Sydney Uni Lions are just a game away from another Waratah Bowl appearance after finishing the regular season unbeaten.
The Lions obliterated obliterated Northern Sydney Rebels 90-6 at David Phillips Field on Saturday to finish the regular season as top seed for the Gridiron NSW playoffs. Sydney Uni has now earned a week off in the first round of the playoffs and will face their next opponent on Saturday, December 12, for a place in the Waratah Bowl for the NSW championship to be played the following week.
The Lions’ defence was awesome on Saturday, forcing six takeaways, which repeatedly gave the offence the ball in good field position. The offence took full advantage, crossing for 13 touchdowns despite the sometimes wet conditions.
Runningback Alex Watson (#40) got the Lions on the scoreboard first, running in a touchdown after linebacker Bola Labulo (#53) had stripped the ball from the Rebels’ quarterback for Michael Rigney (#95) to recover the fumble. Labulo would be in the backfield all day, finishing with nine tackles, one tackle for loss and a sack.
Watson would lead the Lions’ ground attack, scoring three touchdowns from 16 carries for 79 yards, but it was the Lions’ passing attack with did most of the damage.
Kiernan Dorney (#11) started at quarterback and threw for two touchdowns to wide receiver Sam Darcy (#84) before making way before halftime for Joe Thompson (#1) to take over.
While Dorney went back home to take care of his new arrival, Thompson was clearly out to impress his new arrival. Thompson completed 13 of 16 pass attempts for 234 yards and threw for six touchdowns to Darcy, Conor Foley (#21), Josh Yerrell (#10) and Victor Martin (#86).
The offensive line of Brad McNamara (#77), Justin Schnurstein (#61), Alex Davies (#55), Luke Dickson (#78), Elliot Mills-Connolly (#73), Carl Ellis (#75) and Ross Thompson (#71) did not give up a sack all game to give the quarterbacks the time to make their throws.
On defence, captain Nick Olive (#22) tied a club record in forcing three recovered fumbles while also topping the tackle count with 10 and breaking up two pass attempts.
The defensive line of Michael Rigney (#95), Martin Balada (#74), Scott Thompson (#38), Bola Labulo (#53), Jack Danielson (#94) and Jacob Gardner (#46) did their job of dominating the line of scrimmage against the Rebels’ three back running attack, allowing linebackers Steve Dabin (#45), Nicolai Hansen (#8), Sean Jones (#99), Gavin Chipperfield (#15) and Ryan Shaw (#43) to pick off the ball carriers. In addition to generating seven turnovers, the Lions’ defence gave up only 73 yards on 68 plays.
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