Game is really moving forward in globalization. I like it. :thup:
Kent School running back Marcel Pitre scored three rushing touchdowns and Tyler Harris added a fourth on the ground as the visiting prep school team from Connecticut defeated Filton College Pride 27-6 in Bristol, England. Filton running back Warren Thompson made it a memorable first-ever home game for the Pride with a late fourth quarter touchdown for the hosts.
The exhibition game was about more than the score, having brought together two American football teams whose admiration for the other's efforts both on and off the field was evident when they shook hands and posed for photographs after the final whistle.
"I told our kids that the win mattered but that it was more important to be a part of something unique and special and our players knew that we were a part of that today," said Kent School head coach Todd Marble. "I'm pleased for both teams."
He said of opponent Filton College: "Obviously the speed of the game is a little bit different and your eyes are wide when you see who you are going to play, but they competed and they played hard and they didn't quit. That is what you look for in a football team."
Filton Pride head coach Ben Herod agreed that the gap in experience and fundamentals was evident but not overwhelming between his inexperienced team and the polished Lions, who had won their first three games of their season.
"They were way faster than we were and they were quicker to the ball but in the second half I felt we adjusted and improved as the game went on," said Herod. "I was impressed with everything about them and how professional they were. These are the type of teams that we want to bring here to Filton to play."
Kent scored on successive possessions in the first quarter, first as Pitre stormed up the middle almost untouched from 24 yards out after a facemask call and a 29-yard pass from quarterback JJ Jablonski to Levi Cohen had moved the Lions rapidly up field. Pitre added a two-point conversion for an 8-0 lead.
Kent caught Filton napping with a quick onside kick to regain momentum then after a 19-yard connection between Jablonski and Pitre, the running back had too much power for the Pride defense as he dragged a tackler with him into the end zone for a 20-point lead that kicker Damien Scannella increased with the PAT.
Kent was unable to take advantage of a blocked punt on Filton's second possession as a pass to Scannella that saw the Swedish receiver burst into the end zone was called back for holding and the Pride defense then held the Americans on fourth down. But punishment came after Filton fumbled on the next drive and Harris ran to pay dirt from 20 yards out on the next play for a clear 21-0 advantage.
A field goal attempt by Scannella fell short just before halftime, which came with Jablonski having completed a steady 3 of 5 attempts for 50 yards to complement the impressive Kent running game.
Kent took the majority of the third quarter time off the clock with a long scoring drive that culminated in a five-yard scoring run by Pitre and when Scannella's extra point attempt sailed wide left leaving Kent on 27 points, it seemed unlikely that their offense was finished for the day. But a combination of Filton College producing a determined defensive performance and Kent coach Marble increasing the playing time of the backups on the visitors' roster kept them scoreless for the remainder of the contest.
When the Pride touchdown came it emerged from dogged determination and a pounding running game. Reece Steele produced a long run down the right sideline that was halved by a personal foul penalty then Jayvon Donatien, Jordan Crouch and Thompson all gained valuable yardage to move the ball to within striking distance of the Kent end zone.
Thompson then took off to the left corner of the end zone to score Filton College's first-ever home touchdown from five yards out as the clock ticked down towards the final whistle.
Kent running back Pitre ended the day with an impressive 72 yards and 3 touchdowns from 14 carries, assisted on the ground by Barnes (13-64) and Harris (7-46-1). For the Pride, Thompson amassed 36 yards and the historic touchdown on 9 carries, while Donatien broke the century mark, rushing for 100 yards on 11 carries.
The two teams, aged 19 and under, were brought together from either side of the Atlantic by Texas-based Global Football, which provides an opportunity for young amateur athletes from different countries to compete against one another, while experiencing and learning first hand about each other's cultures.
Kent School head coach Marble added: "I've dedicated my life to football and would love to see it develop around the world and if we can be a small seed in that process then I would be very pleased with that."
On Sunday Kent School players will attend the NFL International Series game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New England Patriots at Wembley Stadium in London and will attend a Patriots post-game party.
TV: A delayed webcast of the game will air on GlobalFootball.com from Sunday, October 25 onwards.