Author Archives: Peter Upham

Sutherland Seahawks Defeat UTS Gators to Win 11th Championship

 

The Sutherland Seahawks defeated UTS Gators, 20-16, to win their 11th Championship and their first state championship since 2017.

 

The Seahawks faced the reigning Bowl champions, UTS Gators who had won 2 straight State Championships. These two teams were looking forward to a finals clash all season, finishing the year first and second in the standings, respectively.

 

The State Championship, held at PointsBet stadium, was the first game the Seahawks had in their own backyard all season. The home crowd certainly made a difference in the 4th quarter, it was the loudest “Seahawks” chant heard in recent years.

The challengers began with the ball and chewed 9 minutes off of the running clock. The 15-play drive had UTS defenders pulling their hair out as they couldn’t get off the field. Running back Steven Gamu would end up crashing into the end zone in what would be his swan song in the U19’s competition.

The Seahawks defense were chomping at the bit to take the field. After a tireless week of scout and preparation for the Gators’ offense, they were ready. A fast 3 and out gave the defense confidence. The Hawks’ offense stalled a drive of their own and returned the ball to UTS. But the defense stayed hot. Tremendous pressure on the UTS quarterback and sticky pass coverage lead to another 3 and out, including 2 pass deflections from Seahawk defenders.

 

The offense started rolling as UTS shot themselves in the foot with penalties. A “roughing the punter” was awarded and the Hawks’ drove the field. The 8-play drive chewed more clock and more importantly put points on the board. Quarterback Harry Clarke punched in a touchdown of his own putting the Seahawks up 12-0.

 

Halfway through the second quarter, the Gators reached their only first down of the first half on a seven play drive. But the defense stood stout with 4 incompletions forcing a turnover on downs at midfield.

 

The Offense chewed more clock but gave the football back to UTS on their 25 yard line via turnover on downs. With under a minute before halftime, the defense stood tall again. Four straight incompletions took the Hawks to halftime with a 12-0 lead and UTS confused in their inability to move the ball.

Halftime Score – Seahawks 12 Gators 0

 

UTS opening the second half with the football gave them a chance to get in the game but the Seahawks defense expected some changes and were ready. UTS, more balanced, began to run the ball but still had deficiencies in the pass game as Safety Xavier Patte intercepted the football.

The Seahawks offense were slow in the 3rd quarter, with just 1 drive resulting in a punt. The defense returned and their bend don’t break mentality had been tough all game. But the Gators stayed balanced and began to move the rock. Linebacker Ethan Scott was a menace all game with 9 tackles, 1 pass deflection and 2 QB hits.

 

Entering the 4th quarter, the Gators running back finished off the 11-play drive, scoring their first points of the game. But quarterback Harry Clarke wasn’t going to lose this game. A 2-play drive saw the Seahawks push the lead to 20-8. The Seahawks’ playmaker outran the defense for the 77-yard touchdown on a QB keep.

 

The Gators returned to the field and being down two scores, time was slowly running out. The Seahawks defense kept their ‘grind it out’ mentality and continued to shut down any explosive plays. A few referee calls prolonged the drive and the Gators running back broke into the end zone for his second touchdown of the day. The 11-play drive chewed over 5 minutes of clock. Seahawks 20 Gators 16.

 

The Gators attempted an onside kick and recovered it. Seahawks players and fans reeling as certain victory had gone begging. But the defense knew it was their time, their opportunity to win the game and seal an 11th championship.

 

The Gators with the ball just shy of halfway and under two minutes had their shot at a 3rd bowl win in as many years. The Gators ran the football in an attempt to get some chunk yards but inevitably knew they would half to pass the ball against this stout pass defense. The fierce pass rush of ‘Kookaburra Bowl MVP’ Daniel McDonald made the opposing quarterback uncomfortable for four quarters.

 

The 8-play drive ended on an incompletion forced into tight coverage by Safety Seb Riley. With the ball hitting the turf; the Seahawks sideline and home fans erupted knowing the game was over and the Seahawks were Bowl champions. The offense returned to the field for the last time to kneel out the clock. A swan song finish for many graduating players who have spent years studying, watching and playing the game of football.

Final Score – Seahawks 20 Gators 16

 

This victory was the first Colts’ championship for Head Coach Daniel Besz and the young coaching staff. Many of whom had been apart of the Seahawks 5-year championship run spanning from 2013-2017 as players.

 

The Sutherland Seahawks will enjoy the offseason and will return next season as they hunt for their twelfth championship.

Kookaburra Bowl Stat Leaders

 

Offense

Harry Clarke – 7/18, 37 pass yards, 1 2PT, 12 rush, 138 yards, 2 TD

Steven Gamu – 8 rush, 40 yards, 1 TD

Mitch Sawyer – 3 rec, 23 yards, 1 2PT

 

Defense

Ethan Scott – 9 tackles, 1 PDEF, 2 QB Hits, 1 TFL

Xavier Patte – 4 tackles, 1 INT, 1 PDEF, 2 TFL

Seb Riley – 8 tackles, 1 PDEF

Kiaani Matthews – 6 tackles, 2 PDEF

 

Seahawks Advance to Championship Game.

