HISTORIC VICTORIES

November 2014

Oxford Lancers 64-0 ARU Rhinos

After having lost every game in their first two seasons of their existence, the Lancers won their first game in their 2014-15 season opener which was against the ARU Rhinos. In the past two seasons, the team had been getting closer to the all important “dub”, and everything just came together in this game. Scoring 64 was clearly the most points the Lancers had put up in team history, the previous record was 18.  It was also their first shut out.

 

February 2015

Oxford Lancers 13-6 OBU Panthers

After the big win over ARU the Lancers lost two close games, one to Kent Falcons and the other to Cambridge Pythons, which doubled up as the Varsity game that year. At this point the Exec, asked Defensive coordinator, Andy McKenzie to become Head Coach. With just the Christmas break to write a playbook, and with just one training session to install it and with just 18 players to execute it, the Lancers faced the powerful and massive OBU Panthers squad.

 

The Lancers and Panthers used to be one team- the Oxford Cavaliers, a team that won the National Championship in 2000-01 season. However the new rules stated that University teams can not play as one, and after the split, the Panthers were more successful early on.

 

When the two teams do play against each other this game is known as the Cavaliers Cup. For the first two seasons the Panthers won the cup, winning 0-41 and 0-16  but Coach Andy was hungry for success.

 

Most Lancers players played both ways, in what was a David and Goliath match. The 80 yard kick return from Ian Simister on the first play in the second half became the play of the day, and although the Panthers scored themselves , the Lancers defense made sure that during the Panthers scoring drive, the clock was draining throughout.

 

it was eventual team MVP, Scott Tan who was the difference maker who played every single snap to help secure the Lancers first piece of silverwear, their second ever win, coach Andy’s first win as H.C, and this massive win kick started the “streak” which became a 12 game unbeaten winning streak.

 

February 2015

Oxford Lancers 7-6 UEA Pirates

After defeating the Panthers, the Lancers were awarded a walk over from Canterbury chargers before hosting league leaders the UEA Pirates. Like the OBU Panthers game, it was another David and Goliath game. While the Pirates dominated in many areas of the field and were the superior team, the amount of grit, heart and determination prevailed and of course with wins like this…a touch of luck.

 

The Lancers defence had a goal line stand, stopped a 2 point conversion and late in the game the Pirates missed a relatively short field goal to hand the Lancers their 4th ever win. The other main reason this game was so important was because it was the 4th win of the Lancers campaign that year with one game to go. Irrespective of what happened on the last game of the season Vs Essex Blades, the Lancers would end up with a winning record, either being 4-3 or 5-2.

 

It turns out that the Lancers beat Essex away and finished the season 5-2, quite the turnaround from not winning a game for two previous seasons.

 

November 2015

Oxford Lancers 13-12 OBU Panthers

After a season opening win against ARU Rhinos (14-0) the Cavalier Cup was played twice this season and the first leg was the second game of the season. The Panthers as ever had a large squad, but the Lancers had done some serious recruiting, but it’s not easy for so many rookies to learn the sport and execute in just their second game.

 

The Panthers went up 6-0. Lancers legend, Priest, scored on a massive run from a swing pass, to tie the game. Though the Panthers replied quickly, and although they scored they could not convert what became a very important 2 point attempt, giving the panthers a 6-12 lead.

 

Coach Andy dialled in the same play that Priest had scored on previously, yet this time, QB, Will Szymanski pump faked, saw the free safety come down to Priest in the flats and fired in a perfect pass to eventual team MVP Alex Dale on a seam route for the lase second touchdown, tying up the game. It was then Alex Dale, but this time with the boot who put the PAT through the up rights.

 

The Panthers had one more drive in them and their passing game was cooking, but the Lancers dug in and stopped them before the clock ran out for the Lancers second Cavalier Cup win.

 

February 2016

Oxford Lancers 23-0 OBU Panthers

Since the last Cavaliers Cup game in game 2 of the season, the Lancers had beaten Canterbury Christchurch Chargers and the Essex Blades convincingly. Part two of the Cavalier Cup series in this season was going to be interesting for unusual reasons.

 

After being handed a three game suspension this game was the Panthers first since the suspension and no doubt they wanted to get back to winning ways, and go up on the Cavalier Cup series. They had won the first two, and the Lancers the last two.

 

The Lancers were unsure how the suspension would affect the Panthers. Some players were notably absent, but in traditional Panther- lore they play hard. Coach Andy called Power 44 times in a game that on paper seemed easier than in reality. But what is important about this win, is that it marked a third Cavalier Cup for Coach Andy and the Lancers, and put the Lancers 3-2 up in the series.

