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BAFA Tournament 3 – Kent Exiles Youth


What proved to be a day of first’s, the Exiles Youth Team travelled to Fawley, near Southampton for tournament 3 of the British American Football Flag Football Championship.
Understandably, the team travelled with some notable absentee’s which meant that other children were asked to “step up”. And step up they did!
The weather was windy, with rain showers, which made the grass slippery.
Present for the fun packed day, were host’s South Coast Spitfires, Berkshire Renegades and Solent Red Storm.
Game 1 – Berkshire Renegades
Without any intelligence on what Berkshire playing was, both teams started carefully, both teams moving the ball. However, Berkshire struck first, when the QB threw a long bomb, which connected with a wideout for the first score. The same duo struck again on the next drive.
Exiles came out moving the ball downfield and Jake Dart connected with Coburn Smith in the end zone for the first Exile score. The score was Coburn’s first ever National League TD. The PAT was not completed. However, prior to the half, Harvey Weedon, playing defence, snagged an interception, which closed out the half.
Half time score Berkshire 20 Exiles 6
At half time, it was decided that Exiles would pressure the Berkshire Offence, using press coverage and blitzing. The chance of scheme worked reasonably well, chasing the Berkshire back up QB. However, Berkshire scored a TD and PAT, to round out the game.
In the second half, we had two young ladies on the pitch, Sisters, Isabelle and Maya Coveney. Certainly, a first for Exiles Youth Flag. We also introduced new signing George Murphy, into the fray. To see his smile, was worth the long drive south!
Final Score – Berkshire 27 Exiles 6
Game 2 – Solent Red Storm
In the break between games, Coaches worked on the game plan for game 2. Coach Dart was keen to get a more balanced run/pass game plan in place.
Two very evenly matched teams, Exiles played The Red Storm in Tournament 1, so we had a reasonable idea of what type of play’s they run.
The game went back and forth, no one team getting on top. Red Storm broke the deadlock, when the defence allowed a run into the end zone. The point after was stopped leaving the score at the half.
Half Time Score – Red Storm 6 Exiles 0
Some fantastic running from Ryan Puszyk, who had a man of the match day, kept the Exiles in touch, with the defence, carrying on with aggressive coverage and rushing the passer.
Unbelievably, the game came down to the last few seconds, when Jake Dart, threw a screen pass to Harvey Weedon (another Man of the match contender!), who turned and took off down the sideline for the TD!
Going for the Extra point Dart threw the pass, which was almost intercepted, but Oliver McCabe took the ball away for the PAT and the victory.
A close shave and a great advertisement for youth flag football.
What was pleasing was that both defence and offence had improved. There was no panic at being behind until the dying seconds of the game. Everyone stayed focused.
Final Score – Solent Red Storm 6 Exiles 7
Game 3
The final game against hosts South Coast Spitfires (SCS)
SCS are a well drilled and athletic team, who started fast and did not allow The Exiles into the game. The first drive dented the Exiles defensive confidence, however, impressive offensive play, moving the ball with Ryan Puszyk running and receivers catching balls, made the game entertaining and tight. SCS went 2 scores up, before, a Dart pass connected with Oliver McCabe, which was topped of with a successful PAT attempt, when Harvey Weedon caught the pass which was thrown perfectly so only, he could catch the ball, in the End Zone.
Half Time Score – SCS 20 Exiles 7
The second half, SCS turned on the power and ran in several additional scores.
Final Score – SCS 41 Exiles 7
Final Analysis.
Despite a “ropey” Defensive Coach Smith and some unlucky twist’s and turns, the team played well, perhaps the best of the season. Some good play and some unlucky twists.
Our thanks to the parents, who turned out in their droves. It was a long day and I think the Coaches now have a brilliant idea of what to do next, which is a week or so away.
Nominated players of the day.
Offence – Ryan Puszyk and Harvey Weedon
Defence – Alex Laker
Next Event 29th June at London Blitz, who are hosting for Cobham who withdrew prior to the first tournament.