2019-2020 Season Review
The 2019-20 season saw a very new Lancers squad taking the field. The majority of the team were rookies (75%) and new offensive and defensive schemes were put in place by the coaching staff. The season consisted of highs and lows but overall saw a Lancers team come together to compete at a high level and built the foundation for a breakout team in the years to come.
The first half of the season consisted of two games in Michaelmas term. The first, against eventual division winner Sussex, was a hard-fought match. The Lancers kept pace with Sussex for the first half but fell off in the second. The final was 36-12 but it gave the rookies the opportunity to get blooded against a tough Sussex side. The second game of the season, dubbed the mud bowl, was against Chichester. This was another rough match that both teams battled out through heavy rainfall. Despite the adverse conditions, the Lancers managed to secure their first victory of the season, 18-12, and went into the break 1-1.
Tough, close games and harsh weather conditions were the theme of this season. The new Lancers quickly learned the adversity that comes from playing American Football in England.
The first game of Trinity term was the Cavalier Cup. The Lancers made some new ground here in the eyes of the university as they were granted the Iffley Road Rugby Field to play the game. Played as a Friday Night Lights game, the atmosphere in the stadium was electric. The match itself was no less exciting. Tough defensive play by OBU saw the Panthers up 14-0 at half-time. However, after a rousing speech from head coach Ian Hiscock, the Lancers came out firing during the second half. The Lancers D completely shut down OBU and the offensive picked up two scores of their own. The final minutes of the game saw the Lancers down 14-12 with one drive to go.
They drove the ball the length of the field but unfortunately OBU managed a stand on their 10-yard line to secure the victory. This was another exciting instalment in the rivalry which now makes the series all tied up 4-4.
The final three games of the season brought about several more tough games. The first, against Kingston, was played in a torrential downpour and there was very little offense to be had. The final was 12-0 for Kingston. The next, against Winchester, was another rain game. This game also came down to the wire but was clinched by a massive touchdown pass from QB Nolan Whitcomb to WR Dom Reedy. The final was 14-12 for the Lancers. The last game of the season was against playoff bound UCL. The Lancers gave them a surprise with their tough play and were leading the game at the half. Unfortunately, some late hail mary passes by the UCL quarterback cost the Lancers the lead and they lost the match 22-18.
Although the Lancers finished the season 2-4, the were finally clicking on all cylinders and were looking forward to taking a third straight victory against Cambridge at the Varsity Bowl. This, however, would not come to be. The fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic effectively killed all hope at playing Varsity last season, and it was cancelled.
Overall, the Lancers managed to put in a solid effort during the 2019-2020 campaign which has essentially become a rebuilding year. They look forward to taking the field with much more experience, as many of the rookies step into their sophomore year.
Note on this Season: as it stands, BUCS has officially cancelled the schedule of play, but hopes to resume play in Trinity Term are high. The Lancers Exec Committee are working hard to schedule potential friendly matches that might include a modified Cavalier Cup and Varsity Bowl late in the next term or early summer.