OXFORD LANCERS 32-4 Greenwich Mariners
For the first time in the team's short history, the Oxford Lancers travelled to east London to play the London division champs, the Greenwich Mariners, for Oxford's first ever playoff game.
The Lancers were looking to continue the dominance they displayed all season in the post season, hoping to prove the doubters wrong that they were a fluke outfit from an easy division.
As before, the Lancers' defense dictated the tempo and the tenor of the game from the start, forcing several three and outs, and being able to capitalise on turnovers, with interceptions from DB Stu Sanders and LB Joe 'LMH' Barker.
With the defense constantly giving the offense great field position, the Lancers were able to turn two drives in the first half into scoring opportunities. The first was a swing to RB Connor Thompson, who scored on a 9-yd catch out of the backfield. The second, the offense was able to capitalise on single coverage on the outside with a beautiful fade throw from QB Will Szymanski to WR Joe 'Trinity' Barker. The momentum was fully in the Lancers' favour, safe for a freak play that saw the extra point get blocked and returned to the other endzone for 2 points. At HT, it was Lancers 13 - 2 Mariners.
The second half however proved to solidify the Lancers' control over the game. Again exploiting single coverage, Will and Trinity connected again on the fade, with trinity side stepping his way into the endzone for a 29-yd score. The defense kept dominating, giving short fields, allowing for Will to throw two more TD passes, to WR Ahmad Nasir and WR Alex Dale respectively, putting the game out of reach at 32-2.
The Mariners managed to have a 71-yd drive once the Lancers put some subs in, but they were only able to score once they turned the ball over on downs, and thereafter tackled the Lancers' RB in the endzone for a safety.
This gave the game the unusual score of 32-4, leading to the Oxford Lancers' first ever playoff victory, and a berth in the Division 2 South finals the week after. It also secured a long time goal for the Lancers: promotion to the above tier, Division 1.
Oxford Lancers 32 - 4 Greenwich Mariners
HIT OF THE DAY
Joe "Trinity" Barker