Archive for the ‘Division One News’ Category

Game 11 – UTS vs Sharks at Budgewoi

oline-vs-sharks-2-1

Traveling up the coast for the second straight week, the Gators certainly felt the sting of missing key players and not having the type of depth on the sideline they have become accustomed to this season. Still without any of their seasoned running backs, the Gators were unable to establish their running game, tallying a measly 6 yards total rushing, forcing the Gator offense to pass much more than they ordinarily would have. In past weeks, the running game has been strong enough to overcome multiple turnovers but tonight’s 5 total interceptions were simply too much and the Central Coast took advantage of the mistakes. Following their week 9 defeat to UTS, the Sharks came out looking for revenge and to prove they are a better team than their paltry 2-7 record would indicate. The Sharks were well-prepared with a good game-plan and despite moments of brilliance, the Gators simply did not quite have the goods tonight and fell to the energetic Sharks 14-34.

The Gators opening possession started out strong as interim running back Matthew Schwarz picked up 13 yards on the opening play, cruising through a massive hole created by the offensive line. Next, quarterback Peter Tos found wide receiver Ben Loudon for 12 yards, then wide receiver Thomas Granger for 9 more and it appeared as though the Gators could do wrong but just as quickly as it had started, the drive stalled and the Gators were forced to punt. In an uncharacteristic mistake, the punt-snap flew over the kicker’s head, rolled 15 yards and was scooped up by the Sharks and returned 23 yards for the game’s first touchdown, putting the Gators behind 0-6.

Following a blistering 47 yard kickoff return by Ben Loudon, Peter Tos put up a long ball to slotback Clayton Idato but just overthrew him by inches.  UTS was forced to punt again after two more unsuccessful plays and it was finally time for the Gator defense to show what they could do against the upstart Sharks. Holding the Sharks to negative 1 yard on their first possession, invigorated the UTS offense, and going back to the air, Tos, this time, found Idato on a streak route with a perfect pass in the bucket, allowing Idato to cruise into the endzone for a 55 yard touchdown, tying the game at 6-6.

The score remained tied as each team struggled on offense until the closing minutes of the first half when the Central Coast put together a jerky 12 play, 82 yard scoring drive, converting on 3 4th downs, with a 27 yard fake punt run and two 20 plus yard passes, one for the go-ahead touchdown, giving the Sharks a halftime lead of 6-12.

Coming out in the 2nd half, the Sharks bit the Gators with a 53 yard touchdown pass on their second play and then following a 3-and-out by the Gators, the Sharks drove 54 yards in 11 plays, once again, benefiting from serious mistakes by UTS.  A roughing the kicker penalty on 4th down kept their drive alive and a mix-up in coverage allowed the Sharks to complete a 6 yard pass on 4th down for the score, extending the deficit to 6-26.

The next four Gator possessions ended in interceptions, though the Sharks were only able to capitalize once for another touchdown when their defense returned the ball to the Gator 24 yard. An unnecessary roughness penalty against the Gators gave the Sharks even better field position, on the UTS 12 yard line, where they were able to run wide and just sneak into the endzone.

Ryan King

Rookie DT Ryan King

One bright spark in an otherwise dismal evening for the Gators, was the overall play by the Gator defense, in particular the front seven. Despite giving up a few medium to deep passes and getting fooled on the fake punt, the UTS defense regularly met the Central Coast ball carriers in the backfield and put pressure on their quarterback all game long. Rookie defensive tackle, Ryan King, just returning from injury, picked up a fumble and returned it 20 yards for a touchdown, late in the 4th quarter, flinging would-be tacklers from his path as if they were toys.

With the final score 14-34, the Sharks defeated the league-leading Gators in the upset of the season and dropped the Gators to 3rd place with a record of 9-2. With a guaranteed playoff berth, the Gators will be looking to find their early-season form this week as they battle the 6-4 Northwestern Predators in a rematch of their week 7 contest where the Gators prevailed 36-6. The Predators are in a must-win situation as they are locked in 3-way tie for the final playoff spot, so this should prove to be a very hard-fought game.

Come cheer your UTS Gators on to victory in their final regular-season game this Saturday night at Kyeemagh RSL.

Kickoff 7:00 pm.

