Tag: James Dunstan

Saints Punch Back At Surprise Shark Attack 13-12

Score

Team1234TotalOutcome
Cornish Sharks660012Loss
Oxford Saints600713Win

James Walter Breaks 1,000 Rushing Yard Milestone

Saints Loan Sharks The Lead, Returned With Interest…

On SATURDAY 18th July, the Oxford Saints made the long journey down to Newquay and came home with a 13-12 victory over the Cornish Sharks!

The Saints made swift work of the Sharks earlier in the season with a 43-24 win when they visited Oxford. The last time the Saints travelled to take on the Sharks on their own turf was in 2013, where Oxford suffered a 51-0 defeat.

Although already guaranteed a playoff spot due to being 2nd place in division II – Southern Football Conference West (SFCW), a win over the Sharks was still important as the Saints now go into the playoffs on the back of a 2 game winning streak.

The quarter finals are on 23rd August but with several teams still winding up their regular season, it is not yet decided who Oxford will face in the first round.

Travelling with a smaller squad than usual, several changes were made to the starting line-up. On the offensive line, first year player Rob Dennis was awarded with his first starting position alongside Chris Daniels. With only one travelling full back, Chris Roberts and Antonios Athanasiou switched from their usual positions and shared the workload.

This game marked a special occasion for the Saints as veteran linebacker and team captain Dean Bryan recently celebrated his 10th year competing in American Football and was playing in the 100th game of his career, all for Oxford.

“I’ve learned how to play this sport from some great players and coaches and won a Division 2 championship in 2006.”

“10 years on, now i’m one of the players who helps my teammates learn the game, teach them how to win and how to have success.”

“I absolutely didn’t imagine playing this long or having any of the team or personal success that I’ve been fortunate enough to have when I first started playing. ”

“There is no team sport like this game. If you haven’t played the game or got close to the game, you just can’t know.”

Oxford Saints v Swindon Storm Sky Bet League 2 12/04/2015.

Dean Bryan marks his 100th game with a win
photo by Gareth Brown

Kickoff

With the Sharks winning the coin toss and choosing to start with the ball, they took over from their own 29 yard line following the kickoff. The Saints were caught short as quarterback Joseph Wolfenden-Brown threw a deep pass to wide receiver Isaak Marshall, who hauled in the pass over the top of the Saints defenders and ran into the endzone for the score. Othniel Lewis attempted the extra point kick but it was blocked by the Oxford defense, leaving the hosts with an instant 6-0 lead.

Stunned by the quick score, the Saints offense took to the field and looked to make their own statement. Led by first year quarterback Ben Denton, they quickly earned a first down with a 17 yard reception from tight end Rich Bloomer. Looking to establish the often dominating Oxford run game, Denton handed the ball off to James Walter who fought his way through the Sharks defense and picked up another first down.

With the Saints approaching Sharks territory, a jumping catch for a 6 yard gain by Sam Armstrong brought Oxford to 3rd down with just 4 yards needed to pick up another first. The ball was once again handed to Walter who broke off a huge 34 yard touchdown run. Denton attempted a 2 point conversion and a pass intended for Bloomer was incomplete, leaving the score tied 6-6.

Following Walter’s big gain, he has now reached a milestone of 1,000 rushing yards in the 2015 regular season. A commendable and uncommon achievement outside of the professional level, Walter has ran riot against opponents throughout the year and has often been a game-changing force on the field.

James Walter breaks the 1,000 rushing yard milestone - gareth brown

Photo by Gareth Brown

With the Saints defense back on the field, everyone was acutely aware of the deep passing threat from the Sharks and were keen to not be caught out again. Quarterback Wolfenden-Brown kept the ball on the ground to begin with and handed it to his powerful running back who picked up a first down before being tackled by free safety Michael Bearman. A further run attempt was stopped short after just 2 yards by tackles from defensive end Adam Baker and linebacker Graeme Taylor. In need of a first down, the Sharks looked to throw but two incomplete passes forced the turn over and the Saints offense took over from the 20 yard line.

Running backs Grant Tebb and James Walter attempted to find their usual rhythm but were struggling to make any significant gains against a determined Sharks defense and the ball was soon turned back over to the hosts.

Much of the first half continued in the same fashion, seeing a back and forth battle as both defenses stood firm and controlled the flow of the game. It was the Sharks who were the first to break the cycle with strong running from their main running threat, Othniel Lewis. Fast approaching the Saints endzone, Lewis found room to run on several plays and picked up first downs against the Oxford defense. The score came when Wolfenden-Brown handed the ball to running back Shaun Griffin who ran up the middle for a 4 yard touchdown. Lewis attempted the extra point kick and it was again blocked by the defense. Sharks extend the lead 12-6.

With time running out in the 2nd quarter, the Sharks were once again on the attack after a stalled drive by the Saints offense gave the opponents great field position. Spotting an opportunity to fit in another score before half-time and extend to a more comfortable lead, the Sharks were looking dangerous. A 12 yard pass from Wolfenden-Brown gave them another first down, with the receiver being brought down by Spencer Duffy. Further tackles from Duffy, Graeme Taylor and George Wright prevented the Sharks from picking up the first, but a penalty against the Saints defense granted them the much needed yards and a fresh set of downs

As the endzone drew closer, the Sharks continued to find room to move on the ground. The ball carrier picked up 6 yards before being brought down by Wright and Bearman, with Taylor then driving the ball carrier back for a 3 yard loss on the following play. Facing 3rd down, rookie defensive end Sam Stancombe struck Wolfenden-Brown for a big sack and a 7 yard loss at a crucial moment. Stancombe suffered a serious injury during the pre-season and only returned for the final 2 regular season games of 2015. He has quickly made his mark and proved he’s fit to play again, after landing an equally impressive sack 2 weeks prior in Oxford’s big win against the Swindon Storm.

On 4th down, the only option was for Wolfenden-Brown to attempt a 20 yard pass into the endzone for the score. As the ball was snapped, receiver Isaak Marshall sprinted across the field on a slant route and caught a quick pass over the middle, closely pursued by cornerback James Dunstan. Catching the ball at the 2 yard line, Marshall was immediately tackled to the ground by Dunstan and Taylor just short of the goal line.

10713_974190249311721_7988412830977680498_n

Chris Fox looks out over a Newquay beach before the game

2nd Half

With a close 12-6 lead for the Sharks, the Saints started with the ball to begin the 3rd quarter and continued their hunt for the equalizing score. The Sharks defense came out strong and prevented Denton from picking up a first down, following incomplete passes intended for Walter and Armstrong.

The Sharks kept the ball on the ground for their next drive and picked up a first down, with the tackle coming from strong safety Martin Fitzpatrick. On the next play, the towering rookie defensive end Conor Whitehouse hit the ball carrier and forced a fumble but it was recovered by the Sharks and they maintained possession. Unable to make any gains and a 3 yard tackle for a loss by linebacker Calvin Holmes, the Sharks were forced to punt the ball away.

Taking over from their own 4 yard line, the Saints offense were in a risky situation as they were backed up dangerously close to the endzone. Attempts by Kev Brooks and Walter to give the offense breathing room were shut down by the Sharks defense. On 4th down with everyone expecting a punt, the ball was snapped to Walter, who normally performs the punting duty, but instead of kicking the ball away he threw a pass to tight end Rich Bloomer who had broken out into space. Bloomer hauled in the 18 yard pass and the Sharks were caught off guard.

Despite the success of the trick play, the Saints were unable to pick up a further first down but it did give them a better position to eventually punt the ball from.

