Leicester Falcons overcame their rivals Nottingham Caesars at Leicester Road on Sunday but were made to work hard at times. The 38-3 scoreline was flattering and owes much to an outstanding defensive performance which recorded six turnovers and two scores of their own.
The Falcons began by leaning on their strong running game and scored twice in the first quarter through running backs Ashton Patterson and Tolu Ogundana. The Caesars defence adapted and forced quarterback Joe Brammer to pass, utilising short passes and screens, ending with a 1 yard touchdown to Jarrad Gabbidon for his first Falcons touchdown. The Falcons defence meanwhile refused to give up anything to the Caesars, and got on the scoresheet themselves when Dom Olney intercepted a tipped pass and returned for the pick six and a 26-0 halftime score.
In the second half the Caesars offence began to click, first getting on the scoresheet through a 41 yard field goal then driving right to the goal line, but linebacker James Beckett made a goal line interception to keep Nottingham out. The Falcons offence made one more score, Brammer finding Rob Lambert from 25 yards out, but began to struggle with turnovers of their own. The defence continued to hold firm when cornerback Alex James recorded his second interception of the day, returning it to the end zone but seeing the score ruled out for a block in the back. Finally, Pete Sandham corralled a tipped pass in the final seconds and returned it for the defence’s second score and a 38-3 victory.
Leicester Falcons sit top of their division as a result, having won three out of three. They now have a couple of weeks off before facing the division’s surprise package Shropshire Revolution on the 20th May in Telford.