End of Season Social Event 2014

UTS_season_end_social_flyer

Game 10 – UTS vs Raiders at Budgewoi

Gators Huddle

The sun was shining and so were the UTS Gators this Saturday afternoon as they traveled up to the NSW Central Coast for their week 11 matchup against the Bondi Raiders. The Raiders started the season poorly and with a record of 1-4 after week 6, didn’t appear to have much going for them but found some good form in their next four games to rally back with three wins and improve their record to 4-5. Despite missing several starters, the Gators were ready to face a tenacious opponent, riding high on recent success and the Gators worked quickly to crush Bondi’s spirit with a level of violence and speed the Raiders simply couldn’t match, cruising to a 40-8 victory.

Jamie McGrory

Safety Jamie McGrory punishes a Raider

UTS received the opening kickoff, a high, short kick that was deftly fielded by center, Tuck King on the Raiders 43 yard line and once the offense took the field, began their punishment of the Raiders. The Gators marched methodically down the field, keeping the ball on the ground for a 9 play scoring drive capped off by a 1 yard touchdown run by quarterback Peter Tos and a successful 2-point conversion run by interim tailback Matthew Schwarz.  With UTS missing all four of their running backs, slotback / wide receiver, Schwarz, took on the role of running back and had an exceptional game, racking up 104 yards on 27 carries including 2 TDs in addition to this 2-point conversion. UTS wanted to come out and make a statement that it was going to be a long day for their opponent and they did just that, taking a quick 8-0 lead.

On the ensuing kickoff, Bondi had one of their few bright moments of the game as they returned the kick 71 yards for a touchdown and then punched in the 2-point conversion to tie the game at 8-8. If the Raiders thought at this point that they had any chance of winning the game, that belief was quickly stamped out with the Gators next two offensive drives, each being as sharp and physical as the first, resulting in two more touchdowns, first, a 3 yard run by Tos and next a 4 yard run by Schwarz to stretch the lead to 22-8 at the end of the 1st quarter. To further add to the Raiders demoralization, their first offensive play of the game resulted in a turnover when Gator defensive end, Tim Clulow stripped the ball and put the Gator offense back on the field.

Jamie Weeks

CB Jamie Weeks gets a pick-6

The Gator defense made life hell for the Raiders all game long, holding the Raiders to 63 total offensive yards and inflicting crushing hits on ball-carriers and blockers alike. The Gator defense racked up 5 sacks, 2 fumbles and 3 interceptions with long returns, one of which was returned 31 yards by cornerback Jamie Weeks for a touchdown.  The Gator defense completely dominated the game and kept the ball in the hands of the UTS offense.

The Gator offense was not infallible though and stumbled a few times through the game but generally played well and strung together several more good drives including a 6 play, 78 yard drive with 24 yards on the ground by Schwarz, which included a 17 yard blast up the middle, trucking the free safety for the final 4 yards, 36 yards on 2 pass completions from Tos to slotback, Clayton Idato and culminating in an 18 yard pass reception by Lachlan Jenson, in his first action following a hamstring injury, as he leaped over the defensive back to make the touchdown catch and send the Gators into halftime leading 28-8.

The Gators scored again midway through the 3rd quarter following an interception by Gator safety, Erhron Noakes, who, just hours after returning to Australia from a U.S. holiday, returned the INT 43 yards to give the offense the ball near midfield. A 38 yard pass from quarterback, Brad Leech, to explosive receiver Nicolas Giovanangeli got the ball down to the Bondi 4 yard line, where the Gator offensive line blew the Raider defense back into the endzone and Schwarz was able to waltz in for the touchdown and a 34-8 lead.

Bondi’s offense was now fully in desperation mode but could not even find a wrinkle in the Gator defense and on their next possession, an aggressive break on an out-route gave Gator cornerback, Jamie Weeks his 31 yard touchdown interception for the final score of the game and secured the Gators victory, 40-8.

Next week sees the Gators again make the trek to the Central Coast for a rematch against the Central Coast Sharks, who are coming off of a commanding 42-6 win last week and being on their home field will undoubtedly make them a difficult foe.

Make the trip and come cheer on your UTS Gators as they look to stamp their mark on the league’s top spot with just 2 games remaining in the regular season. Kickoff is at 7:00 pm at Slade Park, Budgewoi, Central Coast.

