Colchester Gladiators start the season with victory over Wembley Stallions

Colchester Gladiators' Adam Dickens on his way to a score against Wembley Stallions. Picture: JOHN S

Colchester Gladiators' Adam Dickens on his way to a score against Wembley Stallions. Picture: JOHN SINGER - Credit: Archant

BAFA Division One Colchester Gladiators 34 Wembley Stallions 26 The Colchester Gladiators kicked off their 2018 season with a hard-fought win against the newly promoted Wembley Stallions.

Colchester Gladiators quarterback Rob Wickham prepares to take the snap. Picture: JOHN SINGER

Colchester Gladiators quarterback Rob Wickham prepares to take the snap. Picture: JOHN SINGER - Credit: Archant

The Gladiators started the game fast, stopping the Stallions strong running game and forced a punt from where quarterback Rob Wickham led a balanced drive that culminated in a two yard touchdown pass to Byron Smith. The extra point was wide but the Gladiators led 6-0.

Their advantage was increased to 13 points shorty after when Adam Dickens ran the ball in from four yards out and this time, Nathan Brown’s kick was good.

Wembley surprisingly got themselves back in the game when their monster running back Junior Ejehu took advantage of some poor tackling to race through the centre of the home defence for a 47 yard breakaway score and the conversion closed the gap to 13-7.

Then Adam Dickens hung on to a deflected pass in the end zone for a Gladiators touchdown. Brown’s kick made the score 20-7.

Colchester's Jake Wickham stretches for the goal line but was ruled just short. Picture: JOHN SINGER

Colchester's Jake Wickham stretches for the goal line but was ruled just short. Picture: JOHN SINGER - Credit: Archant


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The Stallions came back again with a carbon copy of their first touchdown when Ejehu ran 63 yards for his second score of the day. The extra point attempt was blocked and the Gladiators’ lead was 20-13 a the break.

The home side received the ball to start the second half and wanted to make a statement but on just their second play, the Wembley defence stripped the ball from Eddie Collison and returned it for a touchdown. The extra point tied the score at 20.

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Tom Blum scored his first touchdown as a Gladiator with a one yard run to retake the lead before the Stallions’ first long drive of the game ended with a 26 yard scoring pass from Junior Price to reduce their deficit to one point at 27-26.

The Gladiators responded again at the end of the third quarter when Smith caught his second TD pass from Wickham, this time from eight yards out. Brown’s PAT gave them an eight point lead which they never really looked like relinquishing.

The Gladiators are straight back into league action when they host the Cambridgeshire Cats at the Corporal Budd VC Gymnasium, Berechurch Road on Sunday at 2.30pm.

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