13th May 2005 - Rockets blast off
The first games of Scottish Flag Football League Inverness Rockets junior squad came out firing on all cylinders winning 53 points to 7 against their local rivals Glenurquhart Gladiators. Opening the scoring for the Rockets was Chris MacDonald with one of his characteristic full field runs. Rockets quarterback Angus Mackintosh then connected with Paul Stevenson on a 20 yard TD pass, with Finlay Mackie running in for the extra point. Some great blitzing from Callum Hickie meant that the Gladiators quarterback was always under pressure and forced some mistakes which the Rockets secondary were only too keen to exploit. Euan Rennie showed how he had earned defensive MVP in the UK Bowl final two weeks previous with some great tackles. Josh Knox added to the Rockets tally early in the second half by sacking the Gladiators QB in his own endzone for a safety. As time ticked away the Gladiators finally broke through the Rockets defence and Chris McDiarmid worked his way into the Rockets endzone for a TD, with Carl Taggert catching the pass for the extra point. MVP for the Inverness Rockets was Callum Hickie and for the Glenurquhart Gladiators Chris McDiarmid. Final score Inverness Rockets 53 Glenurquhart Gladiators 7.
In the cadet game played on the same day the Rockets led by quarterback Marc Prasher went in at half-time 18 – 26 up, but this time the Gladiators came back in the second half to snatch victory as Calum Davenport intercepted a pass from Marc Prasher and returned it for a touchdown to tie the score, Paul Lumsden added the extra point and with only minutes remaining the Gladiators defence held strong and stopped the Rockets from scoring. Final score Inverness Rockets 38 Glenurquhart Gladiators 39. MVP for the Inverness Rockets was Paul MacDonald and for the Glenurquhart Gladiators Paul Lumsden.
12th May 2005 - Kent Exiles Youth 0-14 Bath Cardinals
The Kent Exiles kicked off their 2005 youth kitted American football season with a tough home match against the current UK Champions, the Bath Cardinals, and put on a much improved performance compared to last season.
Last season the Cardinals crushed the Exiles 32-0, but it was a different story on Sunday. Both teams played with a passion and commitment which was a testamant to the game and their coaches, and the result was in the balance until late on in the game.
The half time score of 0-0, was a result of great defence by both teams. The Exiles were led by rookie Joe Alexis, who was making his first start since graduating from the junior team, and recorded an amazing 23 tackles and 3.5 sacks, he was ably backed up by Matt Floyd who recorded 21 tackles of his own.
The Cardinals opened the scoring in the second half with a 20 yard run, to make it 6-0. The Exiles offence moved the ball well after that, but could not punch the ball into the endzone for the score, Dan Smith was unlucky not to cap a fine day running with a score.
The Exiles defence continued to make some great plays, Robbie Britton making an interception, and Gary Owen a sack, but it was not enough to stop the Cardinals scoring again late in the game on another run, to give a 12-0 lead.
Chasing the game then the Exiles conceded a safety when quarterback Pat Turner was tackled in the endzone, to finally put the game out of reach, and give the final scoreline of 14-0.
After the game Exiles head coach James McCartney paid tribute to the teams, "I'm so proud of the improvements we've made" he commented, "we really hung in there with the national champions for the better part of the game, and showed we can compete. Joe (Alexis) and Matt (floyd) were outstanding, and Jerry Hughes was a load to be reckoned with on the offensive line. Bath are a fine team though, and i'm sure it will take a lot to wrestle the title from them this season".
The Exiles now have 2 weeks to prepare for their matchup with the London Olympians, full details can be found on the Exiles website www.kentexiles.co.uk and the club are still welcoming any players who want to get involved with the team this season.
12th May 2005 - Craigmount Cougars (Edinburgh) V Moray Firth Dolphins (Inverness)
The Craigmount Cougars played host to the Moray Firth Dolphins in a 5 a-side game of American Football at Craigmount High School in the capital city. After heavy downpours during the morning, the rain finally stopped shortly before the game was scheduled to commence at 1pm. The Dolphins won the toss and elected to defend at the start of play. The Cougars first drive, which saw Wide Receiver Justin Walker being injured and substituted, consisted of a mixture of run and passing plays which finished with a 10 yard touchdown pass to Running Back Mike Henderson. A one point conversion was added to the score by Receiver Andrew McIver giving the Cougars an early 7-0 lead.
The Dolphins quickly replied with a similar drive ending with a 15 yard touchdown pass to Wide Receiver James Pyke, however the visitors were unable to convert the point after. Both teams traded plays for the remainder of the quarter but the score remained 7-6 in favour of the Cougars.
The Cougars again were the first to score early in the second quarter when QB Darren Harvey handed the ball off to Andrew McIver who ran the ball in from 14 yards out for his second score of the day. The following point after pass from Quarterback Darren Harvey, was ruled incomplete making the score line 13-6.
The Dolphins looked like scoring on their next possession of the ball as they progressed to within 6 yards of the Cougars end zone. However on their next play the pass was intercepted by the Cougars defence returning possession to the Edinburgh side again. The Cougars capitalised on this mistake by scoring their third touchdown of the game with a running play by Mike Henderson.
During the third quarter the visitors were held at bay by the Cougars defence with important plays being made by Lewis Galloway and Neil Warren including another interception by McIver. The Cougars Running back duo of Karl McCran and Mike Henderson added two additional touchdowns to the home teams tally stretching the score 31-6 by the end of the third quarter.
The Cougars looked like they had the game in the bag at the start of the last quarter but the visiting Dolphins were not about to give up. Two successful drives from the visitors saw Shaun Mitchell and David Kerr both scoring touchdowns and 2 point conversions making the score 31-22 with still plenty of time on the clock. However the home team held on to their lead and scored another valuable 7 points via a 1 yard touchdown pass reception by McCran and a one point conversion pass to McIver. Final score Craigmount Cougars 38 – Moray Firth Dolphins 22. The return game is scheduled for Sunday 29th May in Inverness.
