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Oxford 'Pain Train' Defence Derailed by Exiles

Oxford Saints 12-36 Kent Exiles

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08-06-2008

The Kent Exiles traveled to Oxford on Sunday, and de-railed the vaunted Oxford ‘pain train’ defence, and in doing so laid down their own tracks for the end of season play-offs.

Aaron Griffiths

Griffiths led the team with four touchdown passes

The Exiles came out determined to make a statement, and it did not take long. On their second possession a good drive was finished by Aaron Griffiths pass to Sean Starwind from 22 yards out and a 6-0 lead.

The Exiles defence soon forced the Saints to punt the ball away, and the offence once again drove downfield, some great blocking on the offensive line sprung Rob Stewart for gains of 21, 15 and 14 yards before Griffiths found Rob Welling from 4 yards out for his first touchdown in Exiles colors.

The Saints then hit back with Jay Taylor finding Simon Greenwood from 16 yards out, after avoiding the sack, to bring the Saints back into it. But another sustained drive which saw Griffiths hit Richard McHugh, Ryan Kelly and Luke Sikkema with a key first down grab, was finished with another Griffiths to Starwind touchdown strike, and an 18-6 lead at halftime.

The Saints knew they had to get back into the game fast, and they did just that when early in the third quarter Jay Taylor took the ball in himself from the 1 yard line, and in doing so kept the game alive. But not for long as Ryan Kelly found a seam and returned the ensuing kick off 74 yards to inside the Saints 20, allowing Rob Stewart to run in untouched from the 8 yard line.

From then on the Exiles dominated, Baron D’Anyangwe ended the Saints next drive with the first of his two interceptions on the day, and this was soon followed by Griffith’s fourth touchdown pass, this time to Richard McHugh.

Ololade Balogun then forced a fumble for Aaron Alexis to recover to end the Saints next possession, and then the Exiles backs took over again, Paul Crawford breaking a 31 yard gain before Stewart finished it off with his second touchdown of the day, this time from 28 yards out. That capped a fine day for the pair, Stewart finishing with 147 yards and Crawford with a valuable 62 yards.

McHugh

McHugh scores again

With most of the fourth quarter remaining the Exiles emptied their bench and gave the full depth of the squad valuable playing time, they did not miss a beat on defence, and rookie linebacker Rob Miller impressed with his three tackles. And they came close to extending their lead when Ryan Kelly returned a Saints punt 60 yards before being tripped on the one yard line.

Following the game Exiles Head Coach Norman Navarro commented “The Saints gave us plenty of motivation in the press this week, and I’m really pleased with how my team responded to our disappointing loss a fortnight ago, we really stepped up and showed what we are capable of today. The Saints played tough as always, and we wish their #60 (Andrew Day) a speedy recovery”.

The Exiles now have a three week break before traveling to play the Southampton based Sundevils. Full details of the Exiles season can be found at www.kentexiles.co.uk.

 

 

 

Scoring Summary
1Q – Exiles Aaron Griffiths 22 yard pass to Sean Starwind
2Q – Exiles Aaron Griffiths 4 yard pass to Rob Welling
2Q – Saints Jay Taylor 16 yard pass to Simon Greenwood
2Q – Exiles Aaron Griffiths 12 yard pass to Sean Starwind
3Q – Saints Jay Taylor 1 yard run
3Q – Exiles Rob Stewart 8 yard run
4Q – Exiles Aaron Griffiths 11 yard pass to Richard McHugh
4Q – Exiles Rob Stewart 28 yard run

Selected Exiles Game Statistics

Passing
Aaron Griffiths – 11 of 24 for 147 yards. 4 TD, 1 INT

Rushing
Rob Stewart – 18 for 147 yards, 2 TD
Paul Crawford – 12 for 62 yards
Aaron Griffiths – 4 for 12 yards

Receiving
Sean Starwind – 4 for 65 yards, 2 TD
Richard McHugh – 3 for 51 yards, 1 TD
Ryan Kelly – 1 for 19 yards

Defence
Aaron Alexis – 10 tackles, 2 QB hurries, 1 pass defence, 1 fumble recovery
Ololade Balogun – 8 tackles, 1 QB hurry, 1 forced fumble
Baron D’Anyangwe – 6 tackles, 2 INT for 28 yards
Steve Collison – 6 tackles
Joe Alexis – 5 tackles
Dan Young – 4 tackles
Marc Mulgrave – 4 tackles

 

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