Manchester Titans go back-to-back with Britbowl win over London Warriors

This past Sunday, the British American Football Association season drew to a close as the Manchester Titans defeated the London Warriors in the Britbowl Championship Game for the second straight year, this time by a score of 44-27. The Titans are the first team outside of London to win consecutive titles in the Britbowl era.

Quarterback Sam Bloomfield led the Titans offense out first, leading his team just shy of 70 yards downfield where they were unable to find the endzone. Great Britain kicker Alex Lenkowski finished off the drive with a 46-yard field goal to open up scoring.

Following some impressive runs from Ray Sobowale and Leonardo Walter Dabo, the Warriors soon found themselves deep in Manchester territory. The Titans’ defense held relatively strong, but on third and long quarterback Dee Williams hit Luc Benjamin, who turned a 10-yard gain into a 22-yard touchdown as he cut outside and dived for the front pylon to put the Warriors up. Ian Jacquet split the uprights to make the score 7-3. 

Manchester Titans RB leaping over Warriors defender Photo: Craig Thomas

After exchanging punts for the remainder of the first period, the Titans kicked off the second quarter with a long drive resulting in a touchdown, as Bloomfield found Max Gracie-Ainscough deep down the sideline for six. Lenkowski turned six to seven, putting the Titans up 10-7. The Warriors quickly responded as Williams threw a dangerous ball downfield on fourth down, with a Warriors receiver luckily on the receiving end, taking it in for a touchdown.

The following drive, an almost identical deep ball down the sideline from Bloomfield to Gracie-Ainscough set the Titans up three yards short of the endzone. A receiver screen to Adam Bamber put the scoreboard back in Manchester’s favor the next play, with an errant snap on the extra-point holding the score at 16-14.

Manchester WR Max Gracie-Ainscough #13, hauling in a TD pass from QB Sam Bloomfield Photo: BAFA

Another Warriors punt gave the Titans the opportunity to double up before the half, which of course Sam Bloomfield seized; after leading a long drive, Bloomfield topped off the drive with a score as he rolled right and hit a wide open Gracie-Ainscough, as the Warriors secondary had completely blown coverage to allow the receiver to catch his second touchdown with just over a minute left of the half. Despite a valiant effort from London’s offensive unit, an Alex Eager interception allowed the Titans to close out the half with a 23-14 lead. 

The Titans opened the second half strong, as another misfired ball from Williams ended up in the hands of Eager for his second pick of the day, however a missed field goal attempt put the ball back in the hands of the Warriors.

After what seemed to be a three-and-out from the Warriors, a muffed punt return from the Titans gave the ball back to the London side in dangerous territory; Dee Williams capitalized the next play, running the ball in for a touchdown from 10 yards out. A Manchester three-and-out allowed the Warriors to drive down field before another Williams rushing score gave them the lead.

Warriors QB Dee Williams looking for running room Photo: BAFA

With the score at 27-23 as the third quarter came to a close, the Titans took over; to open up the fourth quarter, Bloomfield hit the Titans’ Swiss army knife Zahir Wilder (Montclair State, NCAA DIII) deep down the seam for a touchdown. The following drive, a big hit on Williams from Stuart Robinson saw the ball hit the ground before the Titans made the recovery, giving the ball back to the defending champions. Joe Nicholson did the work for the offense, charging to the endzone before the rest of the team helped push him over the goal line to make it a two score game. 

The Warriors were unable to find success on all three phases for the remainder of the game, as the Titans put up even more unanswered points. A crucial special teams’ mistake saw a revived Manchester drive as a punt bounced off a Warrior’s helmet before being recovered by the Titans, setting up another Bloomsfield-Bamber score. 

Despite a well put together drive from the Warriors’ offense, a crucial turnover in the redzone gave the ball back to the Titans, who drained the clock and ended the game in victory formation.

Quarterback Sam Bloomfield was named Britbowl MVP for the second consecutive year, despite playing through a fractured wrist on his throwing side. Manchester is the first team outside of London to win consecutive national titles since the Manchester Spartans in 1989/90.

For more photos of Britbowl XXXV from Craig Thomas, click here.

A current student at Bournemouth University as well as a quarterback with eight years of playing experience. Brad's goal is to be a part of the growth of the game around the world through journalism and media.