The Shropshire Revolution gained revenge for their opening day defeat to the Staffordshire Surge beating them 28-24 in a thrilling encounter at Oakengates Leisure Centre on Sunday.
Normally slow to start Shropshire raced out to a 14-0 lead thanks to a great opening drive, which saw, quarterback Rich Mantle connecting with wide receiver Mark Phillips in the endzone for his fourth touchdown of the season.
Directly after the restart Revolution defensive back Josh Peck intercepted the ball and put the home side in brilliant field position for running back Dave Trevor to cross the line for the first of his two touchdowns.
Staffordshire closed the gap with a field goal and then minutes later they stripped the ball from Revolution wide receiver Johnny Green to set up a scoring drive to make it 14-9 after a blocked extra point.
Both teams traded punts with the Surge hitting the front when they ran it in from close range. A moment of brilliance from rookie James Derry on special teams saw him return a 95-yard kickoff back for a touchdown to put Shropshire back in control.
The Telford Raiders rugby league player is having a season to remember and is one of the key players of a new look Revolution defence that held firm against the second placed Surge.
With the weather turning Staffordshire looked to their running game to get more points on the board and it was quarterback Jon Wyse who found the endzone to swing the momentum back in the away side’s favour.
However, the home side weren’t finished yet. An Adam Harris field goal was brought back for a penalty against the Surge for roughing the kicker and the Revolution had a fresh set of downs inside the red zone.
Dave Trevor ran it home and the extra point made it 28-24 with just minutes left in the game. A late interception by Mantle gave the Surge one last throw of the dice but they weren’t able to make the most of the opportunity.
The Revolution defence dug in and stopped Staffordshire on an important fourth down, and with it secured the home side a 3-3 record with playoff football still very much a reality.
It was a match played in the right spirit with both teams all wearing bright orange socks in aid of Meningitis Now. With the help of supporters a total of £479.20 was raised for the charity.
Next up for the Revolution is the undefeated Leicester Falcons at home on July 3rd at Oakengates Leisure Centre. This is the Revolution’s last home game of the season before three games on the road.
Images courtesy of MD-Images. You can see more images from the game over on Mike Dean’s website here.