Heading into this game the Sheffield Sabres were full of confidence after a productive pre-season. Now is the time that it matters, regular season. The first half was dominated by defence as both teams shout out the opposing offences in multiple three and outs throughout the first quarter. However, after a botched snap by the Sabres punt unit, the Hallam Warriors’ were finally in perfect field position. The Sabres’ once again pushed back with a sack from DE #55 Mo Ahmed but on the next play the Warriors set up a running back screen to score the first and only touchdown of the half.
0-7 to the Warriors, but the Sabres would respond with WR #88 Harrison Bazley taking the kick return to the Hallam 10-yard line. Unfortunately, the Warriors’ defense held strong with a 4 and out, score remained 0-7. As the half was ending, the Sabres once again had a chance to put points on the board, this time by a field goal. But it wasn’t meant to be as it sailed to the right.
HT: Sheffield Sabres: 0-7 Hallam Warriors
The beginning of the second half saw the Sabres’ defense continue to dominate with two sacks and a tackle for no yards in a quick three and out for the Warriors’ offence. With the Sabres’ defense keeping them in the game it was important for the offense to put points on to the board and they didn’t disappoint. After securing their second first down the night, a screen pass to WR #88 Harrison Bazley put the Sabres in the red zone once again. The Warriors’ defense once again held the offense to a 4th down, the Sabres knowing they need a touchdown decided to go for it. With QB #10 Sam Worrall under pressure he threw to RB #27 Jamie Fennell for the touchdown. With the two conversion the Sabres took an 8-7 lead after the opening drives.
The Warriors’ offense came back strong after a kick return put them at the Sabres’ 35-yard line. The defense once again was holding strong but with a few mistakes and a lack of discipline, the Warriors were able to score an easy field goal to give them the lead. Now, brimming with confidence the Sabres’ offence quickly put the ball back into the red zone with a +50-yard pass to WR Joseph Warriner at the end of the third quarter.
After the Hallam defense once again proved difficult, the Sabres attempted a 25-yard field goal to give them the lead. The Warriors’ blocked it and held onto their 8-10 lead. With this possession the Warriors capitalized by driving down the field to score their second touchdown of the night. Warriors now lead 8-17. Fearing the highly effective kick return, the Warriors’ kick off unit elected to kick it short instead of risking another big return. With another three and out by the Sabres offense the defense refused to give up with another four and out to give the offense one final chance to score.
A fumble on the 10-yard line cemented the Warriors victory with less than 2 minutes left in the 4th quarter as they kneeled it out. It’s a tough loss for the Sabres as a lot of scoring opportunities didn’t convert but they can be proud by the effort and the heart of the defense that kept the Sabres in the game. Now heading into the bye week, the Sabres will be looking to solve their issues as they face newly promoted Manchester in two week’s time.
FT: Sheffield Sabres 8-17 Hallam Warriors
Offense MVP: #88 Harrison Bazley, WR
Defense MVP: #19 Tej Mekako, DL
Special Teams MVP: #17 Alex Garica, LB
Rookie MVP: #5 Rashalen Nayanah Rajh, WR
Lineman MVP: #55 Mo Ahmed, DL