The final game of the regular season had no real impact for either team as the Saints were locked into second place and the Blitz couldn’t qualify for the finals, so both sides took the opportunity to rotate players through the team and try a few different things.
The Saints offence under the control of QB Scott Collins started from inside the Blitz half after Luke Hegney’s return. The first play from scrimmage resulted in a 1st Down after a penalty on the Blitz. The running of Doug Stewart got the ball inside the five then a weird play by Stewart which may have been a fumble resulted in a completion Jonty Hollins as he snared the loose ball in mid-air. A drop on a sure TD, resulted in the Saints turning the ball on the five. The Defence didn’t let the Blitz move the ball more than a few yards so they had to punt and a high snap resulted in a Safety.
Following the kick out, Collins completed a 1st down passes to Hollins and Hegney, then Stewart pounded the rock behind the o-line led by David Olivieri until he smashed over from two yards out. The pass attempt by Collins failed.
The Blitz opened their next drive with a penalty and a run into the secondary where safety Cameron Groenheide made the hit. A blitzing Chris Clarkson then pushed the them back with a tackle for a loss but the Blitz completed a deep pass to move into Saints territory. A facemask penalty on Primoz Pancic as he reached out to make another loss causing tackle moved the Blitz closer. Groenheide thought he had a pick but a pass interference penalty gave the Blitz a first down instead. From the eight the Blitz went backwards as they committed a penalty and then AJ Wright sacked the QB. Eventually the Saints took over on downs at the twenty.
An end around by Gareth Weinbrecht didn’t really go anyway. On the next play, Stewart went rampaging down the field but as he fought for extra yards after a twenty-two yard gain, the ball was stripped. This time the Blitz ran the ball down the D’s throat resulting a TD run. The extras were converted to tie the game up at eight-all. With under two minutes remaining, Collins completed a simple screen to Stewart who busted it for a big gain but the Saints were unable to force it into the end zone before half-time.
The Blitz’s opening drive wasn’t long lived as cornerback Cam McClelland snared a pass. The O-line kept created gaps for Stewart to exploit capped with a 21-yard run for the go-ahead TD. The extras were left on the field.
The Blitz just made it into Saint’s territory before AJ Wright jarred the ball loose and Ian Bellinge recovered it. After a Collins to Weinbrecht 1st Down, the Saints put Stewart to work and he rewarded them with a 3-yard TD. Again the Collins pass wasn’t caught (20-8)
Opening the fourth quarter, the Blitz managed one first down before having to punt from their 29-yard line. Clarkson flew around the corner to block the punt and Stewart scooped it up to put the Saints in great position. Collins hit a sprinting Jesse Hallet down the sideline to allow the rookies to share in the delight of their first TDs. Collins added the extras with a precise pass to Weinbrecht (28-8)
A couple of first downs allowed the Blitz to move to midfield but Groenheide and the secondary shut down the blitz receivers to force a turnover on downs to end the game.
Offensive MVP – David Olivieri
Lead the rotations within the o-line, clearing the way for the running game and kept a clean pocket for an inexperienced QB
Defensive MVP – Chris Clarkson
Lead the D whilst Ty Henry put his feet up, made 3 special team tackles, blocked a punt. And played a few snaps on the O.
Most Saintly Performance – Doug Stewart – the Workhorse
194 yards from scrimmage, 3 TDs and a reliable source of 1st Downs. Recovered Clarkson’s blocked punt.