Leicester Falcons produced a fantastic all around performance to
overcome their close rivals Sandwell Steelers 42-0 on Sunday at
Leicester Road. The victory, their fourth in a row, keeps the pressure
on division leaders Nottingham Caesars as the business end of the
Sandwell missed their starting quarterback Callum Davidson,
who was injured for this match, and replacement Joseph Reynolds
threw an interception with his first pass attempt of the game to
Falcons linebacker Parm Sidhu. Leicester were unable
to capitalise on this however, and the two teams exchanged punts
throughout the first quarter. The Falcons had the better of possession
but their best drive ended in a turnover following a fumbled snap.
Sandwell leant on the power running of James Jones-Cross
but were unable to get into the Falcons’ red zone.
As the second quarter began Falcons running back Nat Eaves
ripped off a long touchdown run that was called back for a penalty.
Following a deep pass to Joe Brammer, Eaves
scored the touchdown on that drive anyway, going over from three
yards. The conversion attempt was blocked to give the Falcons a
6-0 lead. Sandwell were unable to move the ball as Leicester deployed
an extra linebacker to halt the running game, daring Reynolds
to go deep, to little success. As the half wound down Leicester
scored again, Troy Lee Jackson throwing to fullback
Adam Gumbs from 7 yards, to go into halftime with
a 12-0 lead.
the second half the Falcons started to run away with it. Jackson
added two more touchdown passes, to Jack Verling
from 29 yards and Ashton Clarke-Jackman, who took
a short pass and sprinted through acres of space for a 30 yard score.
The Steelers responded with their longest drive of the game, but
it ended when Leicester linebacker Rob Rees sacked
the quarterback and forced a fumble which was recovered by the Falcons.
On the subsequent drive running back Tolu Ogundana
broke away for a 38 yard rushing touchdown and a 34-0 lead. Towards
the end the Falcons began to use some of their depth players but
still managed to add another score, Sebastian Sansom
making the interception and returning it for the team’s first defensive
touchdown of the year.
The win keeps the Falcons in second place in their division, creating
a two-game gap between themselves and Sandwell in third. Next up
for the Falcons is an away trip to Birmingham Bulls in two weeks,
before welcoming leaders Nottingham Caesars to Leicester Road on
Saturday 8th July (kick off 6pm). The two upcoming games against
the Caesars will be crucial to decide who wins the division and
gets the best playoff seeding.