03 Feb Streak ends at Nottingham University
Bristol Academy PRIDE 18 @ 21 Nottingham University
After a long trip north a strong Nottingham University side finally defeated the PRIDE, making them the first British team to defeat the PRIDE in 10 years. Just like the PRIDE the University of Nottingham relied heavily on imports. Their difference makers in the game were American former NCAA players from some of the top programs in the USA. Just the type of team the PRIDE wanted to challenge themselves against.
In the first real test of the academic year for Bristol the PRIDE started really badly quickly turning over the ball and giving up scores on defense to find themselves down by 2 scores in the 1st quarter. American Imported slot receiver number 21 doing all the damage for Nottingham.
In their first game without Stitt at QB in almost 2 years, Webb was finding the early going tough. Thanks to some powerful running from both Setzekorn and Okonkwo though the PRIDE started to fight their way back into the game.
A touch pass from Webb to Baio at the back of the endzone put the PRIDE on the board late in the second, but the two point play was no good. Despite recovering the ensuing kick off with a brilliant onside tap the PRIDE were unable to put anymore points on the board before the half.
The third quarter starter with a long drive but no points as Webb fumbled the ball on a scramble inside the Nottingham 25. Bristol’s defense was now getting to grips with the excellent Americans on Nottinghams roster and were starting to make plays upfront led by defensive lineman Kimpiabi. It wasn’t enough though as penatlies extended a Nottingham drive to allow their third score.
In true determined fashion though Faverus returned the kick off all the way to the house for a PRIDE score to put them straight back in the game, again though a failed two point conversation meant that the PRIDE now needed two scores to catchup.
In relief for Webb, backup QB Fields lead the PRIDE downfield for another TD late in the fourth quarter to bring the game within 3 points on a pass to Imbimbo. Despite recovering another onside kick the PRIDE turned the ball over on a fumbled snap from Field and Nottingham knelt out the clock. A cracking game and just the type of fixture the PRIDE have been searching for.
“The rematch in Bristol next year should be a cracker” said Coach Herod. “I tip my hat to Nottingham and their coaches, an excellent job recruiting and this is now I think the top University Team in the UK, exactly the type of game we want to play. It was great to see our guys respond but we will be kicking ourselves for weeks as this was a game we felt we handed to them today”.
**edit: Nottingham University went on to complete an undefeated season and win promotion to BUCS premier.