Terrapins vs Razorbacks: Week 9

Written by: Dan Guilbert

The first game of Week 9 would see the Terrapins, who knew that they had to win to keep in touch of the league leaders in the final third of the season, going against the Razorbacks, who were still searching for their first win of the season.

Following the coin toss the Razorbacks would start with the football, however their first drive would end with a quick four and out.

The Terrapins, due to a minor injury to regular starting Quarterback Nick Gaudion, started the game with Luca Finetti under centre, giving him his first start of the season at QB, while Nick would move out to receiver to start the game. Their first drive would also go four and out.

On the Razorbacks next drive the positivity of a long catch and run by James Williams (Wills) would be cancelled out by the ball bouncing out of a Razorbacks receivers hands into Nick’s possession, who was able to keep a foot in bounds for the change of possession.

A penalty for stripping the ball on Marcus Lewis would see a movement forwards for the Terrapins, before the Terrapins capped their drive with a pass to Gary Maclachlan, giving Luca, the Terrapins leading receiver, his first passing touchdown of the season. The extra point conversion was no good and would leave the score at 6 – 0 to the Terrapins.

The next two drives would both end in four and outs, with both teams’ defences digging in for the first half.

A long catch and run, by Chris Ferbrache, which was capped by an unnecessary roughness call on the defence would see the Razorbacks in prime scoring position on the follow drive.Turnovers had become a frustrating habit for the Razorbacks and in this game, it certainly looked like the cycle would not be broken. Dan’s second thrown interception of the night would again find its way into the hands of Nick, throwing too late into a passing window which was too small. Again the turnover went almost nowhere, so the ball would start on the Terrapins 5 yard line.

Terrapins were unable to do anything after the turnover, going four and out.

The final drive of the half for the Razorbacks would see them use all of their timeouts as they drove down the field. The drive would be capped with a pass to Wills  in the endzone for the tying score. The extra point would be thrown just out of the reach of Blake Batiste leaving the score going into the half at 6 – 6.

The Razorbacks would often keep the game close to the half and then fall away in the second half of the game. Would this been the same or would they finally break through and win what was shaping up to be a close game.

 Game Stats – Terrapins
Passing
Player Name Touchdowns 1 PAT 2 PAT Interceptions
 Nick Gaudion  3 0 1 1
Rushing
Player Name Touchdowns 1 PAT 2 PAT
       
Receiving
Player Name Touchdowns 1 PAT 2 PAT
Luca Finetti   1 0  1
Kieron Ashworh  1  0
 Gary Maclachlan  1 0  0
Defensive Stats
Player Name Sacks Interceptions Touchdowns
 Nick Gaudion  0
Callum Hockey   0  1
 Luca Finetti  0 1

The Terrapins second touchdown of the game would come on their first drive of the second half, from another pass from Luca, this time to Kieron Ashworth, a player who has arguably the best straight line speed in the league. Kieron was able to out run his defender on a deep slant route which saw him clear to grab the ball and take it the last few steps into the endzone.

Dan’s third pick of the game came with a ball that was thrown straight into the hands of Callum Hockey. He was tackled before he could return into the endzone, so the ball went back to the Terrapins 5 yard line.

Despite the Terrapins being able to move the ball downfield, the Razorbacks defence held strong again, forcing the turnover on downs.

Razorbacks second touchdown of the game, would come at the start of the next drive and came from their Centre, Josh Smale, who has had a few big plays this season. The short pass was taken most of the length of the field, with Josh even taking a moment to pause, thinking he’d been tackled. The extra point attempt would also be a pass to Josh, this time Josh driving to secure the ball which was placed where only he could catch it.

Clearly the Razorbacks had enough fight within them to concern the Terrapins as Nick would make the decision to move himself back to QB and Luca back to receiver. It was a connection that had worked for them all season, and in a game in which points were a premium, finding a way to score was important. Nick would make the connection with Luca, not only on a deep pass downfield but also for the touchdown and the following 2XP attempt. This would put the Terrapins up by a score and conversion.

Dan’s fourth and thankfully final pick of the game fell into the hands of Luca, who being close to the Razorbacks’ endzone had the chance to return the pick for a touchdown, but Dan was able to make the tackle, sending the Terrapins back to their own 5 yard line again.

The next Terrapins drive would result in a turnover on downs.

Razorbacks would not quit the game however, using their run game to move downfield, and their final drive would be capped by another touchdown to Wills, leaving them 1 point from tying the game or 2 from taking the lead. Dan chose to go with the safer option of 1 point, hoping to tie the game up and take things to overtime. Crushingly the pass threaded between two Razorbacks receivers, out of reach of both to fall incomplete and with only 2 minutes and no timeouts left, it looked like the game was over.

The Terrapins, in a situation in which they could easily have come out running the ball, or even taken the knee, to kill the clock surprisingly came out passing. There was a scaring moment for Nick as on fourth down, being rushed by Josh, he threw his only interception of the game to Wills. Luckily for the Terrapins QB, his receivers were aware enough of the situation to make the tackle before his return attempt to build up momentum.

The game would finish 20 – 19 to the Terrapins, which following the second game of Week 9, would leave them one game behind the Reapers, their Week 10 opponents. The 2016 season is still poised to go down to the wire for three teams, while a Razorbacks team, whose record does not reflect their level of play, are still looking for their first win.

With all teams due to play each other one more time, all the results are still crucial to the final standings for this season!

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

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