The return fixture against the Essex Spartans was hotly anticipated by everyone here at the Cats. In the first game, the Spartans managed to take an early lead and maintain it for most of the game. It was a 4th quarter revival that got us the win. We surely did not want a repeat of that at home. Especially as our win over the Stallions last week brought us closer to the top of the SFC1 East. The Spartans had been performing well in their first year in Division 1 for some time.
The Spartans kicked off, giving us the first possession. QB James Horne started things off with a toss to WR Michael Johnson, who turned on the jets and ran for a solid gain. Next with the ball was WR Kay Dennis, who got us our second 1st down is as many plays. RB Andy Evans took the ball for another solid gain. Horne then fled the pocket and found veteran WR Ryan Smith wide open in the end zone. Kicker William Browning kicked the extra point. In 5 plays, we took the early lead. Cats 7 – Spartans 0. The Spartans stuck to what they do best; running the ball. They showed some early promise with their first play gaining them 12 yards. But DE Callum Laing showed his dominance in the next play with a big loss. Unable to recover from that, the Spartans punted from the midfield. Jimmy Horne demonstrated his versatility at QB by making some great passes but also being able to flee the pocket when necessary and gaining 1st downs with his feet. But it was a long pass of over 20 yards and an unopposed run of another 40 yards that saw Kay get into the end zone for the next score. The kick was unfortunately no good this time. Cats 13 – Spartans 0. The Spartans chipped away the yards with successful run after successful run. They finally make it to our red zone before just as the quarter ends.
After a promising drive, the Spartans pushed back by a penalty flag. Now at the 30 yard line, they are unable to make something happen before DT Ryan Wilson swallows the Spartans QB whole. Next up, is DE Mike Lee, who puts an end to the Spartans drive on 4th down. Back in possession, the Cats are able to move the ball with ease. WR Thabiso Mpofu, MJ, and Andy are all able to keep the drive alive. The Spartans make the drive falter at the 20 yard line. But Jimmy finds WR Ben Bingham with a high floating pass over the Spartan CB’s head. The Cats successfully go for 2 points with Jimmy running the ball in for the score. Cats 21 – Spartans 0. The Spartans drive is stopped before it can gain pace. Cats have the ball back on the Spartans’ 45 yard line. But it doesn’t amount to much this time will penalties and poor execution keeping progress to a minimum. However, our next drive was much better. Runs from Andy Evans and LB turned RB, Clayton Latimer, gained extensive yardage. This culminated in Thabiso running in for a touch down shortly after. Will was good with the kick. Cats 28 – Spartans 0. In the dying seconds of the half, we attempt a field goal. But the snap is sent too high leaving Will no choice but to throw a pass, which is caught in the end zone. However, the celebration is cut short with a yellow flag for holding. The field goal is attempted again, but it goes wide to the left.
The second half begins with the Spartan’s in possession. But this is cut very short as the ball is fumbled and recovered by us. With the ball on the Spartans 40 yard line, Jimmy is set to keep the momentum going. And that is exactly what he does with a long pass to Ben Bingham who runs in for his second touch down. Will’s kick is good. Cats 35 – Spartans 0. With the mercy rule in effect, the clock is constantly running until the points gap falls below 35. The Spartans seem either unable or unwilling to change their offensive tactics, sticking to the ground game. Callum Laing is again causing all sorts of trouble in the backfield, closing down plays before they can develop. The Spartans manage to keep hold of the ball and move it towards their 40 yard line before punting it away. Jimmy gains more yards with his feet, taking the ball to the 10 yard line. On the next play our WRs were very well covered and a pass rusher makes it through, flushing Jimmy out of the pocket. Before Jimmy can be tackled, he shovel passes it over the heads of the Spartans defenders into Kay’s waiting hands. Kay darts past 4 defenders and evades another 2 before making it into the end zone for his second touch down. Will is once again good on his kick. Cats 48 – Spartans 0.
The Spartans offence is still not able to move under the crushing pressure of our defence. Jimmy hands the ball off to Andy Evans who runs for a 60 yards touch down through a very tired looking Spartans defence. The extra point is no good. Cats 48 – Spartans 0. Next for scoring a touch down is Thabiso. Jimmy has a lifetime in the pocket, thanks to the Oline. He finds T in the end zone and Will puts the ball between the uprights. Cats 55 – Spartans 0. With the running clock, and plenty of running plays, time is over and the game is won before 5pm.
This is the second 50 point victory (often referred to as a 50 burger), for the us this year. What made it even more special is the fact we didn’t concede a point (often referred to as a goose egg). So game 5 ended with a burger and goose egg at Coldhams Common. The only undefeated team in the SFC1 East is the London Hornets. They still sit at the top of the table. We travel to London to play the Hornets in our next game on Sunday 26th June. If we can avenge our only loss, we will take the top spot for the second half of the season. Be sure to follow our social media to stay up to date on our progress. Our games are never live streamed. If you see any link claiming to offer a live stream of our games, do not click on it. It is highly likely to be a scam.
Your Game 5 MVPs are:
Offensive MVP – James Horne
Defensive MVP -Maleek Addae
Special Teams MVP – William Browning
Game MVP – Callum Laing