19th April 2005 - Jets win it all
The Coventry Jets American Football Youth Academy celebrated its first ever trophy with a breath taking smash & grab raid on the NFL’s ‘International Peewee Bowl’ in Amsterdam, Holland on Saturday.
After a 13-hour coach ride, travelling throughout Friday night, the three Coventry U12 teams from Bishop Ullathorne, Woodlands and Whitley Abbey were thrust into immediate action midday on Saturday and took the tournament by storm. Facing experienced opposition from Dutch teams such as the Amsterdam Crusaders, Lightning Leiden, Delft Dragons and Germany’s Dusseldorf Panthers the Coventry Jet teams did their city proud.
It was Bishop Ullathorne who would fly the Coventry flag, sweeping all before them to go 4-0 and earn a place in the final with the pre-tournament favourites the Amsterdam Crusaders. The final was a tense, cliff-hanger of a game, as the Jets opened up a 6-0 lead when QB Everett combined with Luke and Tom Yardley for the first TD. Back came Amsterdam behind their excellent QB and tied the game on a 30-yard bomb.
The final then swung between both teams, with Coventry playing superb zone defense. The Jets began to mount a drive that took them deep into Crusader territory and the Yardley twins combined for the go-ahead score. Behind 12-6 Amsterdam could not breach the Jets defense, who held firm when their backs were to the wall. At the final whistle parents, players, coaches and officials of the Jets all celebrated a huge win. Coach Etheridge said: "What a journey. Despite many gruelling hours on the coach our boys were magnificent. 5 straight wins is quite an achievement".
The Jets will be featuring this event on their new website, www.coventryjetsyouth.com, that will be launched later this week.
2nd April 2005 - Coventry to Host European Junior Championships
The Coventry Jets are delighted to announce that, in a recent meeting in Vienna, the European Federation of American Football awarded the city of Coventry the 2006 European Flag Football Championships for children.
Flag Football is a non-contact version of the adult game of American Football for boys and girls. The game improves health and agility whilst remaining fun for all who take part.
The 2006 event will take place over two days, involving 11 American Football Federations from, amongst others Scandinavia, Russia, Central and Western Europe. The event will showcase the talent of the best young players the sport has to offer, giving winners the opportunity to represent Europe in the World Championships.
Peter Evans, the Coventry Jets Director of Administration, will lead the Local Organising Committee (LOC) who will co-ordinate the development of the event, which is scheduled to take place at Broadstreet Rugby Club, Coventry in September 2006. Peter said: "This represents a tremendous challenge and opportunity for our club and city. We will be in the European spotlight and our aim is to deliver a premium, pan-European sporting and cultural activity for children".
The LOC will seek to maintain the momentum generated by the forthcoming International Children’s Games to be held in Coventry in July, raising the profile of our City, the Coventry Jets and the sport of American football locally, nationally and internationally.
2nd April 2005 - Scottish Schools Final
Saturday 26th March brought six school teams together in the European School Finals competition after many long months of practice, but for one of these teams it was to be the first step in hopefully a long journey leading eventually to the world American Flag Football schools finals in Mexico. The winners from Saturdays tournament will travel down to
Birmingham to play the English Champions and from there to the European finals and finally to Mexico.
The Bught Park Stadium, Inverness buzzed to rock anthems as the cheerleaders brought some brightness to an otherwise damp and dull overcast day. With the cheerleaders setting the stage, the players from all teams put on a spectacular show of diving catches and tackles along with some very skillful running plays, the games abounded with traditional footballplays of long downfield passes and reverses but also many trick plays which left many spectators left wondering what had happened to the ball. The
final brought together tournament favourites the Culloden Academy Cougars and the Glenurquhart High School Gladiators both teams arriving at the final unbeaten through the group stages. Culloden Academy has over the past
three years always proved strong at American Football but in the last 2 years has gone unbeaten locally. The Gladiators have improved and matured considerably after their baptism of fire when they took part last year in the Scottish Flag Football League. However it was the firm favourites, the
Culloden Academy Cougars that continued to dominate by overpowering the Gladiators running out tournament victors by 29 points to 15. Culloden Academy will now represent the North of Scotland when they travel to Birmingham to take on the English Champions for a place in the European Finals on Saturday April 23rd.
29th March 2005 - Inverness Blitz selection delight
A record number of players from the north of Scotland were chosen this weekend to represent their country at the American Flag Football at the trials held at Stirling, no fewer than 17 were selected over the three age groupings at cadet level 12 and under, were Michael Daltry, Andrew Mackintosh, Graeme Cameron and Paul Macdonald. At junior level 13-16 Callum Hickie, Josh Knox, Angus Mackintosh, Euan Rennie along with Kenny Mackay from Dingwall and Innes Thomson from Lossiemouth and at youth level 16-18, Keith Fiddes, Chris Gordon, Paul Kirkland and James Pyke all from Inverness along with Scott Hackett, Stuart Harrison and David Underwood from Lossiemouth. The Inverness Rockets supplied thirteen of these players with the Moray Maniacs contributing the other 4, both head coaches were delighted with selections and added that the boys chosen had showed great dedication this year and thoroughly deserved the recognition shown. This was the first time that any Moray Maniacs players had been selected for Scotland and it was also a huge increase in numbers for the Rockets who last year had three players selected for national duty.
Inverness will host the Scottish qualifier for the NFL World Schools American Flag Football competition on the 26th of March at the Bught Park Stadium with the winner going down to Birmingham to play the English Champions for a place in the European final.