Leicester Falcons confirm playoff place

Leicester Falcons produced a fantastic all round performance to
beat close rivals Nottingham Caesars at Leicester Road on Saturday
to overtake them in the division standings and claim the lead in
BAFA NFC1 South. The win also confirms the Falcons’ playoff place
with two regular season games to go.

For the fifth time this year, the Falcons scored on their opening
possession. Speedy receiver Kyren Watts took in
a short pass and sprinted past his marker for a 16 yard touchdown.
The Caesars defence proved they had some fight in them, putting
pressure on QB Troy Lee Jackson, mainly from linebacker
Andrew Willkins who put up three sacks on the night,
but their offence was unable to capitalise. It wasn’t long before
the Falcons scored again, running back Nat Eaves
punching home from 4 yards out after Jackson completed
a huge pass to Tom Jarrett. On the subsequent possession
safety Dom Olney intercepted Caesars QB Dan
Johnson
and the Falcons engineered another scoring drive,
Tolu Ogundana finishing this one off with a nine
yard touchdown. Just before the halftime whistle Nottingham got
on the board, Johnson completing a deep pass to
receiver Deivydas Merkelis for a 42 yard touchdown,
making the halftime score 20-7.

The second half was a bit more bad-tempered with penalties on both
sides. Nottingham were fortunate not to have a man ejected after
a flagrant foul on the opening kick off, and Leicester racked up
several penalty yards for numerous technical offences. After a long
drive starting on their own 11 yard line the Falcons finally broke
the second-half deadlock, Jack Verling brilliantly
taking in a 20 yard pass in the back of the end zone. On the very
next play from scrimmage Taylor Brown intercepted
a Dan Johnson pass and returned it into the end
zone for a touchdown, one of three picks for him on the night. Young
cornerback Matt Thomas also got in on the action
with an interception of his own to complete a five-interception
night for the defence.

Next up for Leicester is a return match with the Caesars in Nottingham
in two weeks, where a win will confirm the division title. The Falcons
must continue to perform better than Manchester Titans in the NFC1
North over their final two games in order to hold the #1 seed in
the playoffs.

Picture: Tolu Ogundana runs for the line