The Cardiff Cobras stormed to their second shutout victory in as many games as they beat The Exeter Demons 34-0 in blistering conditions at Filton.
Touchdowns from James Henderson, Chris Brinkworth, Dan Reeves and a brace from Ronan Patterson secured the victory for the Cobras.
With remnants of Hurricane Abigail circulating the West of England, the match was played under heavy wind and persistent rain, making it difficult for both sides.
The Cobras made a stuttering start, where the tricky Exeter offence held the majority of early possession. However, The Cobras soon found their rhythm, with the defence halting multiple Exeter drives before James Henderson’s fumble recovery was taken to the house to open the scoring.
In similar fashion to last week, the weather meant that the passing game would be largely ineffective and it was down to the ever reliable running back, Ronan Patterson to settle the offense.
Going into the second quarter, The Cobras adapted to conditions well. A big catch and run on 4th and 4 from, Sean Patrick-Cook gave Cardiff a 1st and goal. On the next play, Patterson opened his account for the afternoon, running it in from ten yards. After a botched snap on an Exeter punt, Jason Roberts and Jonathan Thomas recovered the football giving the Cardiff offense the chance for another drive inside Exeter’s 10 yard line.
Beaming from his 35 yard run against UWE a week previously, Quarterback Chris Brinkworth danced through the Demons’ defence for a rushing touchdown of his own, giving the Cobras a comfortable lead.
Another skewed Exeter punt led to another drive from the confident Cardiff offense. This time an inch perfect pass from Brinkworth was met by Dan Reeves who eased into the endzone for another score.
With the offense clicking nicely and racking up points, the defence did their bit to stop any chance of an Exeter comeback. Ryan Davies, Will Harris and Toby Lock put their bodies on the line on every play, tackling everything that came near them. Towards the end of the half, Canadian rookie, Logan Evans made a sack and the half closed with Cardiff dominating 27-0.
The Cobras continued to press as the game resumed after the interval. Jonathan Thomas recovered the ball after a big Shaun Rees sack, giving the Cardiff offense the chance to score for a fifth time. In his first game back after injury, Billy Rowlands found holes in the Exeter defence and gained yards on a number of Cardiff drives, including a 35 yard run, which was brought back for a hold.
With a substantial lead, Cardiff began to rep in rookies on both offense and defence. The third quarter finished scoreless with Cardiff’s defence withstanding the rusty Exeter passing game.
On 3rd down, Marcus Isaac batted down a wayward Exeter pass and the Demons were forced to punt. Outwitting his opposite number, Special Teams Coach, Simon Browning rejigged the Cardiff punt block and consequently the Demons’ punt was blocked by Jason Roberts with Logan Evans recovering the ball for a first down.
With Charlie Woolcott on at Quarterback for his league debut, the Cobras continued to edge closer to the goaline. Ronan Pattterson picked a gap and waltzed through into the endzone for his second score of the game and the Cobras’ fifth. The match fizzled out with a big tackle in the backfield from Jonathan Thomas followed by an interception from Logan Evans with the offense kneeling it out for a 34-0 win.