Peterborough Saxons vs Milton Keynes Pathfinders
The first home fixture of the season for the Peterborough Saxons welcomed the 2-0 Milton Keynes Pathfinders who came off wins versus Colchester and Maidstone and sought to stamp their authority on Division 2 East. The Saxons were coming into the game after a shaky start at Bedford and looking to make its own statement, which included unveiling the 2012 jerseys and team photograph. (Special Thanks to Adam Speedie, Colin Watson and Mick Sutterby)
The game begun with The Pathfinders receiving the kick-off and facing the Saxons defence who were out to prove they were the divisions best. Lead by a Line backing corps amassing years of experience it was clear to see it was going to be a long day for the Pathfinders Offense led by QB Mike Keogh, although it was FB#38 who would be the player to drive the Offense forward with some heavy runs up the middle. The Saxons Offense began the game sluggishly and getting back up to full game speed took time, once the Offense started moving up the gears it was going to be a good day for all on both sides of the ball.
Score 0 - 0
With the Offense stepping out with a point to prove, they knew they would not be relying on the defence to win games. With some ground and pound from RBs Tyre Jones (11 carries-104 yards) and Derrick Hylton(8 carries – 11 yards) early on opened up the passing game for QB Nick Tilbury and his talented receiving corps. The Pathfinders Defense left a soft zone in the right hand corner of the end zone, for TE Jason Bradshaw to make a signature catch and touchdown to get the Saxons on the scoreboard. The Saxons opted to go for the two extra point conversion, however the Pathfinders Defense stiffened and the Saxons were denied. With the Defense in dominating form the pressure and intensity continued to pile on the Pathfinders to get the ball moving leading to numerous turnovers.
Another passing touchdown from QB Tilbury to WR Dale Hawes allowed the Saxons to take a lead into the half of 0-12, feeling they should be up by more after the slow first quarter with the Pathfinders not providing anything to trouble the Saxons.
Score 0 - 12
After a short break for halftime it was the Saxons to receive the ball and once again showed how multi dimensional the Offense is with superb running culminating in another receiving touchdown from QB Tilbury to Jason Bradshaw who ended the day 76yards from 6 receptions and deserving of the Offensive MVP. The second touchdown of the quarter came from Anthony “Bobby” Amissah whose rousing pregame speech was something to behold, with a change to go for extra points over 2pt conversions saw WR Sam Deakin kick his first point of the campaign. It was clear that all the options The Pathfinders had on both sides of the ball were no match for the Saxons with limited moving the ball and struggling to stop the Saxons Offense.
Score 0 – 25
With the score line becoming increasingly comfortable the chance for the 2nd string players on Defense to get some valuable game time and prove that they were strong regardless of who was on the field. Continued pressure and the need to get the ball moving forced the Pathfinders Offense to becoming sloppy in their play with miss timed snaps and poor running. Key plays for the Defense were Rookie MVP Chris Ellis getting the only sack of the day along with recovering a fumble with some intelligent blocking from OLB Dan Watson only to be called back on penalty.
It was then back down to Bobby to truly put the game to bed with a superb slashing run down the Pathfinders sideline to finish the game with 136yards off 4 carries! With Sam Deakin again providing the extra point to put the exclamation mark on a thoroughly deserved victory and should see more extra point attempts to add to his two.
Final Score 0 -32
The Saxons assert their dominance on a team seen as one of their main competitors for the Div East crown and sit atop of the whole of division 2. While Milton Keynes Pathfinders have a week to come up with a game plan to stop both sides of Saxons football, the Saxons will be looking to start the away leg how they finished the home leg while reducing turnovers on Offense.
Offensive MVP – Jason Bradshaw
Defensive MVP – The Whole Defence
Rookie MVP – Chris Ellis