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Kent Rebound with Sundevils on the Receiving End

Kent Exiles 19-13 Southern Sundevils

Available media:
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20-07-2008

Defence in Action

The Defence were in great form

The Kent Exiles rebounded from defeat, and back into the play-off qualification places, by beating the Southern Sundevils at Crockenhill on Sunday.

The game could not have started much better for the Exiles, as early in the first quarter they marched downfield behind the running of Rob Stewart, and took an early lead as Aaron Griffiths ran in from the one yard line. Mark Evans kicked the point after attempt.

The Exiles defence, led once again by rookie sensation Joe Alexis, then forced the Sundevils to punt the ball back to the Exiles, and it started once again, Stewart running downfield, supported by a Ryan Kelly catch from Griffiths. But the drive stalled on the Sundevils three yard line, and Mark Evans field goal attempt was botched.

Luke Sikkema, MVP for his game winning touchdown

The failure to score let the Sundevils back in, and they knew they had to make a mark. Quarterback Ted Baynham led them downfield, and the drive was finished by a Tim Iles 3 yard run for the score.

Stewart Muir then gave the Exiles a great chance as he scampered 54 yards on the kickoff return, he then joined Stewart in the backfield to begin the drive, and the pair soon had the Exiles on the scoreboard again, Stewart going in from 5 yards out, and a 13-6 lead at halftime.

In contrast to the first half, the start of the second was disastrous for the Exiles as on the Sundevils first drive Baynham found Paul Brady behind the Exiles secondary for a 58 yard touchdown, Tom Martin kicked the point after, and the game was tied.

Stalemate then ensued as both teams knew any mistake could cost them dearly in the play-off hunt, but the Exiles started to win the battle for field position as their defence continued to dominate, and midway through the final period that finally paid dividends.

Taking over the ball at halfway, the Exiles found some room to run, with Muir and Stewart again leading the way, Kelly stepped up and made a key first down catch from Griffiths, and the Exiles were within sight of the goal line. Three plays later the Exiles faced fourth down, having once again failed to punch the ball in, with an injured long snapper on the sideline; the Exiles had to go for it on fourth down. Griffiths took the snap, and facing pressure from the Sundevils rolled out and looked for Luke Sikkema in the endzone, where the sure handed receiver made a great play to catch the ball over the head of the Sundevils defender, and give the Exiles the go-ahead score.

Harry Innis

Harry Innis made a great catch

The 150 strong crowd was then treated to a nail biting finish as the Sundevils tried to come back, reaching the Exiles 20 yard line they had a chance to take the victory, but that defence came up trumps once again, and when a last ditch fourth down pass attempt fell incomplete, the Exiles could finally celebrate.

Following the game Exiles Head Coach Norman Navarro commented “I’m pleased that we bounced back well from our defeat a fortnight ago. Coach Rowe’s defence was outstanding today, with many players stepping up and playing out of position. I’m also very pleased to see Stewart Muir back to health, and back on form; he ran the ball very well today. I’m sure we’ll see Coach Hewitt’s team win a few more games yet this season, as always they are a tough unit who are hard to break down”.

The Exiles now face a rejuvenated Ipswich Cardinals away at Northgate Stadium, a side who are coming off their first victory, and looking to avenge an opening day defeat to the Exiles. Full details of the Exiles season can be found at www.kentexiles.co.uk.  

Scoring Summary
1Q – Exiles Aaron Griffiths 1 yard run, Mark Evans PAT
2Q – Sundevils Tim Iles 3 yard run
2Q – Exiles Rob Stewart 5 yard run
3Q – Sundevils Ted Baynham 58 yard pass to Paul Brady, Tom Martin PAT
4Q – Exiles Aaron Griffiths 15 yard pass to Luke Sikkema

Selected Exiles Game Statistics

Passing
Aaron Griffiths - 4 of 20 for 64 yards, 1TD

Rushing
Rob Stewart – 21 for 85 yards, 1TD
Stewart Muir – 16 for 72 yards
Andre Becker – 4 for 11 yards

Receiving
Ryan Kelly – 2 for 34 yards
Luke Sikkema– 1 for 15 yards, 1TD
Harry Innis – 1 for 15 yards

Defence
Joe Alexis – 10 tackles, 1 sack, 1 pass defence, 1 forced fumble
Aaron Alexis – 7 tackles, 1 QB Hurry, 1 forced fumble
Mark Vickers – 7 tackles
Ololade Balogun – 4 tackles, 1 sack
Kirk Beacham – 4 tackles
Seth Campbell – 3 tackles, 3 QB Hurry

 

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