There was last minute heartbreak for the Nottingham Caesars as Coventry Jets snatched a late winner to consign them to a second straight defeat.
A brace of touchdowns from Danny Miller weren’t enough for the Big Cee as penalties and turnovers cost them dear in a 28-27 loss that dents their play-off hopes.
The Caesars started brightly enough with a sparky opening drive which concluded with Miller running the ball in from a yard out, which was followed after a Jets field goal with a three-play, 70 yard effort that ended with the running back’s second score – a thrilling 26 yard run that was rounded off by an impressive lunge for the line.
Despite the encouraging start, a poor punt from Tom Snee put the home side within scoring range, and a looped Joe Brammer pass found debutant Ben Fisher for a 34-yard touchdown. After the teams traded three-and-outs over the resulting drives, a pair of muffed punts allowed the Jets back into the game, and power running from veteran half back Tony Perkins allowed them to punch the ball in and earn a 17-14 lead at the break.
Not to be vanquished, the Caesars fought back on the opening play of the second half, with Marcus Boswell picking Brammer off and returning the ball 20 yards for the score that regained the lead.
The Jets continued to fight on and moved within a point with a 28-yard Josh Hughes field goal, but a time consuming return drive from the Caesars ended with Simon Denning finding Ben Rabbett in the endzone for a touchdown.
A holding call on the resulting extra point moved the ball back ten yards, and proved decisive as Dan Johnson kicked the ball wide left to leave the Big Cee’s lead at seven points.
After impotent drives from both teams, a long punt by Nick Wadlow – extended by 25 yards worth of penalties – landed the Jets deep in their own territory, but a game-winning drive was to follow, as Brammer moved the ball downfield before running it in himself to put the Jets within a point.
A gutsy call from the Jets allowed their offence to attempt the two-point conversion, and was rewarded as Brammer found Tom Singleton-Wells a last gasp winner.
After this second straight defeat, the Caesars now face Shropshire Revolution on Sunday to keep their play-off hopes alive. The Senior game kicks-off at 2:30pm at the Harvey Hadden Stadium, and is preceded by the Youth team clash with Leicester Falcons.
Danny Miller – 22 carries for 103 yards, 2 TDs
Andrew Wilkins – 6 tackles, Karl Walkinshaw – 4 tackles
Marcus Boswell – 4 tackles, 1 INT (1 TD)
Jimmy Smith – 3.5 tackles, 1 sack