Statistical Leaders (Game)

Passing:
Player Comp/Att Yards TD (Yards) 2-PT INT
Peter Tos 5/9 72 1 (18) 1
Brad Leech 2/5 39 1
Rushing:
Player Rushes Yards TD (yards) 2-point
Matthew Schwarz 27 104 2 (4, 4) 1
Ben Loudon 4 39
Nick Giovanangeli 2 19
Thomas Granger 3 15
Tim Clulow 2 14
Peter Tos 5 4 2 (1, 3)
Receiving:
Player Receptions Yards TD (yards) 2-PT
Clayton Idato 4 54 1
Nick Giovanangeli 1 38
Lachlan Jenson 1 18 1 (18)
Kick Return:
Player Returns Yards
Jamie Weeks 2 27
Mitchell Warters 1 12
Tim Clulow 1 11
Defense:
Player Tackles (For Loss) Other
Gabriel Marambio 7 (1) Pass Knockdown
Hugh Delaney 6 (4) 2 Sacks, Forced Fumble
Tristan Ireland 6 INT returned 51 yards
Andrew Asher 6 (1)
Marcos Delana 6 (1)
Erhron Noakes 4 (1) INT returned 43 yards
Tim Clulow 3 (2) Forced Fumble, Recovery returned 3 yards
Jamie Weeks 3 INT returned 31 yards for TD
Zahir Razak 3 (1)
Jamie McGrory 3
Matt Power 2 (1) 2 Sacks, Pass Knockdown
Anders Tracey 2
Matt Wilson 2
Nick Kondilios 1 (1) Sack, Fumble Recovery

Game 9 – UTS vs Lions at Kyeemagh

D-Line-vs-Lions-2014-3

This week’s matchup between the UTS Gators and Sydney University Lions was the most highly anticipated contest of this season in Gridiron NSW Division One. Sydney University was stunned in week 2 when the West Sydney Pirates handed them their first defeat in 99 games and the Lions were clearly well-prepared coming into this week and determined not to let it happen again at the hands of the Gators.

RB Freddie Khouiss

RB Freddie Khouiss finds running room on way to pay-dirt

The Gators played hard the whole game but numerous turnovers and an aggressive Sydney University running game were the Gators undoing as Sydney University gave UTS its first loss of the season, 19-40.

UTS took the ball first to open the game and looked impressive on their first two plays as running back Freddie Khouiss gained good yards and a first down. On the third play of the drive, quarterback Brad Leech’s pass was intercepted by the Lions which led to an 11 play, 48 yard scoring drive and put the Gators behind 0-6 early in the first quarter.

The Gators offense again looked impressive, albeit briefly, on their next possession gaining 18 yards in four plays behind Freddie Khouiss’ rushing and Leech completed two passes to slotback Matthew Schwarz and receiver Thomas Granger for 5 yards apiece but once again, Leech was intercepted and the Lions took the ball. The UTS defensive unit came out strong and forced 4-and-outs on SU’s next two possessions while UTS’s offense struggled and went 4-and-out on its next four possessions.

FS Jamie McGrory

Safety Jamie McGrory wraps up a Lion

Nearing the end of the 1st quarter, it was looking as though the game would be a series of punts back and forth but Sydney University broke the trend and got their ground game going and gouged the Gators for 51 yards in 9 plays before the Gator defense stopped them on 4th down at the UTS 12 yard line for a turnover on downs.

Sydney University capitalized on a long punt return just before the end of the 1st quarter which put them on the Gators 1 yard-line. It only took one play to punch it into the endzone for a 0-12 lead. SU put together another time-consuming, 10 play drive on their next possession and were again halted by a UTS defensive stop on 4th down as the secondary blanketed the Lions receivers forcing four consecutive incomplete passes and on 4th down, defensive end Tim Clulow tipped the Lions pass at the line for the turnover on downs.

The UTS offense came out energized by the defense’s efforts and began moving the ball with a good mix of run and pass but the drive stalled at midfield and the Gators were again forced to punt. Despite poor field position, the Lions had their ground game humming and churned their way down the field for their third straight unanswered touchdown, stretching the lead to 0-19 with time running out in the first half.

SB Matt Schwarz

SB Matt Schwarz bails out the offense with a catch over the middle

The ensuing kickoff was returned by wide receiver Justin Fatu-Leota 25 yards to midfield and 5 plays later, UTS got on the board with a 25 yard touchdown run by tailback, Tommy Benson and great blocking by the offensive line making the halftime score, 6-19 in favour of Sydney University.

