Round 1 of the relegation decider between the Coventry Jets and the Birmingham Bulls went the way of the Brummies as the Jets succumbed to yet another loss following a lacklustre display on Defence.
The Jets won the kickoff and opted to receive it however their first drive ended in a punt almost immediately. The Bulls didn’t have much more luck though star Marc Bonazebi was able to convert a first down. In a sign of things to come that day captain Josh Cooper muffed the ensuing punt, he recovered but was downed at the 10, another Jets punt followed but a good return put them in poor field position, the Bulls converted, punching the score in through a QB sneak, a poor snap preventing the PAT.
The Jets had committed to a ground game through Chris “Teflon” Hobbs however struggled to gain any purchase, despite a passing attack that was able to move the ball often runs getting stuffed in the backfield prevented any real progress. On defence it was a different story as TJ Chieza – having a great season – contributed with a pick. Finally the Jets had some purchase through their ground game and Teflon broke a sweep into a 21 yard touchdown. The next drive saw Cooper pick the bulls off on the halfway line but the Jets couldn’t capitalise.
The second quarter was a quieter affair though towards the end the Bulls put a strong drive together resulting with a throw for a TD on 3rd and 7 16 yards out, a great catch on the jump ball. After half time the Jets, down 12-6 didn’t come out firing and the Bulls had it their way as they ran all over the Jets D to go ahead 18-6.
The Bulls eventually committed completely to the running game after a pick from DB Andy Edser in his last game this season. On the next drive the Jets offence looked the best it has all season, with long completions from QB Josh Randall to Sam Hyde and Ben Fisher, it looked as though Teflon had scored his second of the day as he reached and fell forward into the endzone, the referees marked him short and Randall threw for his first TD for the Jets to Rob Lambert (also a first). The 2 point attempted completed to Ben Fisher to leave the game at 18-14 with 6 minutes left. The Bulls once again controlled through the run and the Jets couldn’t move the ball on what turned out to be the last time they would possess the ball that day.
With little time between games as the season reaches a quick close the Jets desperately need to re-group and get a win with just Sandwell twice and Birmingham at home to go.