Loughborough Students American Football Club’s second away game of the season took them to Derby where they played the orange and blue clad Braves in an intense game resulting in Loughborough’s narrow defeat, 16-18.
Under a grey canopy, Loughborough kicked to start the game and Derby’s offense took to the field first. Less than minutes into play #40 Ben Davies picked off of a tipped pass and made it into the endzone with a good kick straight through the posts. LSAFC took an early lead, 7-0.
Derby tried to retaliate, but their QB scrambled and failed to make the first down, forcing the Brave’s to punt. Derby’s next offensive opportunity to put points on the board saw them attempt a fake field goal. It was no good and Loughborough’s offense took to the field once more. After a long drive, the purple clad away side attempted a field goal. With a clean kick, Loughborough extended their lead, 10-0.
Derby took little time to respond and replied with a long passing touchdown. They attempted to fake a PAT but once again it was no good. Without the extra points, the score stood 10-6 but with points now on the board it was all the Braves needed to build up their momentum. Their defence took to the field strong and Loughborough’s QB was sacked, causing a fumble which Derby returned for a touchdown. The Braves went for the extra point but were unsuccessful. However, the home side took the lead nonetheless with the score 10-12. Despite a restless two minutes of the second quarter, Loughborough’s offense couldn’t tip the scales back and the score was left unchanged as the halftime whistle blew.
Derby struck first in the second half with another passing touchdown. They went for two but couldn’t make the endzone. The score stood 10-18. Some costly penalties, causing Loughborough huge losses in yardage, gave the Braves ample room to maintain their eight point lead. A disallowed Loughborough field goal left the away side disgruntled and ardent to close the point gap.
Deep onto the third quarter, Loughborough finally hit back. A roll-out pass from QB Alex Challands to #14 James Draper put the ball in the endzone. However, without the extra points, Derby still maintained their lead, 16-18.
A competitive second half left the last quarter fruitless of points and despite a tremendous effort from the Loughborough side, their mistakes were ultimately too costly and prevented them from maintaining their long-standing winning streak over Derby. Running Back James Draper was hailed as player of the week for his great performance on the day. Despite the disappointing outcome, head coach Paul Sherratt was still full of praise for his team and eager to build spirits back up for their next game of the season:
“[Derby] were a good team – we knew that coming in. I thought we played well. I think we made a couple of mistakes just before half time which cost us.
“We got ourselves into a hole, we tried our best, but it wasn’t happening for us. We’ve got a lot of guys missing so that didn’t help but the guys who were here – I can’t give them enough credit, they play really, really well. So, disappointing but I’m proud of the way we handled ourselves. Let’s go onto the next one.”
Image Credit: Drew Smith