The Lions started the 2nd half with the ball and wasted no time stretching their lead by scoring touchdowns on their first two possessions  and putting the Gators in a very deep hole trailing 6-33 midway through the 3rd quarter. On the Gators second possession of the half, Leech was intercepted for a third time and it looked as though the wind had completely gone out of their sails but on the Lions next play, linebacker Gabriel Marambio stripped the ball loose from a Lions receiver and nose tackle Jim Close pounced on the ball to give new life to the Gators.

The Gator offense took the momentum and marched 44 yards in 7 plays, scoring on a 14 yard pass from Leech to receiver Thomas Granger and making the SU lead a little less insurmountable at 13-33. Trying to capitalize further on the momentum, the Gators attempted an on-sides kick but were unable to recover the kick as it dribbled over the 10 yard boundary line. Sydney University then used the good field position to pass their way into the endzone and re-establish their 27 point lead at 13-40.

Despite the margin, there was no quit in the Gator team and their offense came out again with veteran quarterback, Peter Tos at the helm in his first action in several weeks following a calf injury, drove 48 yards, mostly on the ground, for another score as running back Freddie Khouiss bolted 15 yards for the touchdown and reignited the belief that the Gators could still come back.

Time was not on their side, however, and following one final drive, the Gators hopes were finally extinguished as a pass by Tos was picked off and Sydney University ran out the clock.

This loss ends the Gators run at an undefeated season but by no means ends their championship hopes.  The league standings now have the three perennial top teams locked in a three-way tie for first with records of 8-1 with 3 games remaining in the regular season. Assuming the Pirates, Lions and Gators win the rest of their games, the playoff seeds will be determined by point differentials which will have each team looking to rack up huge scores in their remaining games and should prove to create some very exciting football and a nail-biting run to the playoffs.

Next week sees the UTS Gators take on a resurgent Bondi Raiders team that has found good form in the second half of the season.

Come up the coast and cheer your Gators on to victory at Slade Park, Budgewoi, Central Coast. Kickoff at 1:00 pm.

Statistical Leaders (Game)

Passing:
Player Comp/Att Yards TD (Yards) 2-PT INT
Brad Leech 11/24 85 1 (14) 3
Peter Tos 2/7 16 1
Thomas Granger 1/1 13
Rushing:
Player Rushes Yards TD (yards) 2-point
Freddie Khouiss 15 67 1 (15)
Tommy Benson 7 48 1 (25)
Marco Soriano 4 8
Brad Leech 2 8
Peter Tos 2 7
Receiving:
Player Receptions Yards TD (yards) 2-PT
Matthew Schwarz 8 54
Thomas Granger 3 39 1 (14)
Ben Loudon 2 19
Nick Giovanangeli 1 2
Kick Return:
Player Returns Yards
Justin Fatu-Leota 3 81
Mitchell Warters 1 18
Ben Loudon 1 13
Tuck King 1 6
Defense:
Player Tackles (For Loss) Other
Marcos Delana 17 (1) Forced Fumble
Ryan King 15 (1) Pass Knockdown
Gabriel Marambio 14
Andrew Asher 11
Jamie McGrory 10
Moey Musawi 6
Jim Close 5 (1) Fumble Recovery
Matt Power 5 2 Pass Knockdowns
Stephen Marshall 5
Tim Clulow 4 (2) 2 Pass Knockdowns
Tristan Ireland 3

Game 8 – UTS vs Sharks at 5 Sports

O-Line-vs-sharks-2014-1

Week nine of the Gridiron NSW competition brought the UTS Gators up against the spirited Central Coast Sharks in the first of two scheduled matchups between these two clubs this season. The Sharks have struggled this season with low player counts and injuries but their 1-5 record heading into this game does not accurately reflect the team’s heart and determination. Coach Bosco gave his players a stern warning during their week of preparation, “This game will definitely not be a cake-walk. The Sharks head coach has engineered some amazing upsets in the past, so you better switch on and play hard.”

The connection between the two head coaches goes well beyond mutual respect. The Sharks head coach, Peter Tos Sr., is Coach Bosco’s father-in-law and former team-mate from their years coaching together with the Bondi Raiders and the family connection in this game doesn’t stop there. Coach Tos also has both of his sons as players in this game, UTS quarterback, Peter Tos Jr., who was unable to play due to a calf injury and Central Coast TE/LB Rhett Tos in his rookie season in Division 1. So, with family bragging rights on the line, both coaches came out with hard-nosed defensive schemes but in the end, UTS was just too strong for the Sharks, taking out the win 34-12, in a game of tough defense and big plays.

