Electing to receive the ball on the opening kick off it would be the offence which set to work first on what was another muggy day in Glasgow. A 7th win would see us propelled to the top of the conference with the Chester Romans being held to a 6 - 6 draw by the Halton Spartans earlier in the day. #22 Gamu Mukuredzi would get us moving, returning the ball to about the 30 yard line.
A three and out would start the game for the offence but following a brilliant interception from CB #22 Gamu Mukuredzi, they would get an early second chance, and they didn't think twice. Brothers Sean (#1 WR) and Chris (#16 QB) connected for the first six points of the game - with the latter standing bravely in the pocket to deliver a deep strike to the back of the endzone. Another, slightly easier pass would be Chris Breen's next score, connecting on a screen pass with WR #6 Lewis Hughes who did the rest of the work to make it 14 - 0 with both PATs being converted. Clyde Valley would begin to get their tails up, and following turnovers and a couple of deep passes, they would tie up the score, with 14 points unanswered. The Roughnecks needed a play to swing the pendulum back their way and LB #23 Phil McCall duly obliged, forcing a fumble to kick both offence and defence back into gear. The Roughneck offence would take advantage of this momentum shift, adding another score prior to the conclusion of the first half with WR #6 Lewis Hughes diving in on a sweep play to make it 21 - 14 at the interval.
The Roughneck D would squeeze the life out of the Blackhawks in the second half, forcing a safety on the second play of the half with the side from Glasgow pinned back in their own redzone following a failed illegal gadget kick-off return. 23 - 14, with LB #23 Phil McCall making the tackle in the endzone. Keen to put more distance between the two teams, the Field Goal unit was brought out for a 40 yard attempt which was converted to make it a 12 point game midway through the 3rd quarter. Touchdown number 4, and the final points of the day would come from an unusual source. With the offence drawing 12 minutes off of the clock on a long 4th quarter drive, last week's MVP, TE #83 Nate Morrice made the wide open catch in the endzone. Not too unusual? Well the throw was made by the kicker #4 Stuart Don as the Field Goal unit was on the field but some quick thinking from holder #44 Grant Travis rescued the situation following a botched snap. A more routine PAT followed that touchdown though, making it 33 - 14 allowing LB #85 Rob Hayes to finish the game with an interception on the final play of the game, making it 7 & 0 for the Roughnecks and the number 1 seed in the NFC 2.
Interim Head Coach & Offensive Co-ordinator Ruari Collinson:
"I'm very proud of the guys today, who dug in deep when they had to with the Blackhawks tying up the game at 14 apiece. The offence continued to work hard and kept on moving the ball and getting first downs in critical situations. With playoff destiny now in our own hands following the Chester result earlier in the day, we'll be looking to close out our perfect regular season against the West Coast Trojans in two weeks' time."
Defensive Co-ordinator Bryce Stevenson:
"We started the game well but let that high intensity slip in the second quarter which simply wasn't good enough and allowed the Blackhawks back into the game. A big play from Phil McCall turned that all around though and following some adjustments in the 3rd quarter we found our feet again shutting them out for the whole second half. We asked a question of our guys today and they responded well but now we're moving onto the Trojans in two weeks time before welcoming someone to Aberdeen for some playoff football."
Thrown: 3x #16 QB Chris Breen, #4 K Stuart Don
Receiving: 2x #6 WR Lewis Hughes, #1 Sean Breen, #83 Nate Morrice
Kicking: 4x PAT, 1FG (40 yards) #4 K Stuart Don (Held: #44 Grant Travis, LS: #21 Sean McDonald)
INT: #22 CB Gamu Mukuredzi, #85 LB Rob Hayes
Fumble Recovery: LB #20 Darren Henderson, DT #61 James Sharp
Bud Light MVP: RB #25 Diego Esquer. Diego ran the ball hard all day long, juking in and out of defenders and picking up first downs to keep the offence on the field in important situations and did everything but score. Congratulations Diego, Dilly Dilly!
Offensive MVP: WR #6 Lewis Hughes. Lewis scored two touchdowns and was unfortunate to miss out on the overall honour. A big kick-off return set up his second score of the day as he nearly took it all the way back to the house.
Defensive MVP: LB #23 Phil McCall. Arguably made the play of the game by forcing the fumble which stopped the Blackhawks in their tracks in the first half, started the second half off with a safety and made countless tackles all day long.