Hunters Feel Tigers Bite At First National Leagues Fixture – American Football



After 3 years of developing the sport in Dumfries & Galloway, the Dumfries Hunters American Football team played their first National Leagues fixture in the Division 2 North matchup with the Glasgow Tigers on Sunday 23rd April up in Glasgow at Lochinch Stadium.


The Tigers, the divisions longest established club, were coming off an opening game 6-2 loss to the Aberdeen Roughnecks. The Hunters on the other hand came into the game full of hope and still riding the excitement of being granted entry into the British American Football Association (BAFA) National Leagues.


The Tigers lauded defence let the Hunters know in no uncertain terms that any prior success in their associate year would count for nothing in the competitive Division 2 North. The Hunters usually prolific rushing attack was stifled and the first quarter finished scoreless.


The Hunters gambled by calling a run play on a key 4th Down at midfield and QB Dom Ethan Lewis was able to break through would be tacklers and slalom in for a 50 yards score for the Hunters first League TD and the 6-0 lead.


The Hunters had looked the better team until the Tigers QB found his WR on a pass downfield, to set up the Tigers with 1st and Goal. On their third attempt the Tigers found their way through with the RB diving through the line. They were able to convert the extra point kick to hold a 7-6 lead going into the break.


Both teams’ defences were playing at a very high level, forcing both offences to exchange punts throughout a scoreless third quarter. As the fourth quarter wore on, the Hunters squad, which lacked the depth of the established Tigers team, began to wane and the Tigers run game was able to start moving the ball, and they were able to cap off one such drive when the QB was able to run in for a 20 yard score behind a convoy of blockers. The extra point gave the Tigers a 14-6 lead, which they added to, to make 17-6 on their next offensive series by converting a field goal after the Hunters put up a great goal line stand.


The Hunters, down two scores took to the air and their hurry up offence. QB Lewis repeatedly found WR Thomas Cameron, who finished with 4 catches for 90 yards, to move the Hunters past midfield. As Cameron drew extra coverage QB Lewis threw long to Alistair Smith down the sideline and Smith was able to run into the end zone on a 40-yard pass.


The Hunters onside kick failed, so their defence had to use all three time outs and stop the Tigers to have any chance of winning the game. On third down, the Tigers QB ran wide again but Sam Graham was able to stop him just short of gaining the first down and the Tigers punted.


In their first game in the National Leagues, the Hunters were to have the opportunity for one last drive to win the game. Again the Hunters took to the air and the no huddle, and again Cameron then Smith made key completions. With 11 seconds left Lewis found Smith who made a great catch for what looked to be the game winning touch down, but Hunters celebrations were short lived as the officials ruled the catch out the back of the end zone. The next play fell incomplete as time expired.


The Dumfries Hunters first game finished in a 17-14 loss, but the divisions newest addition certainly showed that they are capable of challenging by going toe to toe with an experienced Tigers team that made the playoffs last season.


In the Divisions other matchup of the weekend, the Clyde Valley Blackhawks, who are have returned to the League after a year out, beat the Aberdeen Roughnecks 34-13.


The Blackhawks are the opposition for Dumfries Hunters first ever-competitive home fixture on Sunday the 30th of April at The David Keswick Centre. Kick off will be at 14.00 and spectators are welcome.


Although the Hunters season has already started they are always looking for players who can improve their squad. Contact the team by clicking HERE to find out more.

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