UEL put up a defensive masterpiece as they defeated the Anglia Ruskin Rhinos 19-3. After back-to-back defeats, the Titans finally found their rhythm as they only let in three points. Safety Jack Saunders and Quarterback Daniel Hopkin were the stars of the day. Saunders had three interceptions and Hopkin rushed for over 100 yards. The Rhinos’ inability to keep hold of the ball and their number of turnovers cost them the game.
The first offensive drive for Anglia Ruskin started off quite well as they managed to get the run game off perfectly. They had a couple of 3rd down drives in which they converted to keep the drive going.The Titans defense shut them down in the redzone which led to the Rhinos kicking a 35-yard field goal and taking a 3-0-point lead.
The run game is crucial for the Titans and they showed it against ARU. On a 4th down at the Titans 20-yard line, back-up QB Daniel Hopkin perfectly executed a QB draw in which he ran for the 1st down. The Titans however were unable to put up any points after a good first drive.
On the next Rhinos’ drive their starting QB injured his ankle and on the first snap with the new QB, Titans David Ironmonger recovered the ball after a botched snap for the Rhinos on their 28-yard line. The Titans couldn’t capitalise from the error and were still trailing.
On the following possession, the Rhinos yet again fumbled the opening snap which then led to the Titans recovering the ball and this time around, Hopkin scored his first rushing TD giving them a 6-3 lead as the Titans had fumbled the PAT.
The Rhinos next possession looked promising as they easily got to the 49-yard line of the Titans, but a poor throw led to an interception by Jack Saunders which he returned for a TD. Unfortunately, the Titans failed to score the extra point giving them a 12-3 lead leading up to the two-minute warning.
Throughout the first half, the Titans defence was dominating the Rhinos as they continued to tackle the offence for negative yards and it paid off as the first half ended with that 12-3 lead for the Titans.
Early on in the second half, the Rhinos threw yet another interception with Saunders picking them off for his second interception of the game. The celebrations were short lived when Hopkins threw an interception on the next play.
The Rhinos were going down the field well but on a 3rd down play, they fumbled yet again and Ridge Avit recovered the ball. This was the seventh fumble of the day for the Rhinos as the Titans defence kept on pounding. Since their opening drive, the Rhinos struggled tremendously.
With less than three minutes remaining on the clock, Jordon Bolessa ran for a rushing TD which gave UEL the much-deserved 19-3 lead after converting the PAT for the first time in the game.
Having dominated the entire game, the Titans will be pleased with the outcome and the way they played and they look to continue that when they face unbeaten Canterbury Christ Church next week.