Wembley Stallions travelled to Colchester and put in a dominant defensive display to win 0-24.
The Stallions started the game well, confidently passed and ran the ball down field before being stopped midway into the Gladiators’ territory. Wembley’s defensive pressure was awarded when a high snap on fourth down ended up in the end zone giving the away side a safety putting the score at 0-2.
A mistake on kick-off gave Colchester a shorter field, but more pressure from Luke Streeter, Brett Parnham and Paul Fergus and a sack by Duncan McAslan prevented the home side from moving the ball far. The Gladiators’ drive then ended with an interception by Basil Gazali.
Wembley ran the ball well with Geraldas Kastauna and moved into the red zone before being stopped again. The Stallions’ offence weren’t long off the field as the home side suffered a quick three-and-out as time expired in the first quarter.
The Gladiators had a hard task playing out of the end zone and more defensive line pressure lead to a three-and-out. A short punt from the two-yard line gave Sam Fraser a chance to show his speed, spinning out of a tackle to run in a touchdown from the 40. Going for two on the extras fell short putting the score at 0-8.
The home side were stopped quickly again but were given another short field after recovering a fumble. However, sacks from Streeter and Fergus quickly put the ball back in Wembley’s hands. The Stallions continued to run the ball with Kastauna but were stopped short of the red zone as time expired on the first half.
Colchester started the third quarter well, moving the ball into Stallions’ territory. However, more pressure from Parnham and Streeter and a sack from Kane Alexander ended the drive. The Gladiators recovered another fumble, this time within the red zone. A sack from Chris Middlemas and pressure from Parnham stopped the drive at the seven-yard line.
The Stallions mixed their plays up with runs from Ben Lyons and Daven Abrahams followed by catches from Andrew Kendall, Uka and Sharif El Fiky to get back into the red zone. The drive was stalled again, with a need to extend the lead, the field goal unit was sent on. Nick Glenday slotted through from 16-yards to increase the score to 0-11.
The Gladiators were contained to a quick three-and-out again and Wembley moved the ball downfield as time ticked into the fourth quarter. Runs from Kastauna and catches from Uka put the Stallions back in the red zone. This time the stampede couldn’t be stopped with a passing touchdown to Glenday. A two-point attempt fell short again to put the score at 0-17.
Wembley’s defence continued to stop Colchester from moving the ball. Whilst the Stallions ran and passed the ball into the red zone. Another fumble ended the drive, however, deep in their own half and pressure from Ian Darby lead to Fraser intercepting the ball and running in a pick six. Glenday added the extras to put the score at 0-24 and cement the win.
With neither side having another opportunity to score, the game ended 0-24 and the first win for the Stallions this season. Colchester are now 0-2 on the season with the London Hornets next to play. Whilst Wembley are now 1-2 and have their first home to game against the Ouse Valley Eagles on Sunday.