AMERICAN FOOTBALL: Storm end home season on a high
THE Swindon Storm offence were at their fluent best as they beat Cornish Sharks 24-10 in their final home game of their debut season.
Despite being primarily a run first offence, Storm produced three passing touchdowns and one on the ground as they dominated the game after bouncing back from an early Sharks field goal.
Injured Storm player Sam Mendoza took on the offensive co-ordinator role for the game due to the fact he is currently sidelined after dislocating his shoulder in training, and was impressed with what his players were able to produce in front of their biggest crowd of the year.
“It was great because this was the first game we went into when we really felt we should have won it,” he said.
“We beat Oxford, and we fancied our chances of beating Oxford, but it was still a bit of a shock because we scored with 10 seconds to go.
“This one was a little more settled, and it was a fairly different atmosphere at the end because we were fairly confident we would win.
“There were loads of people there to watch and cheer us on, and that made a real difference to us too.”
The Storm offence has been a work in progress during their first competitive season, but Mendoza believes they have now found their groove and was full of praise for replacement quarterback Dan Thorne.
“Our offence is not making the individual mistakes we were making before, because in this game 10 players can do their jobs right on a play but the one who gets it wrong means a play doesn’t succeed,” he said.
“All the players are doing their jobs well now, and that showed itself in this game because we scored three passing touchdowns even though we see ourselves more of a run first offence.
“Dan has done a really good job as our QB after he came in for Paul (Kent) after he got injured, and even though he’s only young he’s been playing for so long and has a really good grasp of it and has been playing well.
“Or offence is reasonably basic and we don’t run too many different plays, although there are a few variations, and every player knows exactly what they need to do and that means we are very effective.
“The defence has been good too, and has stopped the opposition so well we have had short fields to play with which has really helped us.”
The Swindon side have had to do without influential coach Steve Bennett in recent weeks while he has been in Afghanistan with the RAF, but Mendoza has been impressed with how Nick White has handled the step up to head coach.
“The fact Steve is away and we’ve still managed to win two games is a great thing, and shows the foundations he has laid for us and how hard Nick has worked since he’s been away,” he said.
“I was a little concerned it would fall apart a little when Steve left, but Nick has really stepped up and taken control of thing and we have a good solid squad of players who turn up every week.
“We are growing as a team, and that is showing in the way we play.”
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