-23 Southern Sundevils

2 Years ago, Southern should have been the first team too break the London Olympians 6 year unbeaten run…Only a late comeback by the O’s prevented it and kept the record intact.

Although it is too late to break ‘The Run’ the Sundevils had a chance to be the first team to beat the London team in 2005. Considering the two clubs records this season things didn’t look good for the Southampton team, losing 2 games in quick succession. On the flip side it looked as if the O’s were back into winning ways beating last years British champions and a 2004 Div 1a Finalist.

1st Quarter Olympians 00-00 Sundevils

Both team failed to put points on the board in a quarter dominated by defences, but it was apparent that the Sundevils meant business, their imports had settled into their offensive schemes and helped the Sundevils to bend an Olympians defence that is usually very unforgiving, both WR, Z Clarke(2) and RB, E Lewis(3) moved the ball, only desperate tackling by DE, O Ekwegh(44) (who had a standout game with 8 Tackles, 3 Sacks and 2 Punt Blocks), LB, T Newton(44), LB, F Hatega(2) and CB, W Roach(37) stopping any scoring. On the other side of the ball after a bright start for the Olympians by RB, G Dauley(27) getting 3 back to back first downs the offence struggled to keep any drives going.

2nd Quarter Olympians 00-08 Sundevils

And so it began, an accurate pass from Southern’s new QB, N Stalick(10) and a mix up in coverage saw Clarke(2) haul in the corner route pass from 23yds out with Lewis(3) Running in the 2pt conversion. Again both defences held firm for the rest of the half bending but not breaking, the Olympians defence did admirably carrying out numerous goaline stands as a result of constantly being left in dismal field position. Towards the end of the 1st Half the O’s offence finally began to awake, pulling of the best drive of the day so far with much of the yardage being picked up between the strike partnership of QB, S Franklin(8) and WR, J Price(3) who hooked up for a 30yd pick up leaving the ball tantalizingly close to pay dirt. However it was not to be an incomplete pass and a muffed snap kept the clock ticking and time ran out before the next play could start.

Halftime Summary Olympians 00-08 Sundevils

The Olympians struggled to get any headways leaving their defence with poor field position to defend offence need to change this, if it wasn’t for some great individual performances the Sundevils could easily have been 2 more scores up. The Sundevils with their style of offence are overpowering the O’s with sheer numbers and are using the short pass to good affect.

3rd Quarter Olympians 00-14 Southern

Another tough defensive battle ensued with good tackling and pressure from Ekwegh(92) and veteran DE, G Thomas(58) getting to the visitors QB a few times. The Southern defence always the strength of the Southampton outfit was now swarming to tackles and not allowing the O’s to get any momentum. The only score of the quarter widened the gap for the home team to 14pts an 8yd run by RB, S Miller(1) doing the damage.

4th Quarter Olympians 14-23 Southern

This was turning into a disaster, the Sundevils seemed to now be able to drive down field at will, the defence fatigued by the amount of time that they had been on the field. The Sundevils kept the first drive of the 4th Quarter with yet another score, again a run by Miller(1). A now formidable lead of 20pts would make most teams give up, not the Olympians they were going to battle to the end. WR, J Simms went on a mission to get his team back into the game with 9 minutes left in the he hauled in a quick slant in the endzone under massive pressure by the defensive backs. Southern this tmie turned the ball over, but the O’s offence were just not able to click consistently and a fumble gave the ball straight back and allowed the Sundevils to again drive down field, this time the O’s defence dug deep and held the visitors to a fieldgoal leaving the Olympians needing 3 scores to win all this in 7 minutes…It seemed pointless, but they didn’t give up on the very first play of the next drive Franklin(8) threw long to J Simms(7) who fought off two defensive backs and sprinted to the endzone. Knowing the Olympians needed the ball back the Sundevils did a good job of using up the clock and with 30secs and no timeouts the comeback was out of the question and so was another Olympians perfect season. The surprise of the season so far it will certainly make the Southern Conference very interesting for the 2nd half of the season.

“We underestimated them…we didn’t do our homework…they played their hearts out and deserved the win” said Team Captain, Sacha Conte.

The return leg of this game will be played on Sunday June 26th in Southampton. The Olympians are now on the road until 20th August when we will play the Cambridge Cats at Crystal Palace.