University of Birmingham Xplosion
With a winning start to their season last week, the Birmingham Lions American Football team continued the incredible start to their season in emphatic form, sweeping past the Kingston Cougars with a score line of 36-0.
After the first offensive possession of the game ended with a Lions punt, which they placed around the Cougars five yard line, it was the defense who produced the first fireworks of the night, forcing a fumble on the Cougars very first snap and setting the offense up to score. This they did, through running back Xavier Ajuwon, who ran around the defense to find the end zone.
Kingston then looked as though they would balance the game, but ultimately they were stopped short on fourth and two, opting not to kick the field goal. From here, it was a downwards spiral for the visitors, as another Ajuwon touchdown and a field goal closed the first half with the Lions up 17-0.
On ran the Birmingham Pussycats Cheerleaders, who treated the gathered crowd to a high energy performance on the Bournbrook pitches, which kept the crowd interested while they waited for the second half.
The game didn’t get any easier for the Cougars, who had been troubled by penalties on offense, defense and special teams, and the Lions again found the endzone through Ajuwon, who carried the ball almost forty yards in an amazing solo effort to score. It should be mentioned that Stefan Knowles was actually the Lions preferred choice at running back for much of the game, making bruising runs through the middle, and keeping the chains moving, and he was unlucky not to find the endzone himself.
With three rushing touchdowns to their name, it was the Lions’ passing game which came to life in the fourth quarter, with quarterback Sammy-Lee Baker throwing a pair of touchdown passes, the first of which was a perfectly thrown ball to the sideline in the endzone where a diving Ollie Waldren-Smith plucked it out of the air to score.
With the game now all but sealed, the Lions scored once more, Baker connecting with Liam White on a slant route that he took into the endzone. And with that, the rout was finished, and the players could sit back with the crowd and enjoy the fireworks display.
With both teams having won their first games of the season, this victory, the Lions’ second straight shutout of the season, has enabled the Lions to pull ahead in first place in the Premier South Division, as the only team with two wins.
The Birmingham Lions will now enter a well-deserved bye week, before they travel to Hertfordshire to take on the Hurricanes.