The Outlaws got their season off to a winning start on Sunday against visitors Liverpool Fury. Things started brightly for the Outlaws when the short kick off was recovered, allowing the offence to take the field and through a combination of short passes from Quarterback Henri Dinger and inside runs from Running back Dave Rap the Outlaws drove steadily towards the endzone.
Their first chance to put points on the board was missed as Slot back Greg Roscow saw a pass go straight through his hands in the endzone. The drive came to an end shortly after, as the Liverpool defensive line forced a fumble and quickly recovered it. This was the story of much of the first half for the Outlaws, as opportunities were spurned. Fortunately for the offence, the defence kept the Outlaws going and Liverpool struggled to create any offensive yards of note.
The best chance of the first half came as Outlaws Slot back Aaron Salamon broke to the 1 yard line, only to cough up the ball to the Fury defence. With the Outlaws offence spluttering and the Fury attack muffled, the half ended 0-0.
The first score of the game came as Dinger threw a 19 yard pass to veteran Wide receiver Andrew Mathers, who kept his feet in bounds to give him his first Touchdown for the team and the Outlaws a 6-0 lead. The PAT attempt hit the post and fell unsuccessful. The strength of the drive can be attributed to the great field position that lineman Xavi Ribeiro Quarterback sack gave the team
The lead quickly became 12-0, as the Outlaws defence forced Liverpool to punt from deep in their own half. Punt return Richard Wilson fielded the ball in Outlaws territory, and tore down the right sideline breaking several tackles to score the first special teams Touchdown in recent Outlaws history. This time the PAT from Ben Collis was good, and the Outlaws took a 13-0 lead into the 4th quarter.
With the game still close, the Outlaws were unable to build on their total and put the game out of Liverpool’s reach. This led to a nervous climax to the game as the Fury Quarterback threw a 25 yard pass to bring them within a score of snatching the game. The ball security issues that had plagued the team all game looked to have gifted Liverpool the chance to square the games as Luca Rossoni threw an intercepted pass, however the Fury were unable to capitalise and the game finished 13-6.
With time running out, Liverpool started an offensive drive deep in their own territory, and finally started to move the ball. Their running back broke through the Outlaws defence, and with a clear field in front of him, began sprinting for the endzone. Fortunately he was unable to outpace the chasing Outlaws, with rookie DB Stefan Momcilovic dragging him down just as he entered Outlaws territory. This sparked the Fury offence in to action, as they continued moving towards the goalline with time ticking down. The drive finished with a to the back of the endzone, where he found their wide open receiver for the score. At 13-6, the PAT attempt was blocked, and the Outlaws were given the ball back with just over 1 minute remaining in the game and a one score lead to protect. Possession still proved impossible to keep, as Quarterback Luca Rossoni threw a pass that was intercepted by the Fury, however it was subsequently fumbled and recovered by Rossoni himself. With 29 seconds left, the Outlaws fumbled the ball again on an inside run, and Liverpool were left with a chance to score and draw the game level. The Fury had the time to take two shots at the endzone, but were unable to complete either – allowing the Outlaws to wrap up the victory and move to 1-0.
In other sporting news, the women are carrying the torch for Nottingham sport with the Women’s Netball, Lacrosse and Basketball teams recording straight wins for the month. Whilst the Men’s Rugby Union and League teams have had a disappointing start to the season, it pales in comparison to the Women’s 3rd XI Football side who have managed to acquire a goal difference of -46 in just three games.