After a useful bye week following a second defeat of the season, the Nighthawks return to action this weekend, hosting the Leicester Falcons at JMO Sports Park on Sunday 7th July.
Leicester are coming into the game having had an indifferent season. Faced with some adversity to start the season with the BAFA controversy around import players, Leicester have leaned on their university QBs, Ted Watts and Marcus Urbanski, and veteran QB Brad Thompson to guide their team this year. Currently sitting in 4th position in the table on 2-5, the Midlands outfit will be looking to add to their victories over Edinburgh and Sheffield when they visit the high flying Nighthawks this weekend. Reverting back to the Div 1 playbook of 2018, the Falcons found success in their 2 back system, with the defence keeping the Wolves to 0 points and stifling a Phoenix offence until the 4th quarter.
The Nighthawks come into the game on the back of a crushing 43-30 loss to local rivals Manchester. Whilst this is a must-win game for the Hawks, Manchester’s loss to Edinburgh Wolves last weekend has re-opened the door for Merseyside to control their own fate this season with regards to post season football. The resilience shown towards the end of the Titans game, where the Nighthawks scored 2 late touchdowns to steal the head to head lead over Manchester. That resilience will be put to the test this week with Leicester in town, as they try to stifle Merseyside’s high octane offence, which will only be stronger this week with the addition of WR Liam Holebrook, who returns to the team after a brief hiatus from football.
Players to Watch :-
Taylor Brown – Safety / WR – Brown showed his class in Leicester’s last game, taking an interception to the house for a 70 yard touchdown. With the ability to line up at WR in a new look Falcons offence, the Nighthawks offence and defence will be on their highest level of alert when Brown is on the field.
Marcus Urbanski – Quarterback – Urbanski scored the lone touchdown in the Falcons win over Edinburgh Wolves and showed his mettle when doing so. His escape from a rushing Wolves defence also showed the QBs strength in his legs. Marcus is dangerous running or throwing the ball and the Nighthawks D must ensure they are top of their game should Urbanski be in the game.
Brad Thompson – Quarterback – Thompson has a knack of appearing in games vs the Hawks over the years, and he very nearly engineered a comeback in the first game, bringing the Falcons back from 23-0 down to lose only 23-18. The Hawks defence must ensure that they are live to Thompson’s checks at the line, as he can read a defence better than most in the league
This Sunday’s game is live at JMO Sports Park, Skelmersdale, WN8 8BX, with a 2:30pm kick off. You can find out more details here :