Loughborough Students 7-26 Stirling Clansmen
The Clansmen took to the road for the second game of the new season, making the long trip down to Loughborough. Before this match the Clansmen had never won at this ground, but that was about to change.
The Clansmen started on defence and again started out strong, forcing Loughborough to a 3 and out to start the match. Alongside the strong start for the defence, the offence was working well from the start. After some nice rushing yards picked up from the quarterback, a short Thomas Campbell run for a touchdown got Stirling off to a terrific start.
On the next drive again the defence stepped up and forced the Students into punting the ball, but the Clansmen’s offence started on their own 3 yard line and disaster struck after a forced fumble got the Loughborough Students offence onto Stirling’s 3 yard line. They took advantage and scored on their first attempt, with the quarterback finding a receiver running a slant into the end zone.
The next drive from the Clansmen took the game into the second quarter at level terms and both teams still very much in the match. Momentum seemed to swing into Loughborough’s hands however, as they made a defensive stand on fourth down to get their offence the ball on their own 10 yard line. The drive then went for successfully as they marched the ball up the field, with a lot of passing yards, to the Stirling 10 yard line. However, with the play of the season so far, Jens IJdema read where the quarterback was throwing, ran to intercept it and took it the length of the field for a Clansmen touchdown.
That play not only gave Stirling the lead but effectively won them the match. The defence stepped up and snuffed the rest of the Loughborough drives and the Students could not find an answer to the Clansmen offence. At the end of the second quarter, the field goal attempt was blocked, keeping the score at 14- 7 going into half time.
In the second half it was all Stirling, with the defence managing to shut out and not concede any points and the offence managing to punch in two more touchdowns, one in each quarter. However, both PATs were missed, leading to it being another 12 points scored by the offence instead of 14.
The third quarter started with a very impressive kick return from Alex Crowe, which started the offence on the opponent’s 17 yard line which unfortunately never led to a score. However, the next drive for the offence resulted in a touchdown. After receiving the ball at midfield, the offence eventually found themselves in a fourth and goal scenario. Instead of kicking the field goal however they made the brave choice to go for it. This paid off as they pulled off a very neat play which caught the opposition defence off guard, a very effective play action which lured the defence into thinking it was run and a wide open Felix Klei caught it after evading his marker.
The fourth quarter started at 20-7 with Stirling still comfortably in control of the match. After more solid defence, the offence picked up the ball with the momentum still in their favour. From the 28 yard line, on third down, quarterback, Andres Donat Garcia, found a wide open Felix Klei, who again managed to shrug off his marker and make his way into the end zone for a touchdown. After another defensive stop the time ran down confirming the Clansmen’s 2-0 start.
The MVP for this match was Felix Klei, with him showing his ability to constantly create space for himself and be a target to throw to, and using this to grab himself two touchdown receptions.
After such a great start it will be interesting to see if the Clansmen can keep this momentum up, but they will need to perform well on their next outing against fierce competitors, the Durham Saints, who have also started out their season 2-0. If the Clansmen can play like they did against Loughborough then they will be in with a great chance of winning.