The Nottingham Caesars’ winning start to the season continued on Sunday with a 34-21 win over Merseyside Nighthawks.
Two touchdowns from Danny Miller and one each for Dan Johnson, Simon Denning and Tom Snee helped the Big Cee to a second straight win at the start of the 2012 season.
On a remarkably dry day, Nottingham exploded out of the blocks with a 24-yard pass from full-back Miller to Charlie Paterson, and the teams exchanged possessions before a 34-yard catch and run by Snee set up Johnson to bootleg into the end-zone from five yards out.
The Caesars defence then came to the fore, consistently pressuring the Nighthawks’ backfield to force a host of errors from the home side. A fumbled exchange between the quarterback and running back allowed Stacy Martin to snaffle the loose ball, and Miller made no mistake to rumble in for the Caesars’ second score.
As the half progressed, Merseyside’s mistakes continued to haunt them, and another botched play saw defensive lineman Andy Cusworth fall on the ball in Nighthawks territory. A powerful run by Miller set up Johnson, who found Snee in the corner of the end-zone to give the Caesars a three score lead.
With the game slipping away from them, the Nighthawks finally clicked into gear, and a penalty-assisted long drive allowed them to pick up a touchdown through Nathan Hazel just before half time.
Faced with the prospect of a Nighthawks comeback, the Caesars hit their straps at the start of the second half, taking over nine minutes off the clock with a long drive that ended with Miller’s second score of the day.
Merseyside continued to show a lot of heart, matching the Caesars score for score in the second half with scores from nippy running back Laurent Tshmlanga, but a field goal from Johnson looked to put the game out of reach before Miller – who finished with 209 yards – set up quarterback Denning to punch the ball in for the Caesars final score of the day. Nighthawks backup quarterback Adrain Hodgers did manage to run-in a consolation score, but Snee recovered the onside kick to quash any hopes of a miracle comeback.
The Caesars welcome Lancashire Wolverines to the Harvey Hadden Stadium next Sunday for a 2.30 kick-off, with the Junior team taking on Birmingham Bulls beforehand.
Photos courtesy of Double Coverage
Danny Miller – 29 rushes for 209 yards, 2 TDs
Tom Snee – 6 catches for 63 yards, 1 TD
Tim Davies and Marcus Boswell – 3 tackles, Karl Walkinshaw and Jade Williams-Jenkinson – 2 tackles