Having lost to the London Warriors in their first meeting earlier this season 38-10, the London Blitz needed to win by 29 points to earn themselves home-field advantage for the BAFANL Premier play-offs.
And, although the north Londoners were unable to achieve that margin of victory, the 13-7 result itself gives them a significant lift ahead of their semifinal clash away to the East Kilbride Pirates.
The Warriors gave the Blitz a rude awakening in the first quarter of Sunday’s game though, sacking quarterback Tim Liechti and forcing a punt, but the Blitz soon responded in kind.
After a long drive, the Blitz were within scoring distance – and, although they had to settle for just a field goal, they stepped up the pace in the second quarter.
Liechti hoisted a long touchdown pass to wide receiver Andrew Cropper and the extra point gave Blitz a 10-0 advantage before the defensive duel resumed.
Linebacker Sky Modebe recovered a blocked Warriors punt to set Blitz up at the five-yard line and the resulting field goal meant that they ended the half with a 13-0 lead.
The Warriors came back stronger in the third quarter and after picking off a Liechti pass, the visiting Warriors punched the ball in to close the gap to 13-7.
After both teams recovered their own fumbles, the Warriors made a huge gain on fourth down and had an opportunity to snatch the lead in the final minutes.
But the Blitz dug in, and held on to record a rare victory over their rivals, with the possibility of yet another meeting to come at BritBowl XXIX, which takes place next month.
“To get the win against the Warriors was huge, especially going into the play-offs,” said Blitz offensive co-ordinator Stuart Miller. “It was a superb defensive performance.”
The Blitz travel to Scotland for their play-off semi-final a week on Sunday, while the Warriors host Tamworth Phoenix in the other game.