20 Dec 2018
The Barracuda headed into their first home game of the season off a promising opening victory against Southampton Solent. With an away win under their belt after a structured off season with new head coach Simon Preston, the Cuda were ready to establish themselves on home turf against the Oxford University Lancers.
After a rousing pre-game huddle from Week 1 honorary captain Jonah Edmonds, the game got underway. After an opening drive punt, the Cuda defence immediately mades its mark with defensive end and birthday boy Max Wood forcing and recovering a fumble. With a drive featuring impressive runs from rookie Nathan Obayori and catches from tight end Jonah Edmonds, wide receiver Gidi Ezra caught a 7 yard touchdown pass from Jim Powell-Cullingford (Bumble) to take the lead. Quarterback Bumble then took the ball into his own hands for a 30 yard run and score. With the Cuda defence forcing another punt from Oxford, James Cook took the first play of the drive 80+ yards for the touchdown. After an equally rapid passing touchdown from the Lancers, Jonah Edmonds capped off the half with an impressive 45 yard catch and score.
Halftime: Cuda 28, Lancers 7
With the game restarting, the atmosphere at Coombe Dingle began to calm as both teams had settled into the match. The teams traded punts and while occasional moments of excitement were drawn out of Edmonds and Obayori, the 3rd quarter saw a lull in the drama. As tension grew, the second half was begging for something to reignite the crowd of 20-30 loyal spectators that had gathered at Cuda Beach.
Right on cue, 2nd year running back Hugh Parker exploded through the line of scrimmage, dodging 3 would-be tacklers and taking the ball 56 yards for the touchdown behind a beautiful third level block from OT Joe Osborne. A roar went up from the crowd and the Barracuda were once again firmly on top.
Despite a late flurry of passing touchdowns from Oxford against a noticeably tired Cuda defence, Bristol held on to win the game 35-31 and go 2-0 after two weeks of the season.
Bumble: 5/7, 92 yards, 2 pass TD, 1 rush TD Hugh Parker: 15 rush, 177 yards, 1 TD James Cook: 4 rush, 116 yards, 1 TD Nathan Obayori: 7 rush, 42 yards
Jonah Edmonds: 3 rec, 78 yards, 1 TD
Gidi Ezra: 1 rec, 7 yards, 1 TD
Matt Pullen: 8 solo, 4 ast, 2 TFL
Jonny Read: 6 solo, 2 ast Oli McDowell: 2 solo, 7 ast
Max Wood: 1 solo, 1 ast, 1 sack, 1 FF 1 FR
Elliott Scott: 1 solo, 1 ast, 1 FF
Photos courtesy of FineTime Photography