As the Sharks offense took over from their own 26 yard line, another first down was swiftly picked up on the ground, before another first down run for 16 yards was brought down by cornerback Mike Turner. On 2nd down, Spencer Duffy delivered the 2nd sack on Wolfenden-Brown by the Oxford defense, this time for an 8 yard loss. On 3rd down a pass to Isaak Marshall was completed for 9 yards and the ball carrier was brought down by Dunstan, bringing up the punt on 4th down.

Oxford Saints v Cornish Sharks Sky Bet League 2 12/04/2015.

In the 4th quarter, the game remained closely contested with both offenses attempting to find holes in the imposing defenses. The Saints defense increased the intensity and began to greatly limit the Sharks offense on the ground. On 2nd down, rookie defensive tackle Dann Harvey showed great determination as he pursued the ball carrier out towards the sideline before tackling him for a 1 yard loss. The Sharks soon found a first down with a 19 yard pass from Wolfenden-Brown, with the receiver brought down by Turner. On the next play defensive tackle Deke Morton stopped the ball carrier for no gain. On 4th down the Sharks fumbled the ball and they recovered in the backfield, but for a 16 yard loss.

Denton led the Saints offense out with great field position, starting on the Sharks 33 yard line and a short distance to score. The ball was handed to Antonios Athanasiou who picked up 4 yards. A completed pass to Walter for a 7 yard gain gave Oxford the first down. Walter’s number was called again and he charged through for a 17 yard gain and another first down. With just a few yards out, Athanasiou received the ball and smashed his way into the endzone for a 4 yard touchdown, marking his first touchdown with the Saints after transferring to the team at the beginning of the season.

With the score tied, head coach Andrew Day called for the extra point kick attempt and Spencer Duffy took to the field. The ball was snapped by centre Gordon Cutting, and was quickly put in position and held in place by 2nd string quarterback David McCormack. Duffy kicked the ball through the uprights and the Saints edged forward with a 1 point lead. 13-12.

Following a good return on the kick off, the Sharks offense took over from the Oxford 35 yard line and they themselves only had a short distance between them and the score.

All eyes were on the Saints defense who needed to make one more stop to seal the game. A new quarterback for the Sharks was thrown into the mix and the ball was kept on the ground but his running backs found nowhere to go, with an Oxford defense which was now even more fired up, fighting to maintain the win. The first attempt was brought down by Duffy, and a 4 yard gain on the 2nd run attempt was stopped by Duffy and Holmes.

In desperate need of a 1st down, Stancombe delivered a further blow to the Sharks with a tackle behind the line for a 2 yard loss.

On 4th down with 7 yards to go, the quarterback attempted the pass and targeted his receiver over the middle of the field but the jump-ball was contested by strong safety Martin Fitzpatrick who disrupted the play and broke up the pass. The Saints defense celebrated as they took to the sideline and the offense came out for their final drive.

With time running out, the Saints picked up a first down thanks to a penalty against the Sharks and then chose to take a knee to run out the remaining seconds, sealing the 13-12 victory.

Summary

Concluding the regular season with another win, the Saints now sit at the top of the Southern Football Western Conference. However as Bristol still have two games to play, it is unlikely that Oxford will maintain the top spot unless Bristol suffer defeats in both.

The regular season of the British American Football National League sees it’s last games being played on August the 9th, so the Saints have several weeks to prepare before finding out who their first playoff opponent will be.

SFCW – Division II

PosTeamWLPFPAStreak
181340159W8
263280211L1
344168131W1
435245252L3
5020113L2

Statistics

A closely contested game and a rare occasion where it was not the Oxford offense which led the game in yardage.

The Sharks picked up 136 yards on the ground with another 133 in the air, for a total of 254 on offense.

Meanwhile the Saints picked up 124 on the ground (96 from Walter alone) and another 68 in the air, for a total of 192 on offense.

Both teams suffered from fumbles but were able to recover their own. Oxford QB Ben Denton recovered two fumbles and the Sharks recovered all three of theirs.

Penalties were a common sight throughout the game with 7 against Oxford for 35 yards, and 8 against Cornwall for 55 yards.

QB vs QB

Ben Denton attempted 14 passes and completed 4, for 50 yards and 0 TD’s.

Cornwall’s Joseph Wolfenden-Brown attempted 19 passes and completed 7, for 133 yards and 1 TD (on the opening play of the game) .

Wolfenden-Brown was sacked by the Saints defense 2 times for a total of 15 yards.

Oxford Stat Leaders – Offense

Running back/tight end James Walter put in another strong performance. Walter took 18 carries for 96 yards and 1 TD, with an average gain of 5.3 yards per carry. He also caught 1 pass for an additional 7 yards.

Running back/wide receiver Antonios Athanasiou picked up 19 yards on 6 carries, including 1 TD. He also caught 1 pass for an additional 20 yards.

Oxford Stat Leaders – Defense

The defense put in another defiant showing and limited the Sharks to just 12 points, including several 4th down stands which prevented further touchdowns.

Linebacker Spencer Duffy led the day with 9 solo tackles and 3 assists, including a sack for 8 yards.

Following Duffy was fellow linebacker Graeme Taylor with 3 solo tackles and 5 assists, including a crucial tackle on the 2 yard line preventing a Sharks touchdown.

Awards

Team MVP – Spencer Duffy

Offense MVP – Antonios Athanasiou

Defense MVP – Spencer Duffy

Special Teams MVP – James Walter

Game Preview: Oxford @ Cornwall: 18 July 2015

Saints on Tour!

This SATURDAY the Oxford Saints are playing the Cornish Sharks on the road in the last game of our regular season, following a a 43-24 victory over the Newquay team earlier in the year.

The Saints and the Sharks have played each other many times before but competed in separate divisions in 2014.

In 2013 the Sharks dealt a heavy blow to an Oxford side which travelled down south with a small squad, resulting in a 52-0 loss.

This year we have a completely different team and are pleased to report that at least 40 players have made arrangements for the road trip, with many staying down for the weekend to enjoy the location.


Oxford VS Cornwall – 17 May 2015

Following wins over Torbay and Bristol, the Saints suffered a big loss in game 3 against the Swindon Storm, on 3rd May.

Looking to bounce back and sporting their new alternative blue kit, Oxford hosted the Cornish Sharks two weeks later and secured the 3rd win of the season. The game remained competitive for the first half with a dominant display from the Saints defense and two spectatular TD catches by veteran wide receiver Sam Armstrong.

With the score 17-15 to Cornwall at half time, Oxford came out in the 3rd quarter and utilised their powerful run game. Strong performances from James Walter, Kev Brooks, Mike Oluwole and Ryan Kingshott allowed the Saints offense to move the ball on the ground with ease.

Apart from a kick return for a score by the Sharks, the 2nd half was mostly all-saints, as the home team claimed a 43-24 victory.

The Saints earned 434 yards in total whereas the Sharks notched up only 170.

James Walter had 15 carries for 147 yards and 2 touchdowns whilst Sam Armstrong led the receivers with 3 receptions for 72 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Quarterback Ben Denton attempted 11 passes and completed 7 for 130 yards, 2 touchdowns and 1 interception.

You can read the full game report here.

(photo by Gareth Brown)


Oxford’s Previous Game – 42-13 Victory over Swindon

The Saints last saw action on 5th July with a home re-match against local rivals, the Swindon Storm. Oxford were keen to finish their set of home games with a win over Swindon and there was a score to settle after Oxford’s defeat by the Storm earlier in the season.

The Saints controlled the game and the defense  put in another dominant display, landing four sacks on Swindon quarterback Greg Roscow and repeatedly shut down their offense.

Oxford’s own offense continued to run riot, with unstoppable running from James Walter and Grant Tebb.

