Razorbacks vs Hornets: Week 4

For the Razorbacks, it was their third game in five days and for the Hornets, their second in four as the catch-up of the schedule rolled into the first scheduled game for Week 4.

Week 4 also marks the first time teams replayed each other, making it the first opportunity for teams to take what they learnt from the first meeting and adjust. The previous meeting between these two teams ended in a victory for the Hornets, 35 – 6.

Much like their first meeting, the Hornets started with the ball on offense and looked to take advantage over a team which was starting game with only 5 players. Unfortunately their drive stalled before the 1st down line, with Sam Barrell (Baz) unable to pull in a ball which had been tipped just out of his reach on 4th down.

This gave the ball to the Razorbacks for their first offensive drive and, for a team which had struggled to score points the previous two games, they were determined not to let that be the case for a third straight game. After a bobbled handoff on first down and an incomplete pass on second down, quarterback Dan Guilbert hit his receiver James Williams (Wills) on a short slant play which Wills then took all the way to the endzone, dodging his way past three defenders on route to the score.  The extra point attempt was no good, leaving the Razorbacks with their first lead of the season at 6-0.

Being behind was clearly not going to sit well with the Hornets, as they quickly responded, with their quarterback Jordan Gallienne (Jordy) hitting James Alderton (Aldy) on a deep post route, which set up a quick strike to Luke Pattimore (Patti) at the front of the endzone. The extra point attempt.found Jack Romeril in the right corner of the endzone, giving the Hornets a lead, 6-7.

6 points had been all the Razorbacks had managed against this team last time they played, was history going to repeat itself? Simply put, no. Razorbacks once again moved the ball down field, before Dan hit Wills in space again, allowing him to skip past would be tacklers for his second score of the game. Once more, the extra point attempt went incomplete. With two score on two drives, it looked like the Razorbacks had found the offensive rhythm which had been eluding them which, given the Hornets ability to score, meant that the game was poised to find itself in a shootout at 12 – 7 Razorbacks.

A shootout looked even more likely when Jordy hit Aldy on another post route, this time Aldy pulling away from his defender to take it all the way to the endzone. A failed extra point attempt and the game was five drives in, the score  12-13.

Unfortunately the Razorbacks were unable to convert on their next drive, stalling out before the 1st down line, the wet ball becoming a factor for the first time, following two positive run plays, as the third down pass sailed over the head of the intended receiver, followed by an underthrown pass to Wills hitting the ground, just in front of his sliding catch attempt at the first down line on fourth down.

The Hornets response was swift, with Jordy hitting Baz on an open stop-go fly route, giving the Hornets another quick score. Rom was able to haul in another 2 point conversion, bringing the score to 12-21

Sometimes to win a game, all you need is for your opponents to make a couple of mistakes. This is exactly what the Hornets were given when a pass, too high to catch comfortably in the wet conditions, from Dan slipped through Sam Loveridge’s outstretched hands and into Baz’s waiting hands. Baz ran the ball back for six points and the Razorbacks suddenly found themselves down two scores, rather than one. Following the failed extra point attempt, the score was now 12-27. 

After two succesful run plays, followed by a fumble, another Razorback’s drive ended with Baz grabbing his second interception of the game on a long pass to the side-line on 4th down. This time it was taken straight out of bounds, having the same effect as a turnover on downs.

Jordy was able to put together one final drive before half-time coming away with another passing touchdown. Following a run by Mike Donaldson and a catch and run by Luke Rabey. This time it was a short dink to Luke, but it was enough to secure another 6 points.

Razorbacks had one final drive, moving the ball beyond halfway, but the clock ran out before they could threaten the endzone.

At a halftime score of 12 – 33, it was beginning to look like the Hornets would coast to victory and remain the only undefeated team in the league.

 Game Stats – Razorbacks
Passing
Player Name Touchdowns 1 PAT 2 PAT Interceptions
Dan Guilbert 4 1 0  3
Rushing
Player Name Touchdowns 1 PAT 2 PAT
       
Receiving
Player Name Touchdowns 1 PAT 2 PAT
Josh Smale 1 0 0
James Williams 3 0 0
Blake Batiste   0  1  0
Defensive Stats
Player Name Sacks Interceptions Touchdowns
       

 If the Hornets wanted to remain undefeated, the Razorbacks were still going to make them work for it. Using an offense which worked more on picking up steady yards, rather than deep and quick strikes through the air, the Razorbacks were able to drive down to within 5 yards of the endzone thanks to steady receiving and rushing gains, where Dan was able to connect with his centre, Josh Smale on a roll-out to the right hand side of the endzone. A quick slant to Blake Batiste saw a successful conversion, bringing the score to 19-33.

Using a short pass, for a catch and run, the Hornets move the ball close to halfway. The Hornets often employ their centres in rollout pass plays, but so far, Patti had been kept quiet, beyond his early touchdown. Perhaps he’d spoken to Jordy about this, because he found himself open to carry the ball over the first down line. An offside penalty saw the Hornets go backwards for one play,  before turning the ball over on downs.

Razorbacks were also unable to do much with their possession, turning the ball over on downs as well, without really moving the ball.

Rom was able to take the first pass of the next Hornets possession for a long catch and run to pick up the first down, to then set up a run by Mike. The corner strike to Aldy, on second down, fell incomplete, but was followed by Patti rolling out to the right and taking the ball for the score. Not content with just the touchdown, he also scored on the extra point.

Razorbacks, despite the points deficit, still came out fighting and in what had become a theme for the day, Dan was able to connect with Wills for one more catch and run touchdown on fourth  down  In what had become another theme for the day though, was that Baz was able to intercept the 2 point conversion and to top things off, return it for a score.

Clearly not happy with their current lead being reduced, the Hornets still came out, business as usual, starting the drive off with a run by Luke.. The drive ended two plays later, with one final touchdown, a fly route pass to Patti, who had found himself completely open.

With the game well put away, now was the time for show-boating on the 2 point conversion. In what could possibly be the highlight of the season, Jordy hit an open Aldy in the left size of the endzone with a behind the back throw which could not have been thrown any more accurately if Jordy had been throwing it normally. Whilst some players might have been annoyed, or even insulted at such a play being uses, it served as true testimony of the good-natured competition between these two teams that everyone was able to laugh it off and appreciate the play for what it was.

The following Razorbacks drive saw them moving the ball steadily again, but a flag guarding call, brought a touchdown back and despite the following plays, the Razorbacks were unable to re-find the endzone, turning the ball over on downs. 

Hornets tried to score again before the end of the game, following a deep pass to Aldy, but time expired following an incompletion on the next play.

Final score was Razorbacks 25, Hornets 50. Both teams will now be undoubtedly be looking forward to their next games following the bye week, with the Hornets looking to keep up their momentum, while the Razorbacks will be wanting to keep their offense ticking over, while tightening up the defensive side of the ball.

 Game Stats – Hornets
Passing
Player Name Touchdowns 1 PAT 2 PAT Interceptions
Jordan Gallienne 3 1 0 0
Rushing
Player Name Touchdowns 1 PAT 2 PAT
       

 

Receiving
Player Name Touchdowns 1 PAT 2 PAT
Jack Romeril 0 1 1
Sam Barrell 1  0  0
James Alderton 1 0  2
Luke Pattimore   3
 Luke Rabey  1  0
Defensive Stats
Player Name Sacks Interceptions Touchdowns
Sam Barrell   0 3 1 + 1 2XP

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