“On Sunday 7th August, the Dumfries Hunters American Football team played their first competitive game in full uniform. In a physical and fiery contest against the Clyde Valley Blackhawks, the Hunters showed that they could compete with some of the best that Scotland has to offer. When the dust settled, it was a 48-0 Hunters victory.


The Dumfries Hunters and the Clyde Valley Blackhawks face-off. These were two associate teams with something to prove. The Hunters were there to prove that we could hang with some of the best teams in Scotland and the hawks looked to prove that they hadn’t missed a beat in their drop from the league to associate status. This was a big game for the Hunters for another reason- it was the first game for the Hunter’s in their brand new kit courtesy of the Holywood Trust.

With Hunters kick-off, to get the game started, it was quickly clear that this was going to be a physical contest. The Hunters’ defense forced a 3 and out and set the tone for the game defensively. The Hunters’ offense soon took to the field but struggled initially due to the windy conditions and with getting into rhythm. It fell to Quarter Back Dominic Lewis to bail the Hunters out of their initial offense woes and gain them a number of key first downs. After an 11 play drive, Dom ran in a 15 yard TD to put the Hunters on the board and Running Back Fraser Baird ran the ball in for the extra two points. This gave the Hunters an early 8-0 lead. The Hunters defense took to the field again and quickly forced the Blackhawks into a punt but fumbled the return and ceded possession back to the Blackhawks. The Blackhawks took this momentum and field position and turned it into a 10 play drive into the Hunter’s endzone. Once again, the Hunters’ defense came up big and stood firm to keep the Hunters ahead after one quarter of play.


The Hunters offense found the offense woes had carried over into the second quarter as they were forced to punt from back in their own half of the field. The Hunter defense returned to the field to put any notion of a comeback out of the minds of the Blackhawks with a number of Tackles for a Loss and capping off the series with a 15 yard sack from Outside Linebackers Sam Graham and David Gregory. The offense returned to the field for just one play as QB Dom headed down the sideline for a 50 yard TD to put the Hunters up 14-0.

With time winding down in the first half, the Blackhawks decided to go for it on 4th down but were cut down by the Hunters defense. This gave the Hunters another chance to score and put the game further out of reach for the struggling Blackhawks. The Hunters went to the air but the wind took the ball away from it’s intended receiver to finish out the half. The Hunters were up 14-0 heading into the second half of play.


The Hunters opened the second half with a drive up the full length of the field as they took to the ground to establish their run game. This drive was capped of with a touchdown from Fullback Phill McGhee to give the Hunters a 20-0 lead. The Hunters defense went back to work and forced the Blackhawks into another 3 and out but even with good field position, the Hunters offense failed to connect on 4 passing attempts. The Blackhawks offense didn’t last long on the field as the Hunters force them into three and out territory again. This defense play set up the Hunters to deploy rookie Running Back Fraser Baird who gained good yards on a number of long runs and looked dangerous throughout. This opened up the field for QB Dominic Lewis to run it in from 20 yards out for his third touchdown of the day. This brought the Hunters to a 26-0 lead.


The Blackhawks took to field determined to make up for their shortcomings up unto that point and managed to utilise some bootleg plays, power runs and some impressive catches but continuous Hunters defensive pressure finally played off when the Blackhawks were forced to go for it on 4th down and came up short.


The offense took to the field again and kept up their momentum from the previous drive with a series of long runs from Fraser Baird and Dominic Lewis which was capped off with a 15 yard pass completion to Wide Receiver Jordan Gregory in the corner despite the blustery conditions. This put the hunters up by 32 to 0.


The next Blackhawks possession ended with a fumble recovered by the Hunters’ Chris Strilciw. This gave the Hunters excellent field position Dom to Tight End George Beamish for the fifth touchdown of the game making it 38 – 0. This would give Quarterback Dominic Lewis 2 passing touchdowns, 3 rushing touchdowns and 325 rushing yards on the day. He added to this with two extra points of his own to make it 40-0.


Coming up big again, the Hunters defense snuffed out any remaining life in the Blackhawks offense and gave the offense yet another scoring opportunity with the game well into the fourth quarter. Set up by a 50 yard run from QB Dom, the Hunters’ Phill McGhee attempted to punch it into the endzone but unfortunately there was a fumble on the play. The Blackhawks didn’t get a chance to take back possession however as Coach Chris Strilciw recovered the fumble for a touchdown. This was followed by a pass to Wide Receiver Alex Green to secure two extra points and push the total to 48-0.


The Blackhawks offense once again whimpered in the face of the Hunter’s ferocious D. The Hunters took back possession and kneeled out the game to make it their 6th win in as many games and keep their undefeated streak alive.


All-in-all, it was a hard fought and physical contest which included great versatility from the Hunters’ offense and an Hunters’ defense which at times resembled a brick wall.


Coach Chris Strilciw told DGWGO Sports news: “Sunday seen us play our biggest and best opponents yet to date and not once did our boys worry. They stepped up and done what he have taught them to do. Yeah, it was a slow start on offence getting in to a couple of not great situations but no one dropped there head once which was excellent. But the thing that makes me even happier than winning and all the rest is that this team only has 5 experienced players the rest are complete rookies to the sport, yeah some have played once or twice but that is it and no matter what you teach them the one thing you need in this sport is heart and determination and I can honestly say everyone that put on a (swag new) hunters jersey have it all they had and the result is in the score line. So proud of what these guys have achieved.”


The Hunters were proud to show off their new kit which was funded by the Holywood Trust and created by Alpha. The Hunters finally looked as good as they played. 

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