Warwick Wolves overcome Coventry Jets in Varsity opener

Coventry Jets 6 – Warwick Wolves 30

The first ever Varsity American Football game went to Warwick Wolves this weekend after a convincing victory over the newly formed Coventry Jets.

Warwick didn’t start well though. After failing to break Coventry’s wedge the opening kick-off was returned 70yards for a touchdown. Not only was it a bad start but the returner was none other than ex-Warwick player Chris Hobbs. Then, after Warwick’s offence failed to make substantial yards, Coventry’s powerful running put Warwick’s defence on the back foot and they came painfully close to the end-zone. However, after some quick adjustments Warwick rallied themselves and kept Coventry out. The first quarter continued to be shaky but Warwick looked like they were finding their feet. Then, in the second quarter, Warwick’s offense stepped up with some good throwing, strong running and a pitch-long drive which ended in Tinodiwa Charamba running in Warwick’s first touchdown. The first-half ended 6-6 but Warwick looked like they were gaining momentum.

The third and fourth quarters saw Warwick dominate the field. The defence began breaking into the backfield, stripping the ball and reading the flow of the plays well and gave up only a few more first downs. The offence began driving the length of the field, switching between power running up the middle and quick outside sweeps and pitches. With such a solid running game in progress Coventry were being lulled into expecting the run every time. Spotting this Warwick switched to the play-action resulting in two long, deep passes that found receivers Pete Coppenhall (extra two points by Tinodiwa Charamba) and Alex Botting (extra two points by Corey Goodes) wide-open for touchdowns. Warwick then went on to score once more. After running a reverse to Alex Botting which put Warwick within striking distance of the end-zone, Mike Van Harten was found on a quick pass for the fourth touchdown (extra two points by Matt Turner).

Warwick’s head coach Phil Rodgers said it was a well deserved win and both sides of the ball were really clicking. “After seeing the performances put in today by some of the players returning next season I am excited about our future prospects.” He, like the rest of the team, also wanted to wish the seniors who are leaving every luck in the future.

Coventry should not be disheartened by the defeat though. They are a new team with real potential and after another year’s experience the second Varsity meeting of these two teams looks like it will be a tough, exciting game.

MVPs for the game:
Rookie – Matt McDonald (running-back)
Defence – Ben Nagle-Taylor (defensive back) and Alex Upton (defensive line)
Offence – Alex Botting (receiver)
Overall – The entire offensive line and tight-ends, who picked up their blocking tremendously well which allowed the gaps to be found for the runs and time for the quarter-back to throw.


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