Rhinos 23 – 21 Cowboys
THE RHINOS IMPROVED to 3-1 on Sunday, coming out narrowly on top of a titanic battle with the Craigavon Cowboys.
With both sides looking to avoid a second loss of the season, this was always going to be tough sledding and it was the Cowboys who started the better of the two, forcing a goal line interception from Rhinos DB Adam Skelly.
Running back Andy Heron and TE Conrad Smith put the visitors in the redzone, but a stiffening Rhinos D held them to a field goal attempt that drifted wide.
That miss was forgotten soon after, however, as the Cowboys drove through Heron and Smith again, before Jo Buchanan would punch in the TD. A bobbled snap limited the damage to 6, but the Rhinos would only be behind for seconds.
Following the score, Ian Fanning took the kickoff 90 yards to level the game and Paul Hosford added the PAT to put the home side ahead.
Another strong defensive stand put the Rhinos in position to drive, with returning QB Ethan Foster, Jonny Northcutt and Robert Pops leading the charge. In the end, it would be Foster who crossed the plane to make it 14-6 at the half.
After the break, both sides went full on for the win and it was Heron who levelled the game with a massive 50 yard run. Again, the Rhinos would be forced to go to the well.
When they did, they found plenty in reserve as Foster once again found the endzone, scrambling a designed pass home. However, Hosford shanked the PAT wide right.
That opened the door for the Cowboys, who hit a 65-yard pass from Christian Cowan to Anton Nulty that was added to to put the visitors 21-20 ahead with just 4 minutes left.
The Rhinos needed a long drive and a score and managed to find both. A 4th down conversion by Foster kept the drive alive while Northcutt and Fanning kept the chains moving. Penalties from both sides in the redzone left the Rhinos on the 15 with 5 seconds remaining.
A perfect snap from Barry Bolton was held by Foster and Hosford knocked the kick through to give the home side the lead.
A clever kick off from David Hosford took time off the clock as the Cowboys were left with 65 yards in 3 seconds. An attempted hook and ladder was snuffed out and the Rhinos took the win.
Next up, we head to Mullingar to take on the Minotaurs in two weeks.