Last Sunday saw the one of the biggest rivalry games that the BUAFL has to offer as the 2-3 Solent Redhawks faced off against the 4-0 current national champs, the Portsmouth Destroyers. It was an important game that the Redhawks had been written off as the underdogs by all supporters of the league and the TVC conference. Since it was one of only five games to make it through the bad weather it instantly became the game of the week.
The game started on a sour note for the Hawks as the Destroyers kicked a very sly onside kick which was recovered after being fumbled by the Solent front line, leaving all the supporters still in doubt of any kind of threat that Solent could oppose to Portsmouth.
The game was very stop start with the first 8 plays resulting in penalty flags. Alex Veitch
from Solent may have broken the record for a game high of 7 flags (including some called when he was not even present?).
Portsmouth were deep in Hawks territory on the 5 yard line but the defence held strong on 4th down when in standard Destroyers fashion they went for it, only to get shut down.
Solents first drive consisted of a few medium runs from RB Tom Borsay
, Bikrant Maharjan and QB Sebastian Sanders-Rivas
which could only lead to a punt back to the opposition 45yd line. With some great defence as they were to show us all day, the Redhawks drove back the Destroyers forcing them to 3rd and 30 (with the help of penalties and a very bad shotgun snap) forcing them to punt it back to Solent.
The highlight of the first half would have to go to Tomo after breaking two tackles and then destroying (pun intended) Portsmouths #44 which resulted in a gain of 36 yards at the end of the first quarter.
The Hawks first TD followed a few plays later with Seb connecting with WR Nick Parker on a 20 yard TD pass. Hawks led 7-0 xp good from Matt Greenbank
Redhawks D didn’t let much up frustrating the Portsmouth offence with Hawk Jake Hayman
making a huge sack forcing them to turn over the ball on 4th down as they tried their hardest to get points on the board by going with 4 straight hail mary passes. Solent ended the half up by the score.
Hawks kicked off the second half to the Destroyers 10 which was returned to the Hawks 45 yd. Solent defence stayed on top form with the D-line creating constant pressure, LBs keeping everything to the inside and the DBs in lockdown coverage.
Portsmouth where getting more and more frustrated as Solent looked in control in a defensive showdown.
Portsmouth were lucky enough to put points on the board as a miscommunication on punt team resulted in an unseen snap by the punter who recovered and turned over the ball in Hawks redzone.
It only took Portsmouth 1 play as RB #9 managed to break tackles after a huge miss by the rookie OLB at the line of scrimmage resulting in the 17 yard TD. Destroyers again going for two as always with FIVE Hawks stuffing the attempt resulting in a 7-6 lead to Solent.
The ensuing kickoff was onside again however this time Solent were prepared and recovered the ball in great field position just behind the ‘U’ 45.
In what was a very sloppy 4th, flags consistently being shown, the defence for both teams were stopping everything up until a late in the quarter when the Hawks got themselves to the 4yd line with some hard running by RBs Tommo, Stefan and a brilliant reverse by WR Nick Parker.
Solent offence got what they wanted when Seb threw his second passing TD of the game this time finding Tomo for his second reception TD of the season. XP was missed with 2:40 on the clock Redhawks 13 – 6 Portsmouth.
QB Seb deciding he would not let Portsmouth have any chance of making a play put himself in for the kickoff and made the solo tackle on their 35.
The Destroyers started off with their final possession moving down the field only 6yds to the Solent 41, however after 2 stalled played the Portsmouth QB got pressured again by the members of the D-Line and in a rush threw an interception to Niel Ford who returned it back to the Hawk 45. With no Destroyers time-outs left, Redhawks kneeled out the game for the win.
This emphatic win means that the Solent Redhawks are now 3-3 with a 3 game winning streak. It also meant that the Hawks ended up breaking the Destroyers 15 game regular season winning streak, previously beaten by none other than… THE REDHAWKS!!!
Solent Redhawks 13
Portsmouth Destroyers 6
Report By: Arran Brown
& Soheil Maleki