The Worcestershire Black Knights made history by taking part in their first ever league game as a club after completing their associate season successfully last year. The team travelled down to the south coast to do battle against the Torbay Trojans who were more than up for it after losing 6-0 to Cornish Sharks late in the 4th Quarter last week. Travelling with a squad of 40+ the Black Knights were in high hopes that the team could walk away with the win.
The Torbay Trojans took the first kick off and the Knights ended up on their 26yard line with a long way to go. The first drive for both teams ended in a punt with nerves getting the better of both outfits. Starting their 2nd drive on their 20yd line, the Black Knights slowly drove up the pitch securing 5 first downs on the way including some hard running by Running Back Jay Styles and Full Back Sam Bennett. An injury to Right Guard Rahim Bas meant a time out was taken and rookie Offensive Lineman Will Hicks was thrown into the fray. Continuing to drive up the field, the Black Knights punched the ball in from 5 yds with Running Back Mike Harris claiming the historic first score for the team. The Extra Point Attempt was tipped by the Trojans and left the score at 6-0.
Starting the 2nd Quarter with the ball, the Trojans drove down the pitch but came up short on the Knights 18yd line giving the team another long trip down to the endzone. The Black Knights next drive stalled and ended in a punt. The resulting punt was blocked by the Trojans giving them the ball on the 8yd line. 3 plays later the ball was in the endzone and the scores were level. Making the best of a bad snap the Trojans ran the ball in for the 2pts to make the game 8-6.
The Worcestershire Black Knights defence really stepped up in the remainder of the 2nd quarter with Defensive Lineman Alex Grimsley and Linebacker Josh Chambers recovering fumbles to give the Offence great field position. Unfortunately, the team were unable to capitalise on this and the half ended 8-6.
Receiving the ball in the second half were the Torbay Trojans, the kick was fielded and gave them position around their 30yd line but another fumble recovery returned the ball to the Black Knights. Some good drives by both teams made good progress but stalled when it really mattered. Going into the 4th quarter, it was 8-6 and an extremely closely fought battle. A long pass conversion by Black Knights Quaterback Alex Tailford to Wide Receiver Mike Cimarosti and some hard running moved the chains up the Trojans 20yd line. Deciding to go for it on 4th down, the knights ran it up the middle. However, the ball was spotted just short of the first down marker, giving possession back to Torbay.
Some more great work by the Knights defence really kept the team in it, managing to stop some solid 60yd Trojan drives just when it mattered. The Knights offence had one final chance to drive up the field and get the points the secure the win, after a more solid running by Running Back Jay Styles and Quaterback Ben Dillon, the team got to up the Trojan’s 30. Going for an all or nothing play on 4th was unsuccessful with the Trojan’s safety picking the ball off and allowing them to kneel the game out.
A great efffort by all players involved, the first Worcestershire Black Knights couldn’t have been closer and leaves both teams in good stead for the rest of the season. We would like to thank the Torbay Trojans for being great hosts and even bringing our sideline Easter Eggs at half time! We look forward to meeting them again on home soil in 3 weeks time.
Full Photo Album: http://worcphotos.zenfolio.com/wbk3 – all credit to Paul StJohn Photography.