Match Report: Renegades 28 – 0 Outlaws

Trent Renegades beat Nottingham Outlaws in the first game of this year’s Varsity series

Nottingham Trent took the first event of the annual Varsity series on Friday at Harvey Hadden Stadium as the Renegades maintained their perfect record in American Football fixtures against ‘Uni of’.

The final score, 28-0, was probably an accurate reflection of the performances although Nottingham will look back ruefully on a missed opportunity at the end of the first half which would have levelled the scores. Despite this, the Outlaws represented themselves well considering the difficulties snow had caused their preparations.

After a slow start, the Outlaws gave away a number of early penalties. They were noticeably ‘on edge’ and the Outlaws defence laid an early bone-crunching hit on a Trent runner. However, they failed to stop the Renegades, falling behind to a touchdown by Trent’s star quarterback Danny Miller on a designed QB run.

On offence, the Outlaws got excellent field position after a good kick return but floundered on a fourth and short running attempt, handing possession back to their bitter rivals.

Danny Miller bore resemblance to the infamous Tim Tebow, running strongly and throwing floating, misshapen passes. Running back Leo Glasgow also broke several tackles around the line of scrimmage to make big gains.

Ultimately, the wet conditions began to affect the proceedings as Miller dropped the ball under no pressure and a swarm of Outlaws pummeled him into the turf.

The Outlaws moved the ball well towards the end of the second quarter, exploiting their varied attacking game. Their quarterback Luca Rossoni showed intelligence to escape pass rushers, pull the ball down and create positive plays and they forced their way to the 1 yard line but failed to score when they fumbled the ball.

From this point, the game became uneven as the Renegades took control and stormed down the pitch to extend their lead. The UoN linebacking corps punished the Trent skill players with huge hits but couldn’t prevent them advancing. Across the ball, Miller made two show-stopping plays with his arm including a touchdown escaping the Outlaws’ excellent pass rush.

The second half quickly became one-sided despite an early chance for a reprieve when a Trent lineman attempted to make a play on a tipped punt, only for Nottingham to wrestle the ball back. The Outlaws then made a handful of difficult passes, keeping the drive alive with a powerful third down run fighting forward past the marker, however they couldn’t maintain any pressure.

Nottingham’s remaining possession was characterised by desperation as they chased the game, attempting a huge number of passes. They eventually changed quarterbacks and Rossoni’s replacement came in and made several nice throws. His performance will bring much hope for the future of Nottingham American Football.

Trent’s Ohio-taught quarterback is the star now though and made the plays when needed . The Outlaws gave possession to Trent four additional times on turnovers and this proved telling. Their defence tired from the extra time on the field and the constant pounding from the Trent ball carriers caused increasing gains. Danny Miller finished the game with 4 touchdowns and a huge number of rushing yards.

Ultimately, it was a disappointing day for the Outlaws. Their supporters were also chagrined by the cancelling of their cheerleaders’ performance, however they took some solace in the Trent girls’ faltering display, albeit in tough conditions and with a skipping soundtrack.

After the game, The Tab spoke to Trent Team President Marcus ‘Patches’ Boswell again, who was obviously delighted with the resounding victory but was quick to point out that the game was a closely contested affair, perhaps more so than the scoreline suggests:

“It was an iffy start but the game remained relatively balanced. The offence managed to do what they needed to do and that’s score touchdowns, so we’re very happy with that. We were also delighted with our goal-line stand, which seems to be synonymous with this Trent defence. Overall, I’m very very pleased.”

All photos taken by the excellent Will Douglas ([email protected])