Week 4 saw the undefeated Warriors take on the fifth placed Croydon Rangers down in Officer, the second game of a triple header.
Sitting clear on top and looking to continually improve, Head Coach Callum Marini and his assistants knew that they couldn’t take the game lightly. In front of a decent crowd and down a few players due to the Labour Day long weekend all players needed to step up and continue to fire from the start.
Anton Maksoutov was the game day captain and he did not disappoint his coaches’ decision, showing an impressive running display all day. The running back had plenty of room all day behind DL Joshua Deaking who played a dual role at full back also. The power formation was a successful decision for the Warriors as Maksoutov rushed for over 100 yards on the day behind an strong offensive line and scoring two touchdowns.
A successful running game looked to have caused the Rangers to change their game plans which opened the field for an air attack. Whilst the Warriors could have continued to pound the ball on ground their coaches turned to their trusted QB Nick Whitehead to utilise a run heavy defense and find open receivers and move the chains. Whitehead has been outstanding recently being able to protect the ball, maintain possession and hit his receivers. After several seasons growing into the Warriors starting quarterback, Whitehead has looked very comfortable behind a strong offensive line allowing him plenty of time to stand in the pocket and deliver to his playmaking receivers.
Whitehead was able throw over 150 yards on the day and throw two touchdowns to game MVP Benjamin McGaw who has been a scoring machine all year. The young receiver was able to score four touchdowns on the day; two in the air, one on the ground and another on a punt return where he has dominated all year.
The Warriors entered the half time break with a comfortable 24-6 lead and full of confidence behind strong showings from both their offense & defense. Starting strong has been something the Warriors have been great at entering the start of the game however it has been a different story when entering the second half.
The Rangers employed a wildcat offense and while the defense kept them off the park in the first half, the Rangers were able to scramble for some big yards behind their QB and it looked to be something the Warriors could not adjust to. The Rangers continued to score off Wildcat runs which accounted for all of their points on the day. Defensively the Warriors made the occasional play however it was the Rangers Offense that won the battle against the Warriors Defense in the end.
The Rangers Defense however could do nothing to stop the run of the Warriors who ended the game 46-26 winners.
The crunch award winner was Majny “Magic” Majing had made plenty of outstanding blocks for his running back at the receiver position, one in particular block against a linebacker got his team fired up.
Coach Marini applauded his Offense and all players within it for the outstanding performance all day. Whilst the defense was unusually quiet today, Marini will be looking for them to bounce back when they take on the Berwick Miners in Endeavour Hills on Sunday who are currently missing a lot of players due to injuries.