The penultimate week of regular season games in UFL I was blessed by mild weather and the perfect conditions for football on the Leeds Academy's campus in Headingley. The fans gathered were not disappointed.
GAME OF THE WEEK
Mavericks 27 - 26 Thunder
A great morning for the Mavericks The game started in spectacular fashion with a huge interception by Dylan Walsh on the opening play. They failed to capitalise though despite excellent field position and after two 4 and out drives, the Mavericks had the ball on their own 5 yard line. Elliot Duffey handed off to Franchise player Gabriel Vassell who then went on the score an amazing TD running the full length of the field (Video to follow) and was followed by the 1PAT scored by Lewis Nicholson. Luis Shipley pulled out an amazing shutdown of Cameron Cooper on second down jumping high into the air against much larger opposition and held the Thunder to another 4 and out. On their next drive, the Mavericks scored another TD with a great QB sneak by Elliott Duffey, Lewis Nicholson again with a PAT. The clouds, with switches at QB throughout between Sam Smith, Cam Cooper and Zak Thompson had Charlie Thompson pull in a catch to make it 14-6 but the Mavs came back again with Lewis Nicholson scoring a TD with a 20 yard run, no PAT this time as Lewis Nicholson was stopped short. and the half ended Mavs 21 - 6 Thunder.
The second half was all change as the Thunder fought back, Zak Thompson flying all the way downfield to score, but no PAT meant it was 21 - 12. Back came the Maverick Longhorns with their final and ultimately decisive TD, Lewis Nicholson catching a great pass from Elliott Duffey and running the full length of the pitch to score a great TD with Dylan Walsh scoring the crucial PAT. Despite the adversity though the Fighting Clouds scoring twice quickly with a TD catch and a pick six from Zak followed by a 2PAT throw by Sam Smith to Cam Cooper. But it was all too late - The Mavs running out the clock expertly to finish it as 27-26 victors. A worthy game of the week.
Mavs HC Andy Yarwood in his post match presser said "Everyone on both sides of the ball did their job today and both Rob and I were pleased with their performance. Today, everyone deserves a part of the MVP award"
MVPs Mavericks: Lewis Nicholson Thunder: Zak Thompson
PLAY OF THE DAY
Gabriel Vassell's Juke breaks Zak Thompson's ankles as he heads to paydirt
Wolf Pack 20 - 39 Hawks
The Hawks have had a rough few weeks. A win in week one set their campaign up well, but three straight losses saw them sink to the bottom of the table. Despite that, coach Jason Shaw has kept his team upbeat. He knew that his talent was there and in depth, he knows that once they clicked again, they could compete with the best. Today, they clicked.
Off the back of a crushing 52-0 defeat the Wolf Pack had to bounce back to and they were close until the last two minutes when a brace of pick sixes ended their fight. Joe Bliss and Krishan 'Six Gun' Johnson running riot. Three TDs for Bliss (two catches, one run) and a picked off PAT. Three passing TDs for Krishan cemented their lead. For the Wolf pack, wonder catches by Matty Cooper, Joe McDonaghand Alfie Thompson meant they stayed in the game until the last two minutes, but then the Hawks showed their mettle. The superb Maksim Ivanov and then Austin with Pick Sixes to kill off the Howler's hopes of bouncing back with a win. Hawks Win!
MVPs Wolf Pack: Matty Cooper Hawks: Krishan Johnson