You can read the full game report here and view the video highlights below.


Cornwall’s Previous Game – 24-20 Defeat to Bristol

On the day that Oxford was earning some revenge over Swindon, the Sharks were just an hour up the road doing battle with conference leaders, the Bristol Apache.

Reports show that the game was extremely close and was nearly an upset win for the Sharks, with Bristol pulling back victory in the closing moments of the contest.

The Sharks suffered heavy defeats from Oxford and Bristol earlier in the season but it appears they have reorganised their offense and are ready to challenge anyone they play.

SFCW – Division II

PosTeamWLPFPAStreak
181340159W8
263280211L1
344168131W1
435245252L3
5020113L2

The Rematch

When Oxford last faced Cornwall, they appeared to have travelled with a fairly small squad but it is well known that the Sharks are often stronger when playing at home.

The Saints will need to execute well and deliver a strong performance on both sides of the ball to claim a win over the Sharks in their own waters.

Throughout the week the Saints coaching staff and players will continue to evaluate scout film of the Sharks, in preparation for the rematch.

Quarterback Ben Denton, playing his first year at the position, has several more games under his belt since the last contest against Cornwall and continues to build his great relationship with his offensive line and Oxford’s stable of dangerous runningbacks.

The James Walter/Grant Tebb duo continues to be successful, with both players possessing great abilities to break tackles and make huge plays.

With rookies also earning considerable game time on both offense and defense, this final game of the regular season will be an important outing as the Saints prepare for the playoffs and plan the depth chart for post-season football.

A win over the Sharks will leave Oxford with a 6-2 record. Having already qualified for the playoffs, the Saints are now hunting for a more advantageous ‘playoff seeding’ and a victory on Saturday is needed.

(photo by Chris Janes)


Game Venue

We’re on the road to Newquay but if you are travelling down with the team to see us in action, please use the address below.

If you can’t make it, be sure to follow us on twitter @oxfordsaints for live score updates!

Treviglas Sports Hub
Bradley Road
Newquay
Cornwall
TR7 3JA

Saints Brave the Storm in 42-13 Victory: Game Report

Score

Team1234TotalOutcome
Oxford Saints12861642Win
Swindon Storm700613Loss

Video Highlights


Game statistics PDF available here: Oxford Saints vs Swindon Storm statistics

Saints Defeat Swindon Storm in 42-13 Victory

On SUNDAY 5th July, head coach Andrew Day and the Oxford Saints dealt a huge blow to local rivals the Swindon Storm, whilst booking a place in the 2015 playoffs.

Joining us for the event was our gameday sponsor Rapier Employment, who have supported the Oxford Saints for 2015 and chosen to sponsor the highly anticipated Oxford vs Swindon home game. We thank them for their support and you can learn more about them here – http://www.oxfordsaints.com/new-sponsor-rapier-employment/

Earlier in the season the Saints came away with a 50-16 loss against Swindon, but this time the tables were turned and Oxford put on a dominating performance.

Not only was it the first time Oxford had beaten Swindon in a regular season fixture, this game also saw a number of other changes on the field. Rookie defensive tackle Dann Harvey was awarded with his first starting position and performed well, alongside 2nd year safety Chris Fox who also earned his first starting position with the Oxford defense, going on to be awarded ‘Defensive MVP’ of the game.

Oxford Saints v Swindon Storm Sky Bet League 2 12/04/2015.

Dean Bryan makes the tackle – Photo by Gareth Brown

The Saints also welcomed the return of veteran cornerback Jonny Dover, who took to the field for the first time this year after being deployed to the Falklands with the Armed Forces and missing the majority of the season.

A special guest at the game was former player and retired coach Maurice Coleman, who joined the team when it first began in the 1980’s. Coleman entered the pre-game huddle and motivated the team with a rousing speech, noting the many new faces in this growing and promising team.

Now sitting on a 5-2 record, the Saints are 2nd in the Southern Football Conference West , just behind Bristol, and have now guaranteed themselves a spot in the division II playoffs.

11722130_968222013241878_1501776013670051203_o

1st Quarter

In Oxford’s last home game of the regular season and with a large supporting crowd, the Saints received the kickoff and began with the ball. First year quarterback Ben Denton led the offense onto the field who quickly found their rhythm with two break out runs from running back Kev Brooks, picking up 35 yards. Strong running from Brooks and James Walter brought the Saints close to the endzone, with Grant Tebb charging in for his first score of the day. Spencer Duffy attempted the extra point kick but it was blocked by a towering Swindon defender. 6-0 Oxford.

With a quick score on the board, confidence was high and the Saints defense took over. Swindon quarterback Greg Roscow led his own offense onto the field, coming off a 78-34 victory last week over the Torbay Trojans. In that game Roscow had an impressive performance throwing for 300 yards and 5 touchdown passes.

Oxford Saints v Swindon Storm Sky Bet League 2 12/04/2015.

Swindon’s Greg Roscow looks to pass – Photo by Gareth Brown

Swindon also set out to establish their run game but faced a tough Oxford defense, who knew the main threat from Swindon would come from sweep plays and reverse plays. The defenders worked hard to contain these outside threats. After several run plays the Storm picked up a first down followed by a 9 yard completed pass. Roscow looked to pass the ball again but both attempts fell incomplete, forcing Swindon to punt the ball away.

The Saints offense returned to the field but the drive was cut short after just two plays, when a pass attempt from Ben Denton was intercepted by a Swindon defender. The visitors looked to capitalise but strong play from safety Chris Fox, making his first start with the Saints defense, and an 8 yard tackle for a loss by safety Martin Fitzpatrick, ended the Swindon drive and forced another punt.

Oxford took over from their own 16 yard line and had a long distance to travel, but impressive running from the unstoppable James Walter quickly covered the distance. Walter charged through his opponents and picked up 32 yards in two plays, before a huge run for a 52 yard touchdown. With Swindon unable to bring him down, Walter broke through several tackles and charged into the endzone. Duffy attempted the extra point but it was again blocked, 12-0 Oxford.

Oxford Saints v Swindon Storm Sky Bet League 2 12/04/2015.

James Walter runs riot – Photo by Gareth Brown

Swindon answered back quickly with a 66 yard touchdown run, leaving the Oxford defense stunned. Roscow handed the ball to Luke McEnroe who ran straight up the middle of the field and avoided the Saints defenders in pursuit. McEnroe kicked the extra point himself and it went through the uprights, 12-7 Oxford.

The Saints looked to return the favour and kept the ball on the ground. Attempting to pick up gains on the ground, Brooks and Walter were unable to break through for any significant yards. Full back Ryan Kingshott picked up a few extra yards up the middle before bringing up an incomplete pass attempt on 3rd down. Oxford punted the ball away for the first time and Swindon’s offense took over from their own 33 yard line.

2nd Quarter

The 2nd quarter began with neither side able to deliver a productive performance on offense. Roscow handed the ball off but the runner was tackled by rookie defensive tackle Dann Harvey, who was making his first appearance as a starter with the Saints defense. Two incomplete passes followed before Swindon punted the ball away, and Oxford’s following drive also ended in a punt after failing to pick up a first down.

With Swindon’s offense on the field, the Oxford defense stated their dominance with tackles from Toby Durant and Graeme Taylor who brought down the Swindon runners for a loss of yards. One of the key plays of the game came on 4th down when rookie defensive end Sam Stancombe landed a huge hit on Roscow from behind, sacking the young quarterback for a 9 yard loss. Stancombe suffered a serious injury during pre-season training and this was his first game back with the Saints. His recovery and rehabilitation work paid off, earning his first career sack with his new team.

