|Jurassic Coast Raptors||0||0||0||0||0||Loss|
Photography courtesy of Gareth Brown, Chris Janes & Jamie Stancombe
On Sunday 31st July, the Saints claimed their 9th straight win over the Raptors 62-0
The Saints hosted the newly formed Dorset side to Tilsley Park, who are playing their first season of competitive football.
Back in May the Saints travelled down to the Raptors and dealt them a 51-0 defeat, with the return fixture being equally decisive.
Although a one-sided affair, the Raptors showed improvements since their last contest against Oxford and continue to build their team in their debut season.
The Raptors started with the ball and faced an experienced Oxford defense. The visitors picked up a 1st down on a 21 yard catch and run, but were soon forced to punt on 4th down following a sack by Eric Mendoza.
Oxford’s quarterback Destin Maulding opened the scoring on the Saints first offensive play, with a 40 yard touchdown pass to James Walter.
Sam Fielden lined up to kick the extra point which was good.
Following a 8 yard sack by defensive end George Wright and 2 defended pass attempts from safety Michael Bearman, the Raptors were forced to punt again.
Backed up against their own endzone, Conor Whitehouse got in the path of the ball during the punt and it was recovered behind the line by Bearman for the score.
Fielden attempted to add the extra point but was unsuccessful.
The Raptors offense continued to struggle against the stingy Saints defense, which had the personnel to regularly rotate players and formations to keep their opponents under pressure.
Unable to gain any yards, the Raptors continued to have no choice but to punt the ball away on 4th down which allowed the Saints offense back onto the field.
Maulding handed the ball to new recruit Tony Glover playing his first game for Oxford. An American with plenty of previous experience, he hit the ground running.
RB Tony Glover
Glover charged through the field for a 33 yard gain on his first play for the Saints and was from tackled from behind just before the endzone.
From 2 yards out, running back Luke Fry punched the ball through the middle for the score.
Fielden added the extra point kick to extend the lead.
Nearing the end of the 1st quarter, the Raptors continued to try and make ground against the Saints but faced pressure on every play.
Tackles for a loss by Greg Lewis and Deke Morton set the Raptors back 9 yards and a pass attempt was batted down in front of the intended receiver by corner back James Dunstan on 3rd down.
In the 2nd quarter, Destin Maulding completed a deep pass to receiver Grant Tebb for a 40 yard gain up the sideline.
Glover picked up 12 yards on the ground and another 1st down followed by a 4 yard touchdown pass from Maulding to Walter.
The Saints attempted a 2 point conversion but were unable to score again.
With the Saints offense continuing to move the ball with relative ease, they moved downfield and rotated runners with contributions from Rob Johnson, Ryan Kingshott and Kev Brooks.
Connor Day charged the ball in from 2 yards out for the score, but another attempt at a 2 point conversion failed.
The Saints scored again to close out the half after a 24 yard run from Glover set up Kingshott to score from 2 yards out.
A successful 2 point conversion was scored by Walter, advancing the Saints to a big half-time scoreline.
A running clock was now active, which means some usual clock stoppages were not observed and is designed to accelerate the 2nd half of a game when one team has a large lead over their opponent.
With rookie quarterback Kyle Swann taking over for Oxford, the Saints offense put together another strong drive with running from Day and Glover, along with a first down reception by Jason Williams.
The next score came when Glover found a running lane up the sideline and outpaced his pursuers for a 35 yard touchdown and his first with the Saints.
Going for the 2 point conversion, quarterback Swann found tight end Richard Bloomer open in the corner of the end zone and passed the ball through for the extra score.
Oxford’s defense continued to hold the Raptors to minimal gains throughout the game and their smaller squad size was starting to show, punting on 4th down again.
Swann passed the ball to Walter for a 23 yard gain and a 1st down, with Kingshott picking up another on a 19 yard run. In scoring distance, Swann fired a quick pass over the middle to Bloomer for a 4 yard touchdown.
Practicing their 2 point conversions, Swann dived the ball across the line himself and claimed the extra score.
On the Saints final drive of the game, rookie running back Azad Alie moved the ball on the ground for a 1st down with additional running by rookie Nicholas Clark-Bryan and Swann himself.
The Saints were put in scoring distance after a first down grab by David McCormack for 12 yards, followed by Kev Brooks running the ball in for the final touchdown.
Going for the 2 point conversion again, Swann targeted tight end Graham Henley with a great effort to catch the ball but he landed just short of the goal line and couldn’t add the extra points.
The latest victory for Oxford brings them to a 9-0 record and a clear 1st place at the top of the Div II – Southern Conference West.
With one more home game coming up on 14th August against local rivals the Swindon Storm, the Saints will be looking to close out the regular season with a perfect 10-0 record.
The Saints have currently claimed the #2 seed in the division and will be awarded home advantage for the quarter finals on 21st August.
The opponent has not yet been confirmed as there are still some remaining regular season fixtures to be played.
Total Offense Yards
Division II – Southern Football Conference West
|6||Jurassic Coast Raptors||1||9||33||352||W1|
On Sunday 14th August, the Saints will host the Swindon Storm at Tilsley Park to close out the regular season.
A win over Swindon will leave Oxford with a perfect 10-0 record as the playoffs begin on 21st August.
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