 

March 2016

Oxford Lancers 34-12 Greenwich Mariners

After winning the conference with a perfect season, the Lancers played in their first ever playoff game, which was hosted by the also unbeaten team, the Greenwich Mariners. The pundits (Double Coverage), felt that the Mariners would beat the Lancers easy, partly because they had the home field advantage, but they felt the Mariners conference was harder than the Lancers one.

 

The Lancers proved the critics wrong very quickly and Qb Will Szymanski threw for a career and team record high 5 passing touchdowns. The win secured the Lancers with promotion to division one, irrespective of the outcome vs Portsmouth Destroyers the following week in the Division 2 south Final. (which the Lancer sadly lost by the narrowest of margins)

 

May 2016

Oxford Lancers 49-0 Cambridge Pythons

Having been beaten in the Division 2 South Final by Portsmouth, snapping a 12 game win streak, the Lancers had a chance to take their historic high scoring offense into the Varsity Bowl. The Exec did an incredible job under President Henk Schopmans to secure the excellent Tilsely Park facility as around 150 fans came to cheer on the Lancers.

 

The Varsity bowl dates back to 1991 (which Oxford won), but between 1996 and 2012 there was no Varsity Bowl, either Oxford did not have a team for some years, or they were part of the joint Cavaliers team, and under “Varsity” rules it needs to be strictly students from Cambridge and Oxford Uni only. Since the return of the Varsity Bowl in 2012, the Lancers have lost three and tied just one.

 

The team were riding high and keen to finish the amazing season with a Varsity win. The Lancers came out flying from the kick off and did not look back, putting up 49-0 unanswered points the most points under the Coach Andy era. It was his first Varsity win and the team’s first since 1995.

 

The highs of the 2015-16 season did not stop  there; Coach Andy was awarded coach of the year by Oxford University and the Lancers were nominated as one of the Oxford Universities sports team of the year.

 

2016-17 Season

Coach Andy moved to Canada, and the team asked running backs coach, Adam Goldstein, to be their third Head coach. Due to the success of the year before, the Lancers were promoted into Division 1, yet they had lost most of their starters.

 

While the exec secured a lot of new players, the season was very tough. Although on paper, the Lancers beat UWE Bullets due to the home team unable to provide medical cover, it was a “real” win. The team lost every game and were relegated, and then lost in the Varsity Bowl in double over time 14-20, and they narrowly lost to University College Dublin in  an exhibition tour game in Ireland. Still the season saw the Lancers first foray into Division 1 and the first tour game in Lancers history.

 

November 2017

Oxford Lancers 76-0 Bath Spa Bulldogs

Coach Adam got his first “real” win under his belt with the 2016-17 season opener. While this was not a competitive game, it broke many team stats, that are unlikely to be bettered for many years. The offense put up a record breaking 10 touchdowns, 6 of which were passing touchdowns, the most passing TDs in one game for the Lancers, and individually, wide receiver, Lucas Stolle caught three passing TDs the most for a Lancers player in one game. 

 

May 2018

Oxford Lancers 48-6 Cambridge Pythons

The 2017-18 Lancers season finished with a 3-3 record, after beating Bath Spa, the Lancers beat Bristol Barracudas 26-0 and Bournemouth Bobcats, but sadly lost to Gloucester Gladiators, Southampton stags and sadly the OBU Panthers, which meant the Cavalier Cup went back to Oxford Brookes and that series became 3-3.

 

However the team knew that the Varsity Bowl would be chance to finish the season with a winning record, and to grab some silver wear. The Exec once again like two seasons before, hosted the game at Tilsely Park . Though this time the challenge might be trickier because the Cambridge Pythons were a division 1 team, while the Lancers finished 3-3 in division 2, so the Lancers were considered very much the under dogs.

 

During the pre-game warm ups the coaches noticed that the Pythons had recruited a new player, an American QB who was whizzing balls at ease. On film we had seen the Pythons be a very run heavy attack. From the start the Pythons went to the air, but defensive coordinator, Coach Ian Hiscock, adjusted his defense, and swarmed the Pythons QB play after play. While on the other side of the ball three year running back veteran Connor Thompson was having the game of his life putting up 200 all purpose yards and four rushing touchdowns, a team record for the most rushing TDs in one game.

 

February 2019

Oxford Lancers 37-14 Gloucester Gladiators

Under new Head Coach, Coach Ian Hiscock, the Lancers went 0-4 in their first four games of the 2018-19 season. However the Lancers beat Bath Spa 22-0 which kick off a 4 game win streak to finish out the season.

