Stirling Clansmen 40-14 Swansea Titans
It was a mild day with near to no wind, perfect footballing conditions. The titans had made the long trip up from Swansea in what was expected to be a highly competitive game.
The Clansmen got off to a flying start in the first quarter, taking a 20-0 lead by the end of the first 12 minutes. Everything seemed to be going right for Stirling, on their first drive they punched in the first 7 points of the match. After some nice gains on the ground from Campbell and Bawa, QB Garcia threw a beautiful streak pass that Nathaniel Prince hauled in for a 43 yard touchdown. The PAT was good, giving Stirling a quick 7-0 lead.
The defence was solid throughout the entirety of the first quarter, not giving up a single first down. The following drive for Swansea was another three and out and Stirling soon capitalised with another touchdown. The Titans couldn’t handle the Clansmen’s strong running game and QB Donat Garcia scored from a draw play from the Titan’s one yard line. Another successful PAT gave Stirling a 14-0 lead.
This was followed by another three and out and for the third consecutive drive; Stirling scored a touchdown. A 22 yard touchdown run for Thomas Campbell. A fumbled snap on the PAT meant the score was 20-0 by the end of the first quarter. The only other talking point was a Will Underwood interception, the first turnover in three games from the defence.
The start of the second quarter saw Stirling score another touchdown. Again the run game got Stirling down to the one yard line, and Donat Garcia scored another one yard touchdown. This time a miss field goal saw the score move to 26-0.
The rest of the quarter was then played excellently by the Titans, who scored two passing touchdowns, which saw the score at 26-14 at halftime. A spectacular first quarter was somewhat marred by a lack of concentration in the second quarter, however Stirling did have a two possession lead so looked to be in the driver’s seat.
Swansea started with the ball in the second half, and moved the ball well. However, a second turnover of the day, forced by Pablo Luque, was quite spectacular. He identified that a pass to the flats was a backwards pass so he swatted it out of the arms of the Titans receiver and recovered the ball himself, to give the offense good field position.
After back to back three and outs for both teams, Stirling broke the second half deadlock. A two play drive that started at midfield saw Campbell get his second touchdown of the day, scoring a 38 yard rushing touchdown. The PAT was converted, and was the final play of the third quarter, so the score stood at 33-14 heading into the final quarter.
There was final score in the game, a touchdown pass which was hauled in by Antonio Capasso, for a 15 yard touchdown. The final PAT of the game was good, so Stirling won 40-14.
It was an excellent game for the Clansmen, and a perfect way to break their two game losing streak. The defence was spectacular; forcing turnovers, getting sacks, making big hits and forcing incompletions. The offence, particularly the ground game, found its rhythm early on, and they kept pounding throughout the match.
Some excellent performances across the board; Will Underwood was excellent in coverage, Campbell and Garcia both scored two touchdowns each, however, man of the match has to go to Vangelis “Landshark” Trasanis. The offensive lineman constantly bullied the Titans’ D-line and helped create a lot of open lanes for the run game to function. He is also devastating on special teams, constantly pancaking his opponents.
For a second consecutive season the North Division has swept the Southern Division, meaning that next Sunday the Clansmen will be hosting the Derby Braves for a spot in a record breaking fifth consecutive national final. Derby took the victory last time they visited Stirling, so the Clansmen will feel they have a point to prove.