Oxford Saints v Swindon StormSky Bet League 212/04/2015.

Sam Stancombe lands his first sack with the Saints – Photo by Gareth Brown

The sack from Stancombe caused a surge in morale on the Oxford sideline, as Denton and his offense took to the field. The ball was handed to Walter who picked up 7 yards, before Denton threw a quick pass to Grant Tebb who showcased his talent with a 63 yard run into the endzone, evading the Swindon defenders who attempted to bring him down. Following the huge run, head coach Andrew Day called for a 2 point conversion attempt. Denton dropped back to pass and hit tight end Rich Bloomer in stride as he charged across the goal line and smashed a defender into the endzone at the same time. 20-7 Oxford.

Swindon kept the ball on the ground in their next drive, hoping they could repeat the successes they enjoyed when they last played Oxford and dominated in the ground game. The highly experienced Saints defense continued to stand firm, with tackles from veteran defensive end Adam Baker and veteran linebacker Dean Bryan. 5 yards short of a first down, Roscow handed the ball off again but the ball carrier was brought down by rookie linebacker Connor Day for a 4 yard loss, forcing another punt.

Oxford Saints v Swindon Storm Sky Bet League 2 12/04/2015.

Grant Tebb scores on a 63 yard play – Photo by Gareth Brown

With time running out in the first half, Oxford looked to add another score onto the board and extend their lead but fell short. Walter took the handoff and ran for 11 yards, before catching a pass from Denton and picking up a further 26 yards. After the reception, Walter continued running and showcased his brute strength by fighting off a Swindon defender and launching him into his own teammate, knocking them both to the ground as the first half came to a close.

3rd Quarter

After a freak rain storm sent spectators running for cover during the half time break, the sun came out and Swindon’s offense took to the field. Keeping the ball on the ground again, Roscow continued to hand it off to his running back. Spencer Duffy in at linebacker took down the ball carrier after 6 yards and on the next play he took the runner down again for a 2 yard loss.

On 3rd down Swindon fumbled the ball but they were fortunately able to dive onto it in the backfield and recover it to maintain control, resulting in a 8 yard loss. With Swindon’s offense still struggling to find it’s form, they were forced to punt again.

Oxford Saints v Swindon Storm Sky Bet League 2 12/04/2015.

The Saints O-line gets ready – Photo by Gareth Brown

With momentum on their side, Oxford’s offense were inspired by the strong defensive performance of their teammates and looked to increase the tempo further.

Denton handed the ball to Walter who picked up 20 yards and a first down on two carries, before a completed pass to Rich Bloomer for a further 7 yards. With the endzone in sight, the ball was again given to Walter who charged into the endzone for his 2nd score of the game. Attempting another 2 point conversion, the pass fell incomplete. 26 – 7 Oxford.

On his next drive, Roscow dropped back and attempted to pass but was brought down behind the line for a 5 yard loss, with Spencer Duffy claiming the sack. A run attempt followed which was stuffed by Graeme Taylor for a 3 yard loss. Facing 3rd and 18, Swindon ran the ball again and picked up 12 yards on the ground before cornerback Ian Hiscock brought down the runner, forcing another punt.

On the following drive Denton took over on Swindon’s 27 yard line with short distance to the goal line. He looked to pass but targets to Leroy Holmes and rookie Thomas Swift fell incomplete. The ball was handed to Tebb on 4th down but he was unable to pick up the first down, forcing a turnover and bringing Roscow back onto the field.

untitled (27 of 82) (1)

Ali Galbraith celebrates his interception – Photo by Alexander Malyon

Roscow immediately looked to the passing game which was yet to get going and attempted a deep pass down the sideline, which was batted down by cornerback James Dunstan. Dropping back to pass again, Roscow attempted to hit his receiver on a short route but it was also knocked to the ground by Dunstan, missing an opportunity for the interception. On 3rd down the quarterback looked to the other side of the field and his pass was intercepted by veteran safety Ali Galbraith.

Taking over on Swindon’s 34 yard line, Denton and the Saints offense had another great shot at the endzone. The ball was first given to Brooks who picked up 8 yards on two carries, followed by a penalty on Swindon which awarded the Saints a first down. Unable to capitalise on the field position, an attempted pass to Bloomer on 4th down fell incomplete and the ball was turned over to the Storm.

With the 3rd quarter coming to an end, Swindon were still struggling to get out of their own territory and the intimidating Oxford defense continued to control the game.

An incomplete pass was followed by a sack on Roscow from Adam Baker, bringing him down for a 1 yard loss. A run for 6 yards was then brought to the ground by Duffy, forcing another Swindon punt on 4th down.

11411718_863902580352807_221279691335959347_o

Spencer Duffy brings down the Swindon runner – Photo by Chris Janes

4th Quarter

As the final quarter began, Oxford’s offense took over from their own 47 yard line. On the first play Denton hit rookie receiver Tom Swift over the middle of the field for a 26 yard completion, marking the young receivers first catch with the Saints. Following the big gain, Denton targeted Swift again in the corner of the endzone but it was incomplete. Brooks and Walter picked up 8 yards but a penalty on Oxford cost them another 5, setting up 4th and 7 yards to go for the first down.

Denton handed the ball to the powerful full back Ryan Kingshott, who blasted his way through the Swindon defense for a 14 yard gain. The rest of the drive was all Kingshott, as he carried the ball another 3 times before charging into the endzone untouched.

Going for another 2 point conversion, the ball was handed to Bloomer who ran it around the edge of the defenders before leaping into the endzone for the extra points. 34 – 7 Oxford.

Swindon finally found relief on their following drive when Roscow handed it to Robert Leaper on 2nd and 5, who sprinted through the Saints defense and up the sideline for a 60 yard touchdown run. The Storm then fumbled the ball and were unable to pick up the extra point. 34-13 Oxford.

Oxford Saints v Swindon Storm Sky Bet League 2 12/04/2015.

A Swindon runner breaks through – Photo by Gareth Brown

Nearing the end of the 4th quarter, Swindon were on the attack again and Roscow threw a quick pass out to his wide receiver, who was immediately brought to the ground by rookie cornerback Joseph Limerick for no gain. The Storm then started to move the ball well on the ground, picking up two first downs, with both runs being brought down by safety Chris Fox.

Following two incomplete pass attempts, Roscow handed the ball off again but the runner was stopped by safety Ali Galbraith for just a 5 yard gain. Swindon went for it on 4th and 5 looking to get the first down, but the ball carrier was promptly stopped in his tracks by Dann Harvey for no gain, forcing the turnover.

Denton then put together a final scoring drive which was all Walter, as he took the ball each time and continued to find running space against a tiring Swindon defense. After picking up 23 yards on 4 carries, Walter then broke out for a huge 32 yard touchdown run, shaking off multiple tacklers who were desperately trying to bring the powerful running back down. Denton handed the ball to Kingshott for the 2 point play, who charged through and picked up the extra points. 42-13 Oxford.

Oxford Saints v Swindon Storm Sky Bet League 2 12/04/2015.

James Walter charging through – Photo by Gareth Brown

With time left for one more scoring attempt by Roscow and the Storm, the quarterback hit an open receiver in stride for a 17 yard gain, before being brought down by cornerback Ian Hiscock. An 8 yard run was stopped just short of a first down by Chris Fox, who remained on top form throughout the game.

Looking to pick up the 2 yards needed for a first down, the ball carrier was brought to the ground for a 4 yard loss by rookie defensive end Graham Henley. For the final play of the game, Roscow received the ball and dropped back to pass but was instantly ran down and sacked for a 7 yard loss by rookie linebacker Matt Kersey, earning his first career sack with the Saints and resulting in Roscow’s 4th sack of the game.

