Oxford Lancers vs Kingston Cougars Match Report, 21/11/21
Oxford Lancers 20-6 Kingston Cougars
Tolworth Court Sports Ground, Worcester Park
On November 21st, the Oxford Lancers travelled to Kingston to take on the 1-0 Cougars, in a battle which pitted two of the BUCS Division 2 South undefeated teams against one another. Both teams were coming off resounding Week 1 wins, and looked to carry their winning ways into Week 2.
Although the sky was clear and the sun was shining, harsh winds swept the field, setting the scene for the defensive slugfest which ensued. Quarterback Nolan Whitcomb led the Lancers’ offense onto the field, but after short gains by Charles Suo and Drew Robertson, they were ultimately stymied, and forced to punt. Kingston faced a similar fate, going three and out, a drive finished off by a Drew Robertson sack. This theme continued, with the Lancers and Cougars once again exchanging punts. Finally, the scoring drought was ended, when Nolan Whitcomb, after leading the Lancers up the field by way of Rayan Semery-Palumbo receptions, threw an interception in the end, which was returned 100 yards for a touchdown. Luckily, George Newick made an exceptional tackle on the two-point conversion, leaving the score 6-0 Kingston.
Quarterback Joel Chesters followed this effort up with an interception of his own, putting the defense in a tough spot. However, the Lancers held strong, with clutch plays by Luke Rodgers and Alex Fogassy ending Kingston’s offensive chances. Finally, Joel Chesters got the Lancers on the board, with a beautiful deep ball to Jensen Lee, which capped off an expertly managed drive in which Will Wells, Rayan Semery-Palumbo, and Drew Robertson all contributed. Unfortunately, the extra point was narrowly missed, and thus the score was tied 6-6.
The Oxford defense continued to bail out their offense. Jerry Soong intercepted the Kingston quarterback at the start of the second quarter. After the Lancers’ offense turned the ball over once again in the red zone, George Newick made an acrobatic interception, picking the Kingston quarterback off for a second time in as many possessions. These back-to-back defensive plays were just the spark the Oxford offense needed, with Joel Chesters throwing a 15 yard scoring strike to Bill De La Rosa in the back of the end zone, giving the Lancers a touchdown before half. Once again, the conversion was missed, making the score 12-6 going into the half.
The second half began with a quick three and out by the Kingston offense, with Eric Hembling and Drew Robertson causing havoc in the backfield. The offense, pinned deep in their territory due to a spectacular punt by Kingston, began to methodically work their way down the field. Nolan Whitcomb spread the ball around well, finding Drew, Rayan, Bill and Will, as well as picking up yards with his legs. Unfortunately, the Lancers offense was stopped short on the one-yard line, and the ball was ultimately handed over to Kingston due to a turnover on downs.
In the shadow of their own end zone, the Kingston offence had limited room to operate. The Lancers D swarmed to the ball, and eventually on third down, forced a safety. Eric and Alex were both credited with half a sack on the play, flying into the backfield and blowing up the play. The score was now 14-6 Lancers.
After the kickoff following the safety, Joel Chesters once again went to work, this time on the ground. With a series of scrambles, he was able to move the ball quickly down the field. The drive was finished off with an incredible throw by Joel, as he hit Ollie Williams in the back of the end zone whilst being tackled out of bounds. The score was thus 20-6, following another missed conversion.
Both defenses ended the game playing lights out. The Lancers were able to move the ball into the red zone, but were once again held up at the goal line. Kingston, now forced to pass down two possessions, was shut down by way of Miles Keat and George Newick pass breakups, after having made a large gain on the first play of the possession. Ultimately, time soon after expired, with neither team able to once again find paydirt. The final score: Lancers 20 - Cougars 6.
It was a strong showing from both teams, with each organization showing why they went into the game having won their previous matchup. However, in the end the Lancers’ defense was too much for the Cougars to overcome, and the offense were eventually able to get the ball moving. The Lancers’ end their first term of play 2-0 for the first time in several years, and are set to play UCL in their first fixture of 2022.
Oxford Lancers Kingston Cougars
Pass - 19/31, 215 yards, 3 TDs, 2 INT Pass - 2/12, 90 yards, 2 INT
Run - 24 rushes, 121 yards Run - 19 rushes, 20 yards
MVP - Joel Chesters
Pass - 7/14, 123 yards, 3 TDs, INT
Run - 9 rushes, 64 yards
OMVP - Bill De La Rosa
5 catches, 80 yards, TD
DMVP - Drew Robertson
5.5 tackles, 1 sack, 1 TFL, 0.5 safety
8 catches, 70 yards
STMVP - Tal Barnea
Hammer - William ‘The Undertaker’ Wells
Juice - Bill ‘Julio Jones’ De La Rosa
(catching a 40 yard pass from Joel over 4 defenders)