 

The Gladiators had beaten the Lancers the year before. During the his home game, the referees had not shown up, so Defensive coordinator at the time, Coach Ian was forced to referee the first half, which meant he was unable to coach his defense in the first half and the Gladiators put up a lot of yards on the outside run. Although in the second half Coach Ian was allowed to coach from the sidelines, the game was already won.

 

In this 2019 game, Coach Ian as H.C (who had referees this time), was able to coach his defense throughout the game against a team that it is always strong and physical especially in the run game. The team played well in all three fronts, even scoring a touchdown on a botched field goal attempt, which gave coach Ian this win in preparation for the Cavalier Cup

 

March 2019

Oxford Lancers 48-0 OBU Panthers

The game was originally meant to be played under the Friday Night Lights of the Blues Rugby stadium ( a first for the Lancers), but the snow meant the game was postponed, and played a few weeks later at our favourite ground , Tilsely Park. The 2-4 Lancers were hosting the 3-2 Panthers. Due to the postponed dates the Panthers were offered to play in a few weeks during the playoffs or play this game on the Friday and then play their final game 2 days later for their last two games. With 2 wins in the last two games it was a chance they would have made it to the playoffs, but it did mean relying on other results. With the playoffs not an option for the Lancers they were happy to postpone, but a delayed game would have meant that the Panthers could not play in the playoffs even if they did win out because that game was beyond the regular season deadline.

 

The Panthers rolled the dice and asked for 2 games in 2 days. Coach Ian was especially fired up. He was a student Oxford Brookes, and played for both the Cavaliers and Oxford Brookes Panthers. He has played under Panthers H.C Nick Wykes at the Panthers, and he plays under him as a player at Oxford Saints

 

With Cavalier Cup series tied at 3-3, the game was big for both teams. The Panthers playing for a playoff spot and the Lancer playing for pride.

 

The Lancers had a huge drive to kick things off, and although they could not convert on the goal line, the Panthers could not get out their own 5 yard line and after a short punt the Lancers capitalised on the short field and never looked back. QB Will Szymanski threw for four touchdowns and played what he felt his best game ever, as he masterfully carved open the Panthers defense drive after drive. RB Connor Thompson chipped in with three rushing touchdowns, while WR Jesse Rose caught three receiving TDs, in what was a monster game for the Lancers.

 

This game brought the Cavalier Cup back to Oxford, leading the series 4-3 and leading the overall aggregate points. It also showed just how dominant the Lancers are at Tilsely Park, where they have out scored their opponents 145-6 in three games, a win each for Coach Andy, Coach Adam and Coach Ian.

 

May 2019

Oxford Lancers 19-9 Cambridge Pythons

The Lancers were on a  three game win streak after the monster win vs the Panthers, and a 3-4 record. A win would mean a 4 game win streak, a Varsity Cup to go alongside the Cavalier Cup, a .500 record and an away Varsity win in Cambridge, something that has not been achieved since 1995.

 

The Pythons had a 3-3 regular season record but because of their smaller conference finished in second place, and played a playoff game (which they lost), they too were looking to finish .500.

 

Playing in the Cambridge Blues Rugby stadium with the loud crowd behind the Lancers bench was an unusual experience. Every game that has had a crowd until this point for the Lancers has been at home at Tilsely Park. The home noise had an instant effect. The home team gashed the Lancers defense on the first place for 70 yards, and just a few plays later they were in the end zone and up 0-7

 

The Pythons came looking to stop the run game, because in three games Connor Thompson has been so dominant against them, however they pinned in the Lancers, and the botched punt snap went over Thompson’s head (playing punter) for a safety. The Lancers had an up hill battle early on.

 

After some stellar defense, the Lancers had the ball back and went to the air, finding Jesse Rose and wily veteran Andy Badger. The Lancers scored three back to back touchdowns, two rushing Touchdowns for Connor Thompson and one catching TD for Jesse Rose. Thus leading to a season Lancers record for both players. Connor Thompson finished the season with 9 rushing TDs, breaking a season record, and leading the team in rushing team TDs with 21. While Jesse Rose in just one season caught 9 receiving TDs in one season, making him the all time receiving leader and seasonal leader.

 

The second half saw mistakes for teams on both sides of the ball, but the Lancers defense held out against the loud crowd, to bring the Varsity Bowl back to Oxford. Where the Lancer lead the series 7-5-1

 

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