LIVE STREAM & PREVIEW: BritBowl XXVIII – London Warriors v. London Blitz

For the fourth time in as many years, the London Warriors (defending champions) and the London Blitz (five-time champion) will face each other to determine who is the best American football team in Great Britain. BritBowl XXVIII takes place this Sunday September 14 at John Charles Stadium in Leeds. You can follow the game live right here on American Football International, courtesy of Double Coverage in the UK.

Here then is a preview of both the BritBowl XXVIII: Premiership Final and the National League Final by Neil Reynolds of BritView NFL.

Television personality, massive NFL fan and London Warriors safety Vernon Kay has spoken out about his love of playing American football on the eve of BritBowl 2014. Just days ahead of leading his London Warriors into battle for the fourth year in a row against the London Blitz, Kay described his pride at becoming a key member of Tony Allen’s top-ranked defense.“This is my fourth year with the Warriors and I love playing football,” Kay admits.

“There is a special bond with the Warriors because we look scruffy on the field and look like a bunch of rag-tag players who are a bit disorganised.

“But as soon as those 11 men step on the field, without a doubt, we’re the best team in Britain.”

 

London Warriors - Vernon Kay

London Warriors safety Vernon Kay

Looking to prove Kay wrong on Sunday will be the London Blitz. The Battle of London heads north as the powerhouses from the capital will clash at John Charles Stadium in Leeds with kickoff scheduled for 4.45pm on September 14.

Following the retirement of Fred Boyle and the season-ending injury suffered by Joe Thompson, the Blitz will be led by quarterback by Tim Liechti and former SMU Mustang Ross Hill.

The Blitz won every game during the regular season and playoffs this year, with the exception of a 33-13 defeat at the hands of the Warriors in July. Sunday’s championship game will mark the farewell appearance of playmaking safety and club chairman Ed Morgan.

Starting at safety on the other side of the field will be Kay, who feels he has proven his worth to the Warriors and is not being carried along by his team-mates.

“I’m not wearing a helmet and shoulder pads because I think it’s a nice bit of kit or because I’m going to a fancy dress party,” Kay laughs. “I’m the starting free safety for the London Warriors on the best defense in England. I wouldn’t be there if I was less than capable.”

BritBowl 2013 action

BritBowl 2013 action

After back-to-back losses to the Blitz in the BritBowl, the Warriors were crowned national champions in 2013. With the championship monkey off their backs, they have matured as a team and stormed through a perfect regular season before knocking off the Coventry Jets and Tamworth Phoenix in the playoffs.

The Warriors have been dominant from start to finish in 2014. In their eight regular season wins, the Warriors scored 454 points and conceded just 19 in reply. The Blitz were almost as dominant with just one loss to their name and they scored 461 points and conceded just 79.

London Blitz3

London Blitz defensive back Stefan Rivera-Gonzalez makes a spectacular interception.

If he can lift a second successive national championship on Sunday night, Kay will revel in having done so with some very special team-mates at the Warriors.

The Chicago Bears fan and Channel 4 NFL host concludes:

“Joining the Warriors has changed me as a person and made me a better person. Everyone on our roster plays their heart and souls out for the team and that’s addictive.”

London Warriors2

London Warriors in action against the Blitz

Prior to the big Premiership showdown on Sunday, the National Final will take place at 12 noon, pitting the Merseyside Nighthawks against the Edinburgh Wolves.

The Wolves overcame a slow start to the season in order to book a first BritBowl appearance. They suffered early defeats to the West Coast Trojans and Clyde Valley Blackhawks before reeling off nine victories in a row that included two incredible playoff wins on the road, travelling down from Scotland to beat the Watford Cheetahs and Southampton’s Solent Thrashers.

Under the guidance of head coach Don Edmonston, the Wolves scored 424 points at an average of 35.3 points per contest in 2014. They topped the 40-point mark on six occasions and pitched four shut-outs on defense.

The Nighthawks went 8-0-1 in the regular season before dispatching with the Farnham Knights and Shropshire Revolution in the playoffs to reach BritBowl.

Head coach Craig Pennington says:

“Our road to the Bowl started just under 12 months ago after our quarter final defeat at Gateshead. I can’t say enough about the player group this year – they have all listened to their coaches, taken the information on board and have worked really hard to apply it to their game.

“The guys have really bonded well to create a fantastic team atmosphere, always supporting each other and pushing each other to get better.”

Watch both games live here!

Premiership Final

London Warriors v. London Blitz. Kickoff 4:45 PM UK time. 11:45 AM EST.

National League Final

Merseyside Nighthawks v. Edinburgh Wolves. Kickoff 12 Noon. UK time. 6:45 AM EST.

 
Neil Reynolds
Neil Reynolds has covered the NFL as a journalist and broadcaster since 1991. He currently serves as co-host of the NFL coverage on Sky Sports and has also co-presented BBC Radio 5 Live’s coverage of American football. Reynolds has worked for British football magazines Gridiron and First Down and has also written for American organisations such as the Green Bay Press-Gazette, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Pittsburgh Post-Press Gazette, NFL.com and the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He currently writes for SkySports.com, nfluk.com and the International Series gameday magazines and has interviewed some of the biggest names in American football including Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, John Elway, Andrew Luck and Adrian Peterson. Reynolds also hosts NFL UK’s popular ‘Fan Nights’ series and live events such as the NFL on Regent Street and Trafalgar Square Fan Rally, as well as Tailgate Parties at Wembley Stadium.
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