The Exeter Demons beat the Plymouth Blitz 14-6 on Sunday at the rubber crumb, in the University’s first ever American football varsity match and second instalment of the “Devon Bowl”. The victory takes the team to 5-2 and only one win away from the national BUAFL championship play-offs. After a thrilling last second victory against the UWE Bullets the previous week, the Demons were keen to avenge the loss they had suffered to the Blitz three weeks previously.
The first half was a tight defensive affair, with Exeter having to start two offensive drives from their own one yard line. The unit put together several big plays, including a spectacular catch by tight end Michael Goodacre. These big plays ultimately did not result in any points. After hitting a 48 yard field goal to beat the Bullets a week earlier, kicker Jamie Sancto could not convert a shorter attempt early in the second quarter.
However, the Demons defense was once again in outstanding form, with the likes of Ricky Allan, Josh Berg and Fred Callaghan swarming to the ball carrier. Cornerback Tom Nurse was also extremely unlucky not to have had an interception of the Blitz quarterback on an attempted deep pass. Linebackers Eugene Agidee, Michael Drake and Simon Dunkley were a force in the middle of the field. Despite enjoying a large amount of offensive possession, the Blitz could not find a way through Exeter’s version of “Gang Green”.
In the second half, the Demon offense began to exploit a tiring Plymouth defense. Running backs Charlie Hall and Cody Yellowlees-Bound both broke big rushing gains in the third quarter. The former eventually was able to bulldoze his way into the end zone from a yard out for the game’s first score.
Plymouth continued to struggle offensively but got on the scoreboard with a short Quarterback sneak. With a failed two point conversion, Exeter still led 7-6 and doubled its lead on the next possession. An inspired call from Offensive Co-ordinator Chris Taylor saw Quarterback Finlay Brown fake two reverses, keep the ball himself and take off downfield. With some outstanding downfield blocking by Marcus Gardiner and Will Budge, Brown left several defenders clutching air and trotted in for a long touchdown run and Exeter’s second score.
The Demons defense continued their imperious performance right to the final whistle, giving players, coaches and the many watching fans a relatively comfortable victory.
While the team lost the “Devon Bowl” on an aggregate score of over the two games, Exeter is now assured of a winning record for their second successive season and only third as a University club. The team will play Bath Killer Bees next Sunday, with a win qualifying them for the national BUAFL championship play-offs.