Written by James Dunstan

Summary

The experience and passion of the Saints paid off, as Oxford earned payback for the 50-16 loss against Swindon earlier in the season. The Storm played aggressively to the end but appeared to have a smaller squad then last time and no doubt suffered against the strong 50+ Oxford side who were able to rotate in players throughout the game.

With a great home crowd, the Saints last regular season game at home was a terrific result. The coaching and club staff have worked tirelessly this season to deliver a competitive team for Oxford and a location where players can learn and develop their skills, regardless of experience. With rookies earning considerable game time, the battle for starting spots remains fierce with changes often being made each week to reflect individual performances.

Oxford Saints v Swindon Storm Sky Bet League 2 12/04/2015.

Grant Tebb evades a defender – Photo by Gareth Brown

Grant Tebb scored two touchdowns on Sunday and is having a remarkable first year with the Saints.

Following the game, Grant said:

“After our previous encounter with Swindon and the defeat to Bristol, we felt like we really had a point prove.”

“The potential on this team is huge, and we know that when it goes right we are a scary opponent to come up against. The offense this year has been rolling, we know what we are capable of and the talent at the coaches disposal is a wonder, it’s such a good unit to be a part of.”

“But the real pleasure of this game was watching the defense, and in particular the lesser known faces stamping their mark on the game. The celebrations for each other’s successes, and the support given after mistakes is truly awesome, we are a team on the up, we are marching on.”

Earning their 5th victory of the season, the Saints have now booked a place in the 2015 playoffs. Game film from Sunday is already being reviewed and the team have a week of training before travelling to the Cornish Sharks to play the last regular season game on Saturday 18th July.

SFCW – Division II

PosTeamWLPFPAStreak
181340159W8
263280211L1
344168131W1
435245252L3
5020113L2

 

Statistics

A dominant game for Oxford’s high powered offense who moved the ball with ease against Swindon, picking up 325 yards on the ground and a further 122 in the air. Swindon broke out two big runs for scores, contributing to their 211 yards on the ground whilst only managing 26 in the air against an experienced Oxford secondary unit.

The Saints picked up 5 TD’s on the ground and one in the air, with both Storm scores being on the ground as well.

Game statistics PDF available here: Oxford Saints vs Swindon Storm statistics

QB vs QB

Oxford’s Ben Denton attempted 14 passes and completed 5, with one interception and a TD pass to Grant Tebb. No sacks.

Swindon’s Greg Roscow attempted 15 passes and completed 3, with one interception and no TD’s. Roscow was sacked by the Saints defense 4 times for a total of 22 yards.

Ben Denton prepares to pass – Photo by Gareth Brown

Oxford Stat Leaders – Offense

Running back/tight end James Walter put in another strong performance and remains a fierce opponent to deal with. Walter took 22 carries for 219 yards and 3 TD’s, with an average gain of 10 yards per carry. He also caught 2 passes for an additional 26 yards.

Running back/tight end Grant Tebb continues to enjoy a brilliant first year with the Saints and a perfect complement to Walter. Tebb took 6 carries for 34 yards and 1 TD, with an average gain of 5.7 yards. He also caught 1 pass for a 63 yard gain and a further TD. Tebb also returned 3 punts for 101 yards.

Oxford Stat Leaders – Defense

The defense put in a strong shift across the board and remained a force to be reckoned with throughout. Both Swindon scores came from two break out runs, rather then sustained drives across the field.

Safety Chris Fox claimed led the day with 5 tackles in his first game as a starter, followed by linebacker Spencer Duffy with 4. Dann Harvey also claimed 2 tackles in his first game as a starter.

The Swindon quarterback was brought down 4 times with sacks coming from Adam Baker, Spencer Duffy, Matt Kersey and Sam Stancombe. (First career sacks for Kersey and Stancombe with the Saints)

The defense claimed 1 interception, caught by safety Ali Galbraith.

Graeme Taylor brings down the Swindon runner – Photo by Gareth Brown

Awards

Team MVP – Grant Tebb

Offense MVP – James Walter

Defense MVP – Chris Fox

Special Teams MVP – Grant Tebb

Photos

Photos courtesy of Jamo’s Pics and Gareth Brown Photography have been uploaded. Check out their excellent work below.

[fb_embed_post href=”https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.865456706864061.1073741984.390191134390623&type=3/” width=”550″/]

[fb_embed_post href=”https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.968547139876032.1073741855.219624901434930&type=3/” width=”550″/]

Game Preview: Oxford VS Swindon THIS SUNDAY

Our Nearest Rivals Come To Town

This SUNDAY the Oxford Saints are hosting the Swindon Storm in a highly anticipated rematch following a a 50-16 loss earlier in the season.

The Saints and the Storm competed in separate divisions in 2014 but were aligned together this year following a league restructure.

Come down to Abingdon Rugby Club for a 2:30 PM kickoff to see the Saints in action. A victory over Swindon will put Oxford in a good position for the playoffs.

Tradition

For many years there has always been a “Oxford against Swindon” rivalry which encompasses multiple sports, most notably are the big clashes in soccer between Oxford United and Swindon Town. The Oxford City Stars Ice Hockey team also enjoy rivalry battles with the Swindon Wildcats.

Competition between the Oxford Saints and the Swindon Storm adds to the growing list…


Rapier Employment – Gameday Sponsor

We would like to thank local company Rapier Employment who join us as our gameday sponsor. Their support this year helps us to strengthen our club and their commitment is hugely appreciated.

Rapier is the UK’s specialist supplier of workforce solutions to the transport and warehousing sector.

They offer over 20 years of excellence in providing dedicated warehouse, production line and all-class driver workers to leading third party logistics organisations, major supermarket retailers, car manufacturers and food packaging companies, among other clients.

Visit their website www.rapieremployment.co.uk to find out more.

rapier 1

 


Oxford VS Swindon – 3rd May 2015

Oxford’s high spirits following a strong 2-0 start to 2015 were dealt a huge blow on 3rd May when the team travelled to take on the Swindon Storm.

The Saints offense struggled to find it’s rhythm and under torrential rain, the game slipped further and further away. Powerful running from Swindon’s Dan Thorne saw him break through the Saints with ease. The game ended as 50-16 and presented a strong wake up call for Oxford.

11206008_832630430146689_6858759411232928220_n

(photo by Chris Janes)


Oxford’s Previous Game – 42-41 Defeat To Bristol

The Saints last saw action on 21st June with a fierce road game against current division leaders, the Bristol Apache. In game 2 of the season, Oxford handed Bristol a crushing blow with a 35-34 victory, after Oxford were down 28-6 at half time.

The rematch this time was hotly contested from kickoff, with both teams maintaining near equal scores throughout the game, with victory once again being decided by just a single point. 42-41 to Bristol.

The game featured more strong running from James Walter and Grant Tebb. Bringing their unique playing styles, they are fast becoming a deadly duo for opposition defenses to handle.

Oxford dominated on the ground whilst Bristol’s precision passing wreaked havoc above. Depending on how the rest of the regular season progresses, it’s entirely possible for Oxford to play Bristol again in the playoffs.

You can read the full game report here.

 


Swindon’s Previous Game – 78-34 Victory Over Torbay

Last week Swindon hosted the Torbay Trojans and came away with a huge win. However the earlier stages of the game were much closer, with the score only 15-14 at half time.

Despite the impressive first half showing by the Trojans, the Storm blew them out of the water in the 2nd half with non-stop touchdowns. Despite reports that Swindon had lost some key players due to injuries, this did not seem to cause them any difficulties on Sunday as they came away clear winners.

