Week 8: Razorbacks vs Hornets

Written by: Jordan Gallienne

Week 8 … and an ever improving Razorbacks met an out of form Hornets in the late kick-off. It was to be anything but a classic, with defense prevailing early on. However, in the end the Hornets came away with a much needed ‘W’, in what they hope will be the kick start that they need during the second half of the season.

It wasn’t easy early on for the Hornets, as they stuttered on their first two possessions following some solid ‘D’ from the Razorbacks. In fact, it was the Razorbacks who took the lead with their first possession. Following some decent tackles from the Hornets early on in the drive, Razorbacks QB Dan Guilbert found WR James Williams on a bubble screen, which resulted in a long gain and a first down, before he stepped out of bounds. Some more decent defensive work from the Hornets was then undone, as James Williams ran a very nice slant route, and showed great hands to connect with the QB to score the first points of the game. For the PAT, Dan Guilbert found Sam Loveridge with a bullet pass to make the score 7-0 Razorbacks.

The Razorbacks then faltered on their second possession, with a false start penalty on ‘4th& short’ add to their frustration.

Then the game began to change, as with their third possession of the 1st half, the Hornets drew level. The first play was simple; the Razorbacks had decided early on that they would be rushing the passer on most plays; however, in this instance it lead to their downfall. Centre Luke Pattimore read the blitz and rolled out to receive the pass and grab himself a 10 yard gain. The next play was much the same, as on a play-action-pass, RB Mikey Donaldson was in acres of space and was found by QB Jordan Gallienne. He then dodged two tackles on his way to well worked touchdown play. The PAT was a another simple play, as WR Sam Barrell ran a very nice goal line fade and was picked out in the back of the end zone to make it 7-7.

The next possession was much like the Razorbacks previous one, as some nice short yardage plays were chalked out by some unnecessary penalties; which again lead to a turnover on downs.

It was evident from the start of this game that it was going to be difficult for either team to establish the run; however, it was the Hornets, to many peoples surprise, who found the first and only rushing score of the game. It was a simple pitch on 1st down which RB Luke Rabey managed to turn in to a 45 yard rushing touchdown. His run was full of jukes and dodged tackles which the Razorbacks will be less than happy with. Once again, the Hornets decided to run a goal line fade, which was completed to WR Sam Barrell, for the PAT.

Following an interception from CB James Alderton on the Razorbacks first play of the following drive, and the Hornets unsuccessful use of all three of their timeouts before halftime, the score remained 14-7 to the Hornets at the interval.

 Game Stats – Razorbacks
Passing
Player Name Touchdowns 1 PAT 2 PAT Interceptions
Dan Guilbert   0
Rushing
Player Name Touchdowns 1 PAT 2 PAT
       
Receiving
Player Name Touchdowns 1 PAT 2 PAT
 James Williams  1  0
 Sam Loveridge  1  1
 Blake Batiste  0 0
Defensive Stats
Player Name Sacks Interceptions Touchdowns
       

The second half started off much like the first, with the run game being shut down and both teams turning the ball over on downs on their first possession.

It was the Razorbacks who would score next, to make the game very interesting. Dan Guilbert was rushed by Hornets LB Matt Banton and under pressure, he dumped the ball off to his C Josh Smale who made nice yardage. That good field position paid off, as two plays later, Dan Guilbert once again found Sam Loveridge who scored his first touchdown of the season. The Razorbacks would again convert the PAT, this time to WR Blake Batiste, to level the game up at 14-14.

It was on the very next possession that the Hornets responded. A solid drive down field, helped mainly by a 25 yard completion to a very open James Alderton (WR), resulted in an opportunity on 2nd down. An injection of pace from C turned WR Luke Pattimore, on a stick & go, resulted in him being open at the back of the end zone. QB Jordan Gallienne found him to put the Hornets ahead for the second time in the game. For a third time in a row, a completion to WR Sam Barrell on a goal line fade, resulted in a converted PAT to put the Hornets up 21-14.

This was to be the turning point in this close contest, as the Razorbacks would fail to score any further points in the game.

The result was cemented on the Hornets very next possession. They moved the ball downfield effectively, with a few short yardage plays; however, they did make it difficult for themselves after they had moved the chains. QB Jordan Gallienne failed to complete to WR James Alderton on his first two attempts. That being said, in the end it turned out to be “third time lucky” as the QB picked out the WR in open space to score and put the Hornets two scores up. The PAT turned out to be simple, as WR Stuart Keltie found himself in lots of space following a very nicely run ‘1-V’ and was never going to drop the incoming pass.

The Hornets lead 28-14 and although the Razorbacks had one more possession, it was not to be as the result was confirmed.

In a tight encounter, with good defense played throughout, the difference turned out to be the Hornets ability to move the ball downfield when it counted, and to make the most of good field position. Although not a game for the highlight reels, it was competitive throughout and there is clearer a marked improvement by the Razorbacks every week. The Hornets however, will just be glad to get the win following three defeats in a row!

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

 

Receiving
Player Name Touchdowns 1 PAT 2 PAT
Mike Donaldson  1  0
Luke Pattimore  1  0
James Alderton  1
Sam Barrell  3
 Stuart Keltie  1
Defensive Stats
Player Name Sacks Interceptions Touchdowns
 James Alderton 0  1 0

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