GAME 1 V STAFFORDSHIRE SURGE
Longton Rugby Club 17th April
The Shropshire Revolution lost their opening game of the season 35-14 to Staffordshire Surge on Sunday at Longton Rugby Club.
After going last season 0-10 and relegated from NFC Division 1, the Revolution was keen to start their 2016 campaign with a win.
The Surge however, had other ideas, and raced to a 7-0 lead early on. Wide receiver Mitch Cotton caught a beautifully weighted pass and ran a short distance into the endzone. This was followed up by another touchdown, this time from Jon Wyse.
Quarterback Rich Mantle, playing his first competitive fixture in over a year tried to get the offence moving, but found the Surge defence in good form.
Staffordshire added to their tally when Ryan Reid crossed the line from close range. The resulting extra point was blocked, but the ball was picked up by Shaun Allen who stumbled in for a two point safety.
In the second quarter Rob Quimby returned a 40-yard punt for a touchdown with Phil Wright adding to the score to make it 35-0 at the half.
The third quarter was a different story. Mantle marched the offence down field finding gaps in a tiring Surge backfield. He then connected with wide receiver Mark Phillips for the Revolution’s first touchdown of the season.
The Revolution was clearly fired up and things were starting to click. They continued to put pressure on the Surge defence forcing them into a number of turnovers.
The Shropshire offence got the ball back and Mantle once again lead an impressive drive. On third down he found wide receiver Kris Doody to make the score 35-14.
The Surge mounted another drive but were stopped on the goal line by a brilliant tackle from defensive end Adam Naylor.
After the Surge turned the ball over again, via an interception, backup quarterback Adam Harris stepped in to lead the team for the final quarter.
The Revolution came agonizingly close to a third successive touchdown in the dying seconds, but the Staffordshire side stood firm and saw out the remainder of the game pinned back inside their own 5-yard line.
Quarterback Rich Mantle said afterwards, “We are a young team and to go 35-0 down so quickly was a real shock.
“Everybody battled back in the second half and we really got going. We did a lot of positive things and had the beating of the Surge in the second half. We will carry that momentum going forward into our next game.”