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Exiles Defeat Pumas for the Second Straight Week

Kent Exiles 33-0 Maidstone Pumas


The Kent Exiles defeated the Maidstone Pumas for the second straight week on Sunday, quarterback Matt Duncan again stole the show with four passing touchdowns, but the Exiles defence also stepped up a gear holding the Pumas scoreless and gaining their second shutout of the season.

The first quarter started slowly for both teams, penalties being the main cause of long yardage situations both teams struggled to get out of, and the normally potent Exiles passing game being hampered by a series of dropped passes, the only scoring opportunity came when the Pumas attempted a long field goal which fell short of the posts, but as the second quarter got started the Exiles offence found their feet and began to put the points on the board, firstly from Grahame Warby's 14yard catch from Duncan's pass, Gary Ead kicked the extra point. The Exiles defence forced the Pumas to punt straight back following Steven Garwood's sack of Puma quarterback Lenny Button, and Duncan again found Warby, this time from 30 yards out for a 13-0 lead.

The Pumas then had their best chance of the game when some broken coverage allowed a 36 yard completion from Button to Nic Cabon, Karl Smith made the touchdown saving tackle, but the Pumas were on the Exiles 6 yard line, the defence dug in deep, two runs were repelled and on third down Mark Vickers forced the fumble for a gleeful Paul Pester to recover and give the ball back to the Exiles.

The second half was to be all Exiles as the Simon Mackerill (9 tackles) and Steven Garwood (6 tackles, sack) led defence held the Pumas to a total of 38 yards and only 1 first down, and the offence put a series of points on the board, but it was to be disappointment first for the Exiles as Martin McDonalds 68 yard interception return was called back for a false start penalty against the Pumas. The punt was soon forced though, and Roy Hall returned it 39 yards to the Pumas 20, bizarrely being stopped from scoring by Exiles offensive lineman Dave Pester as he attempted a block! Two short runs by Stewart Muir then set up Duncan for a 1 yard burst into the endzone, Ead kicked the point after and it was now 20-0.

The next score was again set up by Hall, who was to earn special teams MVP honours for his performance, as he evaded several would be tackles in returning the Pumas next punt 49 yards to the 5 yard line, Duncan then found Alex Campbell over the middle for the score and a 26-0 lead.

The Exiles special team continued to flourish on the next drive, as the Pumas kicked away from Hall, Gary Ead this time came up with a good return back into the Pumas half, Duncan found Hall for 14 yards, before then finding Campbell again, this time from 16 yards out for the touchdown, Ead's extra point was again good, and the Exiles led 33-0 at the end of the third quarter. Knowing the game was won the Exiles mixed in their backup's for the fourth quarter, and running back David Smith was unlucky not to score on his first carry as an Exile from 14 yards out, as the play was called back for a holding penalty.

The defence was still going strong, and Patrick Hearn ended the game by charging through from his linebacker spot to tackle the Pumas running back for a 4 yard loss, and the Exiles moved to 5-2 on the season. "We played very well today" commented Exiles Head Coach Phil Wood, "the defence was strong, and besides one play the Pumas gained only minimal yardage, Matt Duncan was again outstanding at quarterback, and the special teams unit was outstanding, not only on the returns, but their coverage was excellent as well. The Cheetahs v Thunder result today could open up the division completely, and our next two fixtures versus the Cheetahs will determine whether our season will be a success or not".


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