The annual American football Varsity game between Leeds University Celtics and Leeds Beckett Carnegie was close to not being played this weekend as Weetwood sports facility wanted to protect the pitch. Thankfully another venue was found for the game, and the match went ahead at West Park Leeds Rugby Club.
Carnegie won the coin toss and elected to receive the first kick off. On the first play of their possession however, the Carnegie running back fumbled the ball and it was recovered by the Celtics defence, putting the offence back in the game with good field position. However, the Celtics were unable to continue their attack and were forced to punt the ball.
Neither offense got near their opponent’s end zone for much of the first half. Carnegie were undone by their own over aggressiveness, having several big plays called back for penalties. The Celtics defence looked as strong as it had done all season, with safeties Mike Bridle and Ben Smith each securing turnovers with a fumble recovery and interception respectively. The first points of the game came towards the end of the first quarter, with the Celtics offense backed up towards their own goal line. Carnegie got into the backfield and brought down the ball-carrier in the end zone for a safety, making it 2-0. Two more touchdowns followed towards the end of the second quarter to make the score 16-0 at half time.
In the second half the Celtics defence suffered from injuries to Lewis Broadhurst, Toby Richardson and Ben Smith, and the solid defence from the first half was no more. Carnegie were able to run the ball more effectively, and racked up several more touchdowns. The story of the Celtics offence was the same as it had been all season, able to pick up first downs from running back Oscar Taherbeigi and having nice options from the quarterback Adam Smith, but unable to get a drive going into the end zone.
The afternoon ended with the final score 55-0 to Carnegie. The latter stay undefeated for the season, with a final-day showdown against the Hallam Warriors for the division title. The Celtics on the other hand are left hunting for their first win of the season, which they will hope to achieve this Sunday away to York Centurions.
Image courtesy of sport.leeds.ac.uk