London Blitz prepare for play-offs with rare victory against Warriors
- Credit: Archant
London Blitz completed the regular league season with their first victory over arch-rivals London Warriors in three years at Finsbury Park.
Having lost to the Warriors in their first meeting of the campaign, Blitz needed to win by 29 points to earn themselves home-field advantage for the BAFANL Premier play-offs.
And, although the north Londoners were unable to achieve that margin of victory, the result itself gives them a significant lift ahead of their semi-final clash away to East Kilbride Pirates.
The Warriors gave Blitz a rude awakening in the first quarter of Sunday’s game, sacking quarterback Tim Liechti and forcing a punt, but the home side soon responded in kind.
After a long drive, Blitz were within scoring distance – and, although they had to settle for just a field goal, they stepped up the pace in the second quarter.
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Liechti hoisted a long touchdown pass to wide receiver Andrew Cropper and the extra point gave Blitz a 10-0 advantage before the defensive duel resumed.
Linebacker Sky Modebe recovered a blocked Warriors punt to set Blitz up at the five-yard line and the resulting field goal meant that they ended the half with a 13-0 lead.
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The Warriors came back stronger in the third quarter and Liechti’s pass was intercepted, with the visitors punching the ball in to close the gap to 13-7.
After both teams recovered their own fumbles, the Warriors made a huge gain on fourth down and had an opportunity to snatch the lead in the final minutes.
But Blitz dug in, and held on to record a rare victory over their rivals – with the possibility of yet another meeting to come at BritBowl XXIX, which takes place next month.
“To get the win against the Warriors was huge, especially going into the play-offs,” said Blitz offensive co-ordinator Stuart Miller. “It was a superb defensive performance.”
Blitz travel to Scotland for their play-off semi-final a week on Sunday, while the Warriors host Tamworth Phoenix in the other game.