A wet and windy Tipton Sports Academy would be the setting for the toughest test the Sandwell would face in the regular season. The Steelers had their eyes firmly locked on an undefeated season and the Lancashire Wolverines needed a win to secure playoff football, and the rabid Wolverines pushed Sandwell to their limits.
The game started in the usual way for the Steelers with RB Tom Czerepaninec running in for the opening score before DL Rich Kilvington along with the rest of the defensive line applying the pressure on the next Lancashire possession. QB Tristan Varney made the most of the first quarter throwing passes to WR Austyn Young on the next drive ending in a TD for Austyn and bringing the score to 16-0 after a field goal from WR/K Gav Lawrence.
The defensive carried on dominating the line of scrimmage and the weather played its part as Lancashire struggled to put together many yards at the start of the second quarter before RB Tom Czerepaninec took in other run for a TD behind an outstanding effort from the Offensive Line blocking downfield. With another PAT from K Gav Lawrence the score came to 23-0 before the Wolverines found their bite and some momentum from a long pass downfield. Lancashire punched in the score and a 2 point conversion bring the half time score to 23-8.
Sandwell answered to begin the second half with a pass from QB Zac Green going 30 yards to Receiver Rowan Huggins for a TD. With the score at 29-8 the Wolverines could feel the game slipping away, but after a great punt left Sandwell on their own 2 yard line, the Wolverines’ defence stepped up to force a safety in the end zone, to bring the score to 29-10 early in the third quarter.
Lancashire then pushed the advantage scoring two more TDs to bring the score to 29-24 late in the fourth quarter. With the game on the line and the Wolverines pushing into the redzone it came down to two Steelers veterans to step up and secure the win as DL Sam Rafferty applied the pressure to Lancashire’s QB forcing the ball out which landed in the open arms of DL Adam Bates and with that the Steelers finished the regular season undefeated division champions with a record of 10-0.
AROUND THE NFC1 SOUTH
Nottingham Caesars 14-37 Shropshire Revolution
Sandwell Steelers 29-24 Lancashire Wolverines
KALEIDOSCOPE PLUS GROUP WATCH
The #LegionOfSwag ended the regular season with a total donation of £540!
All eyes now turn to Sunday 11 August, as the Steelers host East Kilbride Pirates (9-1, NFC1 North) in the Division One Quarter Finals. Kick off is at 2pm at Tipton Sports Academy – head over to our Facebook page for further event information!