BURNLEY’S promotion party may have grabbed the headlines at the weekend but there was one sporting event that proved just as important to two American Football teams.
The American Football Juniors League got under way with an epic battle between two local sides – the Blackburn based Lancashire Wolverines and Burnley Tornados.
In a nail-biting, back and forth affair, which included no less than four lead changes, the Wolverines claimed the final points of the game to sneak away from their rival’s home with a 24-20 win.
Burnley opened the scoring through Flynn Griffins but the visitors equalised soon-after when quarterback Arran Taylor threw a TD pass to wide-receiver Sam Yates.
It wasn’t long before Griffins scored again to give Burnley a 12-6 lead. Quarterback Phil Robins then added a 2 point conversion to see the hosts in 14-6 at half time.
In the second half, the Wolverines began to turn the screw in the third quarter but it wasn’t until a safety by linebacker Josh Rimmer that they closed the gap to 14-8.
When Ryan Allen returned an interception for another defensive score and Mike Wood added the two point conversion, to give Lancashire a 14-16 lead going into the fourth quarter.
Andy Hawkes put the hosts 20-16 in front with only minutes to spare. However, with great fight and resolve the Wolverines coolly executed on their last offensive possession.
Quarterback Kit Varney delivered an inch-perfect pass which was caught by wide-receiver Ben McNally-Burn and Allan King added the two point conversion to sealed a dramatic late victory for Lancashire.