After the Hallam Warriors, the Sabres’ next biggest rival is the UCLan Rams. The Rams have always
been a strong contender in this division and this year is no exception. Coming in undefeated at 3-0, it
was clear that the Sabres would need to have a near perfect performance to come away as victors.
With the Sabres receiving the ball at the start they made quick gains, a 20-yard pass to TE #16 Bruno
Schatten put the Sabres on the halfway mark. But a series of failed rush attempts meant the offence
had to punt the ball away.
On come the defence, who after a strong performance against a high-scoring LJMU team, had high
confidence coming into this. On the first play, the Rams opened up the secondary with a 28-yard
pass. One part of the defence that has been consistent throughout the season so far is the Defensive
Line, in their next set of downs the D-Line was able to minimize the Rams run game, but mistakes in
the secondary meant that the Rams were able to pick up a crucial first down. It would only take two
plays for the Rams to reach the endzone to take the score to 0-7.
With the offence back on they were immediately off it again with the Rams holding them to a 3 &
out. With the defence back on, a message needs to sent, the messenger? DT #77 Robert Ebbatson
who charged through the line to make short work of the UCLan running back. Not learning from the
previous play, the Rams once again decided to run the ball, only to be meet by LB #17 Alex Garcia
and DE #55 Mo Ahmed. 3 & out, the offence were back on.
Another series another 3 & out after a penalty pushed back the offence. It became clear that the
defence had to step up with the Sabres wanted to come away with the W. Another 3 & out looked
certain, but with it 4 th & 1 the Rams opted to go for it. Once again, they didn’t learn as both Mo &
Rob stopped the Ram’s running back on the line of scrimmage to put the offence back on the field.
This time around, the Sabres would march down the field thanks to WR #89 Joseph Warriner 23-yard
catch. With the offence 8 yards away from the endzone, the UCLan Rams dug in to deny the Sabres
any points as they stopped a crucial 4 th down. With defence back on they successfully pinned the
Rams to their own 3-yard line, forcing the punt.
Once back on, QB #10 Sam Worrall connected with his favourite target, WR #88 Harrison Bazley for a
37-yard touchdown to put the Sabres back in the game. With the extra point wide right, the score
stood at 6-7. UCLan knew they needed an answer before the game turned to the Sabres, by
abandoning the run game, within 5 downs they were able to go 65-yards to score their second
touchdown of the game. A superman-like block from Mo in the PAT put the scores at 6-13.
Once again, the offence stalled. This time the Rams were able to pick off Sam just inside Sabres
territory. Step up, rookie FS Niall Brotherridge who got a much-needed pick as the first half was
coming to a close. With 85-yards separating the offence from UCLan endzone, Sam went to work. An
11-yard run from Rookie RB George Condon helped set up a 29-yard pass to Harrison yet again to
put the Sabres in UCLan territory. An 18-yard screen to George put the Sabres in the RedZone with
seconds remaining. With Warriner open, in the endzone, Sam launched the ball to give the Sabres
their second touchdown of the day. A successful 2pt conversion put the Sabres in the lead 14-13
going into the half.
The second half was dominated by interceptions, on the opening drive CB #9 Mofi Jaiyebo got his
first pick of the day. With the offence gaining confidence in the defence, they knew they didn’t need
to punt. With defence back on after the offence failed to convert on a 4 th down. Not wanting to feel
left out, CB #44 Nathan Brereton picked off the Rams, putting the Sabres back onto the field only to
be held to a 3 & out yet again. With the Rams deciding to run the ball yet again, Mo decided to
punish them with a forced fumble that was recovered by the defence. This time around the Sabres
offence capitalized with a 32-yard pass to…you guessed it…Harrison for the touchdown. A failed 2pt
conversion meant the scores stood at 20-13.
What followed was the half being dominated by both defence’s, a sack by Rob pushed the Rams
offence back, the Sabres offence went 3 & out. Then Mofi secured his second pick, only for the
offence to go 3 & out. Then on the next series, Mofi secured his third pick (which should’ve been a
pick six, just saying) only for the offense to not capitalise.
The final seconds counting down, the Rams went into desperation mode. A (somewhat
questionable) PI call gave the Rams a new set of downs and they didn’t waste time as they marched
into Sabres territory with 35-yard pass. With seconds remaining the defence held the Rams to 4 th &
10, in the dying the seconds S #13 Joseph Busby stepped up to break up the final pass to secure a
well-earnt victory for the Black & Gold.
The Sabres now move up to second in the conference and have had a statement to the rest of Div 1.