PA Knights win against Zurich Renegades
"Personal Assurance Knights (GB) 24 - 7 Zurich Renegades(CH)
The Personal Assurance Knights who have been sponsored in Europe by Premier Prospects became the first British team to win in Europe for 4 years when they defeated the Swiss National Champions in Guildford on Sunday.
The coin toss was performed by the Mayor of Guildford and the Renegades got
to receive the opening kick off. The Swiss Champions came with a
determination to run the ball with #24 Urs Gersbach as their main threat.
The Knights defense however had other ideas and with Tony Mackenzie leading them the Defensive line went to work . The Renegades found the going tough and the Knights soon had possesion. The visitors too defended well and there was a further exchange of possesion before the Knights took over again.
This time with Tony Stitt, Adedayo Ashaye and Marc Saunders running the ball the home team marched relentlessly down the field. It was Stitt, on his way to 147yds from 25 carries, that opened the scoring with a punishing 4yd run. Jon Wyse slotted the extra point kick between the posts and the Knights led 7-0.
Zurich found the Knights defense in unforgiving form and a monster sack from Mackenzie saw them in trouble. Going to the air they found that the Knights were no more accommodating there as Canadian Cameron Saylor leaped high to record his first interception for the Knights as the quarter ended.
The Knights then embarked on a time consuming 80yd drive that was again
rounded off by Tony Stitt - this time from 3 yds out. Jon Wyse again added
the extra point and the Knights increased their lead to 14-0.
On a windy day in Guildford passing was very difficult and the Renegades
therefore attempted to run their way back into the game but with little
success as the Knights defense flew around the ball. The Knights got the
ball back with 30 seconds remaining in the half and were happy to run out
the clock to the break.
Both Defenses came out for the 3rd quarter with renewed vigour and despite
the best efforts of the respective Offenses there was no scoring in the 3rd
The Knights embarked on another long time consuming drive with FB Pete
Fulford leading the way for Stitt and Ashaye. The Renegades Defense
stiffened and the Knights elected to kick a 37yd Field Goal which Jon Wyse
duly slotted over the posts to put the Knights ahead 17-0 as the 4th quarter got underway.
The Renegades then got a drive going and Gersbach finally got the chance to
show why he is such a threat in their domestic league as he burst clear for
a sizzling 72 yard touchdown.The extra point attempt was partially blocked
but just crept over the posts and the score stood at 17-7 to the British
The Renegades knew that time was against them and so elected to go for an
onside kick in an attempt to recover the ball. Knights Special Teams Coach
Pete Vaughan had however arranged his "hands" team and the ball was
recovered by Tight End Rob Camplin.
After an exchange of posession the Knights found themselves defending again, Outside Linebacker Scott Stonelake recovered a Renegade fumble caused by a crunching tackle from Tony Porter and ran the ball back inside the Zurich 10yd line. One run from Tony Stitt set the ball up at the 3yd line from where British College All Star Dave Tobin burst into the endzone on his first carry in European competition. The ever reliable Wyse slotted the kick and the Knights led 24-7.
Time was really against the visitors and in an attempt to score quickly they went to the air. Safety Stephen Hollingdale achieved the Knights 3rd
takeaway intecepting a long pass. The Knights ran out the remainder of the
time to record an historic win for the club. This also sets up an intriguing game on Friday night in Austria (live on Austrian TV) as the Knights visit the Tyrolean Raiders. A win for the British team will ensure a place in the EFAF Cup Final.
Head Coach Steve Rains commented "This was a highly efficient fully commited performance from the squad. They were proud to be representing British Football and that showed throughout the performance. The game in Austria will demand another level from us but I know we can rely on this group to give it all they have. We controlled the game today the stats show that we kept the ball for long periods, we had 54 plays compared to their 32, with the shorter games in Europe (12 minute quarters rather than 15) that ball control is a winning formula if you put points on the board"
Knights Team Manager Shelley Hygate said " This has been a wonderful
experience for the club. We are so grateful to all of our sponsors Premier
Prospects, Personal Assurance, Royal Mail Sports Foundation, Rose
Electronics, Travel Inn, Newtons Coaches and for the assistance given to us
by Rushmoor Borough Council that made this venture into Europe possible. We
were also delighted to be supported by the community we represent in the
form of the Mayor of Guildford who performed the coin toss at the start"
The Knights play the second EFAF Cup game this Friday in Innsbruck - then
return to Guildford to prepare to face the London O's at Southwark Park on
Sunday 11th April as they try to stop the Londoners maintaining their grip
on the British National Championship.
A Heath 1 of 4 for 4yds
W Mayers 0 of 1
A Stitt 25 for 147yds 2TD
A Ashaye 12 for 58yds
M Saunders 7 for 37yds
A Heath 3 for 9yds
D Tobin 2 for 7yds 1TD
Total 49 for 258yds 3TD
Kick Off Returns
J Wyse 1 for 18yds
J Wyse 5 for 275yds
Defense (Tackles, Sacks & Interceptions)
J Cashman 6
T Mackenzie 5 + 1 Sack
J McLees 5
A Mitchell 3
T Porter 2 + 1 Forced Fumble
S Stonelake 2 + 1 Fumble Recovery
S Sadaba 2
C Cooke 2
S Hollingdale 2 + 1 Interception
P Waddington 1
S Clackson 1
G Duarte 1
S Harrison 1
C Saylor 1 Interception
Passing 1 of 5 for 4yds
Rushing 49 att for 258yds
Total 54 plays 262yds
Passing 3 of 12 for 38yds 2int
Rushing 20 for 150yds
Total 32 plays 188yds
Score by Quarter
Knights 7 - 7 - 0 - 10 24
Renegades 0 - 0 - 0 - 7 7