Currently in their 2nd year of competition, the Trojans are having a rough season but continue to show signs of promise. The Saints won both games against the Trojans, an unimpressive 18-6 season opener followed by a much improved 72-30 performance.

11699044_10152880705871135_2975480322283736770_o

(photo by James Booth)


The Rematch

When Oxford last faced Swindon, they were a run-heavy team and attempted only 2 or 3 passes. Their power came from Dan Thorne in the backfield who would routinely break through the line picking up big yardage on the ground.

Scouting reports show that Swindon have mixed up their game since, with their latest game featuring a different quarterback under centre who threw for 300 yards and 5 TD passes.

Looking at how Swindon have fared against other opponents in the division, they suffered two losses at the hands of the Cornish Sharks, who the Saints were able to swiftly dispatch.

They also fell at the hurdle against Bristol, whereas Oxford were able to hold their own in two nail-bitingly close fixtures.

Oxford will therefore be hoping to put on a different display then last time.

Saints quarterback Ben Denton, playing his first year at the position, continues to improve and has several more games under his belt since the last outing against Swindon. With additional players added to the deep Saints roster, Oxford will be hoping to find the solution to the Swindon problem this weekend.

11026033_832630316813367_9154971634902627528_n

(photo by Chris Janes)


Oxford Chairman Martin Fitzpatrick:

10620138_10154663392960650_2448561445722414439_o“It’s no exaggeration to say that this is the single most important game of the year so far.”

“The last game against Swindon was a rude awakening for many of our hugely talented, but relatively inexperienced players. Yet it taught all of our guys some valuable lessons about underestimating your opponent and the importance of physicality in the game of football.

“I think we all know that we’re going to be in for a tough game on Sunday, but after losing by the narrowest of margins to Bristol two weeks ago in a game that really could have gone either way, I’m confident that we have the talent and desire to take control of our season.”

SFCW – Division II

PosTeamWLPFPAStreak
181340159W8
263280211L1
344168131W1
435245252L3
5020113L2

 


Game Venue

We’re at home so come down and see the action at Abingdon Rugby Club. On offer as always will be a licensed bar and the Saints Diner, serving a variety of cooked food and snacks.

A BBQ will be available instead if the weather is suitable. Parking is free and there is plenty of space for guests.

If you can’t make it, be sure to follow us on twitter @oxfordsaints for live score updates!

For anyone who is visiting us for the first time, please use the address below:

Abingdon Rugby Club
Southern Sports Park
Lambrick Way
Abingdon
OX14 5TJ

 

Bristol Defeat Oxford in Thrilling 42-41 Rematch

Score

Team1234TotalOutcome
Bristol Apache14721042Win
Oxford Saints71412841Loss

Video Highlights


Game statistics PDF available here Oxford Saints VS Bristol Apache 21.06.15

The Bristolian Empire Strikes Back…

Last weekend the Oxford Saints travelled to Bristol to take on the Apache, in what was built up to be a thrilling rematch… It did not disappoint.

Although the Apache came out winners, an extremely close and exciting game was a testament to American Football in the UK.

11536057_856780464398352_8113923857615639673_n

Earlier in the season the Apache visited Oxford and were defeated in a nail-biting 35-34 finish, which saw Oxford come back from behind against all odds to snatch victory. This time the game was just as close and no less intense.

With home field advantage and coming off a 3 game winning streak, Bristol were riding high. Confidence and morale was up following a 57-0 thrashing of the Torbay Trojans and the Apache were excited for the opportunity to replay the Saints.

1st Quarter

Oxford received the kickoff to begin the game and first year quarterback Ben Denton led the Saints offense onto the field. Strong running from Grant Tebb and Kev Brooks moved the ball well against the Apache defense and they were nearing the endzone. A 16 yard reception by tight end James Walter who charged across the goal line opened the scoring within just a few minutes. Spencer Duffy kicked the extra point, 7-0 Oxford.

Bristol looked to answer back quickly and picked up good yards on the ground whilst picking up first downs, approaching the Saints endzone. A completed pass from quarterback James Carter over the middle for 11 yards gave the Apache a first down and showcased their dangerous ability for precision passing. Bristol went to the air again but the pass was intercepted by a diving Oxford safety Martin Fitzpatrick, bringing an end to the aggressive drive.

Bristol Apache V Oxford saints  (4) (1)

The offense took over from the 19 yard line and struggled to get the ball moving after a 10 yard penalty flag and then a 9 yard sack on Denton. Fullback Ryan Kingshott charged through and recovered some of the lost yards, but the offense were forced to punt the ball away on 4th down.

Taking over on the Oxford half of the field, Bristol continued to find success on the ground by running the ball, aided further by a damaging 15 yard penalty against the Saints, pushing them further back against their own endzone. Apache’s powerful running back Jon Walters took the ball and crossed the goal line, putting his team onto the scoreboard. Royce kicked the extra point, tied game 7-7.

16386_856780101065055_8013864719535088738_nWith Oxford back in possession, running from Grant Tebb and Mike Oluwole picked up another Saints first down, before a fumbled ball during a handoff was recovered by the Bristol defense. The Apache capitalised on the momentum swing by continuing to move the ball on the ground, with Jon Walters quickly smashing into the endzone for his second score of the game. Royce kicked the extra point, 14-7 Bristol.

 

With the Saints offense back on the field, James Walter lined up at running back and was on his usual excellent form. With strong running and his ability to evade would-be tacklers, Walter picked up huge yardage and helped move Oxford down the field.

2nd Quarter

With the Saints knocking on the door of Bristol’s endzone, the first quarter came to a close and the teams switched sides before the impressive drive was capped off with a Grant Tebb touchdown, running into the endzone for another 6 points. Duffy kicked the extra point and the game was tied again, 14-14.

Carter and the Apache looked to retaliate swiftly and returned to their air attack, picking up a first down. With the Saints defense adding pressure, rookie defensive-end Conor Whitehouse landed a big hit on Carter in the backfield, costing Bristol 5 yards.

Bristol Apache V Oxford saints  (6)On the following play, what looked like a run play from Alex DeCaro quickly turned into a pass, as he launched the ball deep down field. With the ball sailing through the air, wide receiver Frederick Marshall was able to catch the uncontested pass and strode into the endzone for a shock touchdown. The extra point by Royce was good, and Bristol took the lead again 21-14.

When Oxford and Bristol last met earlier in the season, the Saints were down 28-6 as the 2nd quarter came to a close, but it was clear to all involved that today was a completely different ball game.

In true Saints style, Ben Denton led a relentless march downfield with more strong running from Brooks, Tebb and Walter. Although no break out runs, the offense continued to move the ball a few yards at a time and were picking up first downs against a struggling defense. To mix up the long drive, Denton targeted tight end Rich Bloomer who caught a 9 yard pass, picking up another much needed first down.

With the endzone in front of them, the 18 play drive ended with a touchdown from James Walter as he charged in from the 1 yard line. Duffy’s kick was good and the game was tied once again, 21-21.

3rd Quarter

Coming back onto the field following the half time break, a revitalised Apache offense put together a fast and brutal drive. After picking up nearly 30 yards on the ground in two plays, Carter looked to the air and a jump ball was hauled in by a Bristol receiver for a 24 yard gain. Carter threw the ball again over the middle of the endzone and DeCaro caught the touchdown pass. Royce’s kick was good, 28-21 Bristol.

Desperate to end the game of cat and mouse and wanting to hold on to a lead, Bristol’s defense stood firm and stopped the Oxford ground attack on the following drive, forcing another punt.

