Bristol keep up the scoring streak away to Solent
After an impressive victory at Homecoming, the Barracuda would travel down to Solent for their first away fixture of the season. The previous year’s fixture had seen a tightly fought match decided by an overtime goal line stand from the Bristol defence.
The 2019 matchup got off to a quick start. Holding the Solent offence to a 3 and out, the Bristol defence blocked the ensuing punt, with rookie defensive end Faisal Alhashmi recovering the football and running it back for a touchdown. Leo Cordery Smith then added a two point conversion with a pass to H-back Rory Macnair.
After several stifled drives on offence from both teams, the Cuda defense once again took the field. A quick pass was caught by Solent’s dangerous receiver who then dodged several tackles before taking the ball 40+ yards for the touchdown. Solent would fail the 2 point conversion.
The Cuda offense once again failed to gain momentum but as is tradition, the Bristol defence was prepared to bail them out with a turnover. Defensive end Kehinde Ajisegiri broke through the line of scrimmage before punching the ball out of the Solent quarterback’s hand. DL Josh Lucas was on the spot to recover the football for the Barracuda.
Taking over with great field position, Bristol’s offence drove down the pitch confidently with passes to Hosam Alzahrani and Scott Smith befor being held up in Solent’s red zone. A strong stand from Solent’s defensive held up against the Cuda running attack and once again the Bristol offence left the field without a point.
Several drives later, veteran Cuda playmaker Oli McDowell once again displayed his taste for turnovers. Recovering a Solent fumble around the halfway line, the Barracuda would try to find some rhythm on offence. Wasting no time at all, quarterback Leo Cordery Smith took the first snap of the drive and threw a 36 yard pass to rookie receiver Jacob Adams who trotted in for the touchdown. High on confidence, Cordery Smith strolled into the endzone for the two point conversion.
Bristol weren’t done yet. Several drives later, the Cuda defense would again leave its mark as the joint efforts of Ajisegiri, Elliott Scott and Matt Pullen blocked another Solent punt, giving Bristol the ball inside the opposition 10. On the following play, running back Nathan Obayori followed a string of blocks into the endzone for the touchdown. Cordery Smith would again walk in for the two point conversion.
HT Bristol 24 - Solent 6
Returning after halftime, the Barracuda held a confident lead but were far from finished.
After some lacklustre drives, the defence would kickstart the second period forcing another turnover. Rookie linebacker Toby Harris came out of nowhere to sack the Solent quarterback and knock the ball free leading to a pile up putting Bristol even further into opposition territory. Successive runs from rookie running back Ola Ogunade carried the Cuda into the red zone before the drive was topped off with an 11 yard pass to rookie receiver Harry “Spike” Gordon. Gordon’s ensuing celebration would earn him his nickname for the foreseeable future. Cordery Smith would add to his second passing touchdown of the day with another two point conversion to Macnair.
Now with a comfortable lead, the Barracuda began to relax and saw Solent’s offense put together a strong drive resulting in a passing touchdown. With the two point conversion unsuccessful, the game would end with Bristol victorious in their second outing of the season.
FT Bristol 32 - Solent 12
Photos courtesy of Luke Simcock