The Sabres consistently look strong when playing at home and Sunday looked to be no different with a decent crowd of cheerleaders, alumni and various supporters supporting the home side.
The game started fast with a lengthy Sabres kick return before Rowan Huggins fights his way to the end zone off a deep pass on the first play of the game. After a 3 and out by the defence, the next offensive possession ends with a pick which Manchester ran back close to half way. Both teams trade punts before the Sabres defence pick off a pass deep in Manchester territory putting the offence on the pitch at the 4 yard line from which running back Tom King scores his first rushing touchdown of the day. A long offensive drive by Manchester is again picked off by free safety Liam Pratt and returned to within the Manchester 30. The Sabres respond with their own drive, converting another rushing touchdown and a successful PAT. Concentration slipped and the defence find themselves on their own goal line as Manchester look to put up their first points of the day. However, they found their focus when it counted as solid coverage and work on the line stopped Manchester on 4th and goal. Soon after, the offence find themselves in possession in the Manchester half from which a successful screen play sees Tom King into the end zone for his third and final touchdown of the day as the half comes to an end.
With a 26-0 lead, the second half gave non-starters a chance to get on the field and gain vital match experience. The half was relatively uneventful in terms of points as the Manchester defence found a rhythm and the offence struggled to maintain its intensity. The only points from the second half came from rookie wide receiver Joe Warriner for his first touchdown of his Sabres career. With the final score reaching 32-0 it looks promising for the Sabres going into the first derby game of the year against Sheffield Hallam Warriors who are currently unbeaten.
Offence: Tom King
Defence: Liam Pratt
Offensive Rookie: Joe Warriner
Defensive Rookie: Nathan Brereton
Lineman: Rob Ebbertson
Special Teams: Reece Waller
Captain’s MVP: Rowan Huggins