Bristol pressed their advantage and continued to pass the ball with precision. With memories still fresh in their minds of how Oxford came from behind to claim victory earlier in the year, the Apache would not take their foot off the gas this time…

A series of completed passes and penalties against the Oxford defense took the Apache into the endzone, with another connection between Carter and DeCaro for the score. Royce remained on form and kicked the extra point, extending the lead 35-21 Bristol.

Bristol Apache V Oxford saints  (5)

With plenty of football still to play, Denton handed the ball to Brooks who stormed up field for 28 yards on two plays. The ball was then given to Tebb who demonstrated his excellent ability to outrun pursuers and get into space, as he sprinted clear for a 58 yard touchdown, giving the Oxford sideline a huge morale boost. Duffy attempted the extra point kick but it leaned to the left and missed it’s target, depriving the Saints of an additional point which would prove crucial in the later stages of the game.

The next drive for Bristol was cut short when a fumbled ball was hastily recovered by Saints linebacker Dean Bryan, presenting an opportunity for a momentum swing and granting the Oxford offense access to the field. With the ball in the capable hands of Walter, he picked up a first down on three carries before Tebb broke out for another big run, picking up 27 yards.

11536072_856780561065009_8419302962261693185_nFast becoming a deadly duo combination, Walter and Tebb’s powerful running had quickly brought the endzone within their sights. Denton handed the ball off to Walter who ran into the endzone for a 15 yard score. Looking to go for a two point conversion, the ball was given to Walter but he was unable to cross the line, 35-33 Bristol.

With the score too close for comfort, Bristol’s offense were desperate to recover a safer lead. With strong running by Jon Walters, the Apache continued to find success by moving the ball on the ground up the middle, meanwhile Oxford’s defense continued to draw penalty flags and give up additional yards to the aggressors. Carter continued to target his Bristolian teammates in the air with success and found his favoured receiver DeCaro for a 5 yard score. Royce remained perfect with his extra point kick, 42-33 Bristol.

In the final minutes of the 3rd quarter, Denton and the Saints were marching across the field with determination as Walter broke out for a big 40 yard run. Denton then targeted tight end Toby Durant in the corner of the endzone but the Bristol defense kept him covered and the ball fell incomplete. On 4th down, Denton dropped back to pass again and hit veteran receiver Sam Armstrong in stride, picking up the 10 yard touchdown. The ball was then handed off to Walter who broke through the Bristol line and claimed the much needed 2 extra points. 42-41 Bristol.

Bristol Apache V Oxford saints  (2)

4th Quarter

Entering the final quarter of this fast paced shoot out, both teams continued to fight hard and strived to deal a finishing blow to the other. Bristol had established their dangerous passing game with multiple scores from receiver DeCaro. On the ground, the Apache would routinely call on the services of their power running back Jon Walters, who the Saints often struggled to contain.

Meanwhile for Oxford, the discipline from Denton under centre and destructive running from Tebb and Walter continued to keep the Apache on edge, knowing either player could break out for another big run at any time.

10411862_856780434398355_6126176200624664135_nOn their next drive Bristol kept the ball on the ground but the Oxford defense held strong and forced the punt, aided by some key tackles from Spencer Duffy in at linebacker.

Taking over from their own 19 yard line, Walter and Tebb tried to find space to work but a steadfast Apache defense kept them short of the first down. Attempting to punt the ball away and create some breathing room, Walter’s punt was deflected by an Apache player and the ball rolled into the backfield, before being secured by Walter.

With Oxford’s defense having to make a stand from their own 5 yard line, a Bristol score seemed inevitable. Carter first looked to pass but it fell incomplete. On the following play the ball came loose and defensive end Conor Whitehouse dived to recover the fumble, ending the dangerous Apache drive. The Saints offense took over from the 7 yard line and determined running from the Walter/Tebb duo moved the ball well but a 15 yard penalty struck a damaging blow and Oxford were forced to punt again. As Walter looked to punt, an Apache linebacker pushed through the line and added pressure resulting in another deflected punt, granting Bristol excellent field position from the Oxford 24 yard line.

11424463_856780041065061_5399788810384506221_n (1)

Requiring another strong stand, the Saints defense kept it together as Carter attempted two passes and only managed to pick up a 3 yard completion. A 6 yard run then brought Bristol just 1 yard short of a potentially game-ending first down, but a fumbled ball on 4th down forced the turnover and brought the Oxford offense out.

Denton handed the ball off to Brooks who swiftly picked up a first down and then a further 8 yards on his next two carries. Still deep in Oxford’s own territory and time running out, Denton looked to pass and targeted rookie receiver Tom Swift, narrowly missing out on what could have been a touchdown reception. On 4th down Denton dropped back and targeted receiver Devon Powell on the same route and once again the ball fell incomplete just inches away from the intended receivers hands.

11141342_856780637731668_1004154731099538481_n

Carter and the Apache came out for their final drive of the game knowing that a single first down would likely seal the deal. Giving the ball to their running back, he picked up 5 yards before being gang tackled to the ground by the Oxford defense. Another handoff gained the Apache a further 4 yards before being tackled by defensive end Adam Baker, just short of a first down. On 3rd down with just a single yard needed, Duffy stopped the runner in his tracks for no gain.

 

Faced with a 4th and 1 yard situation, the defining moment of the game was here. Bristol needed just a single yard to effectively bring the nerve-racking contest to an end and Oxford needed one more stop to give Denton and his offense one last chance. The ball was snapped to Carter and with a Saints linebacker wrapping up his legs, he lunged forward in an attempt to earn the solitary yard they needed.

With the call too close to judge, the game officials summoned the chain crew so the distance could be measured, with both teams eagerly watching and waiting. The officials carefully assessed the ball position and declared that the ball had reached it’s target by just a matter of inches, with the tip crossing the invisible line. With the game all but over, the Apache offense took a knee on the remaining plays to run out the clock and bring the game to a close.


 

Summary

With another thrilling game in the books, the Saints and the Apache have fought two unrivalled games which were both decided by just a single point. Combined, the score between the two teams currently stands as 76-76 and there is every chance of the two sides meeting for a third time in the playoffs.

Assessment of game film is already under way and the Saints have a week of practice before the Swindon Storm come to town.

Bristol Head Coach Adam Davies shared his thoughts with us following the game:

“Sunday’s game was a belter and we always knew it would be.”

“Apache knew in their hearts that the first game against the Saints should have ended differently, so approached this game with something to prove. I have never seen my team more fired up and motivated before a game.”

“However, we knew that the Saints had improved since our first encounter and that they had been scouting us a lot; so we knew that this wasn’t going to be easy.”

“On the day both teams fought hard and never gave up. I was impressed by both teams and the way in which they conducted themselves. Emotions were high and there was a real lust for victory in the eyes of every player I looked at, both on the side lines and on the field. ”

“I am pleased to say that the Apache offence was outstanding and the Apache D continued to adjust and Apache came out with the W, but it was close. A well fought battle and a testament to two quality teams in the division.”

“I wish Oxford all the best and will not be surprised to see them in the playoffs.”


 

SFCW – Division II

PosTeamWLPFPAStreak
181340159W8
263280211L1
344168131W1
435245252L3
5020113L2

 

Statistics

A battle of two different philosophies as Oxford’s ground and pound attack faced off against Bristol’s precision aerial assault.

With huge plays and exceptional talent on both teams, the statistics show that Oxford and Bristol combined for just short of 1,000 offensive yards, creating a high scoring and explosive game for the watching supporters.

The Saints powerful offense picked up 450 yards on the ground but only 44 in the air. The Apache meanwhile claimed an even spread of 235 rushing yards and a further 206 through passing.

