The 2011 Premier final was always going to be a hard fought affair as London Blitz took on cross-town rivals the London Warriors for the title. That the Blitz won to make it three titles in a row shows the team is as good now as it has been for the last few seasons. In today’s 18-0 victory a lot of that success was on their defense, though a lot of their points came after mistakes by a Warriors offense that struggled all day.
The Warriors received the ball to start the game and quickly found themselves on 4th down a few yards from their own endzone. On the punt attempt there was a terrible snap and the ball sailed past the punter and through the back of the endzone for a safety putting the Blitz on the board 2-0. Blitz then came out on the field and moved down to the Warriors half where they tried a field goal which was the first of four 40+ yard missed field goals by the Blitz. Back on the ball the Warriors again picked up nothing and this time got the punt away. On this drive the Blitz were rolling, they worked their way down the field and a pass saw WR Rod Bradley in for the score. London Blitz were now on top 8-0 after a failed conversion attempt. The Warriors offence were back on the field again this time with a fumble changing possession over. The Blitz then had a fumble of their own which cost them 15 yards and caused another missed field goal.
The game turned into more of a hard hitting defensive battle in the second quarter as both team’s offenses failed to spark which lead to a number of punts. Then the Blitz fumbled it again and this time it was picked up by Warriors Defensive End Andrew Steadman. On the ensuing drive the Warriors worked their way down the field and picked up a fourth down conversion along the way. The Blitz defense was strong when it needed to be though and once again the Warriors were forced to punt. As we neared the end of the half the Warriors threw an interception and this allowed the Blitz to get into position for a long field goal. The Blitz kicker finally made one and it was a beauty from 56 yards. Score at the half was 12-0 Blitz.
The first five minutes of the second half was punctuated by three injuries to Warriors players, all were eventually able to get themselves off the field but it was not good for a team trying to get back into the final. The Blitz came out and had another field goal attempt blocked which led to the Warriors’ best drive of the game with two big passes from quarterback Jerome Allen to wide receiver Emmanuel Mukoro. The Warriors were in a good position to get on the board but on fourth down instead of going for an easy kick they went for a first down and failed. After a pick later in the quarter the Warriors were unable to stop the Blitz from scoring thanks to a 30 yard touchdown run by Gareth Dauley that increased the Blitz’s lead to 18-0.
At the start of the fourth the Warriors went back into the Blitz’s half but they turned the ball over again. From there they had to punt. The rest of the fourth quarter neither side was able to get big gains and the Warriors were not able to stage a comeback or get on the scoreboard.
The Blitz become deserving champions with a rock solid defense against a shaky Warriors offense. The Warriors defense should also be praised though, with a good number of the Blitz points being from reduced fields caused by the Warriors offenses mistakes. This though was a good hard game with lots of big hits and two teams deserving of the final.
Article courtesy of Jonathan Little
BAFANL News Editor