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Exiles put to the sword as Miller grinds out points for Kent

Kent Exiles 14 - Colchester Gladiators 24

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As part of a ‘double header’ the Kent Exiles played in back-to-back Senior and Youth games against the Colchester Gladiators, but in both games were found wanting.

Rookie WR Jon Miller

The Senior side kicked off first and both sides took time to find the measure of each other as the first quarter remained scoreless. However, the Exiles took an early lead in the first quarter when quarterback Zac Ritchie found rookie standout receiver Jon Miller across the middle with a 10-yard touchdown pass. Miller, who was playing both receiver and also debuting at kicker, converted the point after try to put the Exiles seven points ahead at the close of the first half.

The Exiles retained a slim lead when the Gladiators starting fullback ran in from 11 yards out, as Colchester missed the conversion to make the score 7-6 to the Exiles. The tough running fullback would continue to punish the Exiles on the ground throughout the day.

The Gladiators then struck again to take the edge, when Daniel Singer completed a 20-yard pass to one of their starting wideouts for the go-ahead touchdown. The kick from Johnson was again no good, making the score 12-7 to the visitors.

Entering the fourth quarter the Gladiators laid down the gauntlet to the Exiles with another quick score, Singer passing to Matthew Excell who dodged his way into the end zone. The Gladiators 2-point conversion attempt was unsuccessful, making the score 18-7 to Colchester.

With little time remaining, Kent once again rallied to drive down the field. Zac Ritchie once again lofting the ball to Jon Miller who plucked it out of the air and ran in from 26 yards for the score. Miller again converted his own touchdown to bring the Exiles to within a score, trailing 18-14.

However, the Gladiators dodging outside running game had begun to make the Exiles tire; the Gladiators pounded the ball on the ground to break into the end zone from a 37 yard romp. The conversion again failed, but by this point the clock left little opportunity for a comeback, despite the defence standing up to be counted. Defensive back Ashely Healy excelled on the day making several last-ditch tackles to keep the Gladiators at bay. A punt block by linebacker Adam Pearson gave Kent good field position but it was too little, too late. Colchester ran out winners 24-14.

Offensive coordinator Dave Pester highlighted a number of positives from the game, saying “This year we have a very young side and today I could see them gaining valuable experience which I am sure will pay dividends in our remaining games this year. The Exiles will certainly not take this loss lying down and will be training harder than ever for our next game against the Saxons”.

The Exiles next fixture is a road trip to the Peterborough Saxons next week, on Sunday 6th June, kicking off at 2:30pm. Full details of this and other fixtures can be found on the Exiles website,


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