Both teams remained remarkably close throughout the game with 6 TD’s each and an average gain of 6.06 yards per play for Oxford versus 6.61 for Bristol.

18005_856780414398357_7996847670344605924_n

QB vs QB

Oxford’s Ben Denton attempted 12 passes with 4 completions, throwing 2 TD’s.

Bristol’s James Carter favoured the pass, 23 attempts with 13 completions, throwing 4 TD’s and 1 Interception.


 

Oxford stat leaders – Offense

Tight end/running back James Walter had another stunning performance picking up 170 yards on 26 carries for an average of 6.5 yards per play and 2 TD’s on the ground. Walter also hauled in 1 pass for 16 yards and a further TD.

Tight end/running Grant Tebb also excelled in his first year with the Saints, picking up 156 yards on 16 carries for an average of 9.8 yards per play and 2 TD’s on the ground. Tebb also caught 1 pass for 9 yards.

Running back Kev Brooks continues to deliver the goods after a strong performance in his 2014 rookie year. He picked up 109 yards on 17 carries for an average of 6.4 yards per play.

Wide receiver Sam Armstrong was the other scorer catching a vital 10 yard TD pass in the endzone.

11230777_856780674398331_2191449388917507903_n

Oxford stat leaders – Defense

On the defense it was the secondary unit who saw plenty of action, with cornerback Michael Turner claiming 8 tackles, free safety Michael Bearman with 7 and Chris Fox with 5.

Rookie defensive end Conor Whitehouse landed 1 sack on the QB and also recovered a fumble. A further fumble recovery came from linebacker Dean Bryan.

Martin Fitzpatrick claimed the single interception of the game with a diving grab.

1896948_856780397731692_5143093685860768948_n

Awards

Team MVP – Tight end/running back Grant Tebb for exceptional running and dedication to the team.

Offensive MVP – Full back Ryan Kingshott for explosive blocking throughout the game.

Defensive MVP – No award from the coaches for the defensive unit. It was recognised as a collective effort with every member of the defence stepping up, making their mark on the game and making a single players performance irrelevant.

Special teams MVP – No award from the coaches for the special teams unit. Performance was deemed below standards across the board.

Game statistics PDF available here Oxford Saints VS Bristol Apache 21.06.15


 

Photos

The first few photos courtesy of Chris Janes – Jamo’s Pics photography have been uploaded with more on their way. Check out his excellent work below.

[fb_embed_post href=”https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.858229510920114.1073741981.390191134390623&type=3/” width=”550″/]

 

Swindon Home V4 - PNGNext game – 5th July

With two games left in the regular season, the Saints are still in a strong position to make the playoffs and coming up next is the Swindon Storm.

Join us on 5th July at Abingdon Rugby Club as we host our nearest rivals.

Entrance is free and there will be a licensed bar serving drinks along with hot food from the ‘Saints Diner’.

There is plenty of  parking space available and families are welcome.


 

Written by James Dunstan

Photography courtesy of Chris Janes – Jamo’s Pics

Game Preview: Oxford @ Bristol THIS SUNDAY

Bristol posterThe re-match is here!

This SUNDAY the Oxford Saints are stepping onto the field for what is undeniably the biggest game so far of the 2015 season, perhaps even the biggest game of the past few years for Oxford…

The Saints and the Apache have faced each other many times before but were in different divisions during the 2014 season. In 2012 Oxford dominated over Bristol, who returned the favour in the 2013 season.

 

2015 has seen the teams much more evenly matched. On 26th April 2015 Bristol travelled to Oxford to play their first regular season game. The Saints meanwhile were coming off a 18-6 home opener victory against Torbay the week before.

The game quickly got out of hand with Bristol’s high powered and fast moving offense putting up points on the Oxford defense. Although Bristol found the scoreboard first, the Saints answered back swiftly with a touchdown pass from quarterback Ben Denton to receiver Sam Armstrong.

Oxford Saints v Bristol ApacheSky Bet League 212/04/2015.

The remainder of the first half however was a one sided affair which saw the visiting team pick apart the Oxford defense and securing a 28-6 lead by half time.

What happened in the second half was a cinematic-like come back which saw the Saints pull off a remarkable 35-34 victory and was the largest comeback for a win by Oxford in over 15 years.

You can read the full game report here: Saints Break Bristol 35-34 


Oxford’s Season

Oxford’s high spirits were dealt a huge blow on 3rd May when the team travelled to take on the Swindon Storm, in game 3 of the regular season.

The Saints offense struggled to find it’s rhythm and under torrential rain, the game slipped further and further away. Powerful running from Swindon’s Dan Thorne saw him break through the Saints defense time after time. The game ended as a 50-16 defeat.

11265500_840220982720967_5792811162133982496_n

Next up was the Cornish Sharks on 17th May. Famously stronger at home, the Sharks however had to travel to Oxford for this contest and were beaten 43-24 by the Saints, a much needed morale boost following the Swindon result earlier in the month.

The following week Oxford made the long trip down to Torbay to take on the Trojans. A relatively new club after a long hiatus, the Trojans were led by a mobile and talented quarterback but they were not able to overcome the experience of the Saints, losing 70-32.


 

Bristol’s Season

Stunned by their defeat during their season opener, Bristol bounced back with  3 consecutive victories.

On 9th May they travelled down to Newquay and successfully shut down the Cornish Sharks in their own territory, coming home with a 30-10 win.

On 31st May they hosted Swindon and achieved a dominant 37-12 victory before ending with a a 57-0 win over Torbay on 14th June.

SFCW – Division II

PosTeamWLPFPAStreak
181340159W8
263280211L1
344168131W1
435245252L3
5020113L2

 

The Re-match

Nearly two months since the first contest, Oxford and Bristol are finally going up against each other again in what is sure to be another thrilling spectacle of American Football.

This time however the Saints are travelling to Bristol who will have home field advantage at their state of the art 4G facility.

Both sides have added several wins since the last meeting but Bristol have the added benefit of also defeating the Swindon Storm, which Oxford failed to do.

11165220_10153299787644459_2451957770292043569_n

It has been said that Bristol appeared to be complacent when they last played Oxford and you can’t blame a team for feeling that way with a dominating first half performance and a 28-6 scoreline in their favour.

After appearing to rotate in players and resting some starters, the game quickly turned around and Bristol had to get back into gear when the Saints started to narrow the gap. You can guarantee however that Bristol will not be willing to make the same mistake again and there is unlikely to be mercy from either team if one takes an early lead…

Oxford began the season following a hugely successful recruitment drive which has seen the player roster rise to approximately 70 players, some of whom are taking up the sport for the first time or have been attracted to Oxford from other clubs.

CHUwBygWoAAnR5pLeading this new era of the Saints is quarterback Ben Denton, who is playing his first year at the new position. Denton previously played as cornerback and kick returner in the 2013 and 2014 seasons.

With three more games of experience since the Bristol contest, Denton has been able to improve his relationship with the offensive unit.

Across the team, competition for starting spots has remained strong which has created a favourable training atmosphere. The Saints have also added several returning veterans and some new recruits, so there will be a few different faces when the two teams go head to head again…

The build up to the game has also seen local media coverage with the Oxfordshire Guardian dedicating a whole back page.

 


Game Venue

Although we are on the road for this one, Bristol is not too far away from Oxford and any travelling supporters are most welcome to join us and enjoy the show.

If you can’t make it, be sure to follow us on twitter @oxfordsaints for live score updates!

Please use the address below:

Filton Wise Campus
New Road
Stoke Gifford
Bristol
BS34 8LP