Thomas Granger

WR Thomas Granger looks for big yards

UTS received the opening kickoff and after a 19 yard return by wide receiver, Mitchell Warters, put their offense on the field at their own 28 yard line. After 2 plays for no gain, UTS quarterback, Brad Leech found wide receiver Thomas Granger down the sideline for a 62 yard touchdown and a 6-0 lead. It looked like the game was going to be a rout after the Gator defense stuffed the Sharks on their first possession but it in fact became a defensive game.

Both offenses struggled to find any consistency as each team’s defense held the upper hand over their offensive counterparts. Early in the 2nd quarter, Central Coast tied the game at 6-6 with an 85 yard pass completion from their own 1 yard line that set up a 4 yard touchdown run. The rest of the 2nd quarter was highlighted by turnovers, first an interception by UTS cornerback, Stephen Marshall followed by a Brad Leech fumble recovered by Central Coast who then fumbled three plays later on a solid hit by UTS slotback, Clayton Idato, pulling double duty this week as linebacker, and recovered by Stephen Marshall.

Jamie Weeks

CB Jamie Weeks takes it to the house

UTS punted on their next possession after gaining only 4 yards. With just 43 seconds remaining in the first half, Central Coast came out passing, trying desperately to gain the lead and go into halftime ahead of the league leaders but an aggressive break on the ball by cornerback, Jamie Weeks, ended in a 61 yard interception return for a touchdown that put UTS back in front 14-6 at halftime.

Midway through the 3rd quarter, the Gator offense finally managed to churn down the field for a 6 play, 48 yard scoring drive with a 17 yard pass completion from Leech to slotback Tom Newbold and solid running by Marco Soriano including a 4 yard touchdown run and a successful 2-point conversion run to stretch the UTS lead to 22-6.

Following yet another 4-and-out performance by the defense, The Gators’ next offensive drive looked good, as a 38 yard pass from Leech to wide receiver, Nicolas Giovanangeli and more solid running by Soriano, got the offense down to the Central Coast 2 yard line.  Looking for the endzone, Leech’s pass was intercepted and returned the length of the field for a Sharks touchdown and narrowed the Gator lead to 22-12 as the 4th quarter began.

Midway through the 4th quarter, UTS got their offensive mojo back for one more scoring drive, going 50 yards in 11 plays to effectively seal the victory with the score at 28-12 and only 4:20 left in the game.  As the game clock wound down to 1:03 remaining, Central Coast intercepted Leech again on their own 39 yard line and sent their offense onto the field for one last ditch effort to make the score a little more respectable. The Sharks took to the air but on 3rd down and 3 to go, their quarterback was sacked by defensive end, Tim Clulow, knocking the ball loose. The fumble was recovered by defensive tackle, Tristan Sugden, who returned it 41 yards for a touchdown as time expired, giving UTS a 34-12 victory.

Statistical Leaders (Game)

Passing:
Player Comp/Att Yards TD (Yards) 2-PT INT
Brad Leech 15/32 208 1 (62) 1 2
Rushing:
Player Rushes Yards TD (yards) 2-point
Marco Soriano 10 23 2 (4, 2) 1
Thomas Granger 2 22
Tommy Benson 17 15
Receiving:
Player Receptions Yards TD (yards) 2-PT
Thomas Granger 6 103 1 (62)
Nick Giovanangeli 1 38
Ben Loudon 4 36
Tom Newbold 1 17
Tushar Issar 2 8 1
Kick Return:
Player Returns Yards
Mitchell Warters 2 49
Jamie Weeks 2 41
Clayton Idato 1 13
Defense:
Player Tackles (For Loss) Other
Marcos Delana 10 (1) Sack
Gabriel Marambio 6
Clayton Idato 5 Forced Fumble
Tim Clulow 4 (4) Forced Fumble, 2 Sacks, Batted Pass
Ryan King 4 (1)
Matt Power 3 (3) 3 Sacks
Stephen Marshall 3 (1) INT, Fumble Recovery
Tristan Sugden 2 (1) Fumble Recovery returned 41 yards for TD
Daniel Nguyen 2
Hugh Delaney 1 (1) Sack
Jamie Weeks INT returned 61 yards for TD