The Sutherland Seahawks faced the Ducks for the 3rd time this season. This time, it was for a spot in the Championship.

 

The Seahawks defeated the Ducks in both regular season games but knew this wouldn’t be an easy feat. The respective number 2 and 3 teams on the competition ladder had a feeling this game would go down to the wire.

 

The ‘Hawks received the ball first and knew if they were going to win this game they would have to score a lot of points. The number 1 ranked offense was ready for the challenge. A first drive 58-yard touchdown run by running back Blake Maddock blew the doors off. Seahawks 8-0.

The Ducks responded with a stout running attack. The 6-play drive appeared over before the Ducks’ quarterback converted a 3rd and 12 with a deep touchdown pass. Seahawks lead 8-6.

 

After exploding for touchdown drives, both teams stalled their second possession and were forced to punt. The Ducks sent a booming punt down the field and the pressure by a tackler forced a Seahawk fumble deep in their own half. Ducks would recover. The Ducks took advantage with a 5-play scoring drive and took their first lead of the game. Ducks 14-8.

 

The Seahawks offense was quick to pull the trigger as quarterback Harry Clarke found wide receiver Matt Hull three times on the scoring drive including a 33-yard touchdown pass down the sideline. Seahawks reclaimed the lead 16-14.

The defense tightened with a bend but don’t break attitude before halftime. Outlasting a 7-play drive by forcing and recovering a fumble. The offense tried to push the ball downfield before halftime but to no avail.

 

Halftime Score – Seahawks 16 Ducks 14

 

The defense would try to make amends for their slow start but couldn’t get things right. The 10-play Ducks drive resulted in a touchdown run up the middle. Ducks 22 – 16.

 

Luckily, the Seahawks offense was having an outstanding game. A few plays and a terrific touchdown scamper by running back Steven Gamu pushed the Seahawks infront. The Seahawks offense was tremendous in converting 2 pt plays, being 4/5 on the day. Seahawks 24-22.

 

The Ducks started to push the ball and the ‘Hawks defense was looking for any sort of momentum. An interception by defensive back Seb Riley gave them a spark they would need for the 4th quarter.

The offense continued to roll and made the most of the field position from the turnover. Another fast scoring drive resulted in a Matt Hull touchdown grab in the end zone, his second of the day. With a chance to push the lead to two possessions, they couldn’t convert the 2pt giving the Ducks a chance being down 8 points. Seahawks lead 30 – 22.

 

The Ducks with a lifeline felt the urgency and drove down the field for an 11-play drive converting multiple 4th down attempts. The Ducks threw a deep touchdown pass over the middle. The Ducks down by 2 needed the conversion and kept the ball in the air to do it. Scores tied 30-30.

 

With minimal time left, the Seahawks offense was forced to punt. The defense had a chance for redemption. The Duck’s quarterback threw the ball outside the numbers on a deep route and cornerback Will Atkinson intercepted the ball sealing overtime for both teams.

The teams were headed to overtime, a just result for the shootout they had been in all game. The Seahawks defense took the field first and blew a coverage on the first play. Ducks 36-30. The Ducks would have to convert the 2pt play to really give the Seahawks offense trouble during their phase. The Ducks threw the ball up on a fade but it fell incomplete through the receivers grasp.

 

The Seahawks offense drove the condensed field on 4 plays resulting in a Harry Clarke scramble for a touchdown. Game tied 36-36. The Seahawks now with the chance to end the game and book their spot in the championship game. Quarterback Harry Clarke scrambles right looking for a receiver before ducking his shoulder and making a would-be tackler miss with some footwork and ran into the end zone. The sideline erupted! Sutherland Seahawks are going to the Kookaburra Bowl!

Final Score – Seahawks 38 Ducks 36

 

With a championship on the line, the Sutherland Seahawks will face reigning Bowl champions, UTS Gators at PointsBet Stadium, 2:30pm Saturday.

 

Finals Week 2 Stat Leaders

 

Offense

Harry Clarke – 11/21, 103 pass yards, 2 TD, 11 rush 57 yards, 1 TD

Steven Game – 10 rush, 69 yards, 1 TD

Blake Maddock – 4 rush, 78 yards, 1 TD

Matt Hull – 6 rec, 55 yards, 2 TD

 

Defense

Ethan Scott – 15 tackles, 1 FF, 1 TFL

Seb Riley – 11 tackles, 1 INT, 1 FF,

Will Atkinson – 10 tackles, 1 INT, 2 TFL

Xavier Patte – 11 tackles, 1 FR

Seahawks Defeat Ducks to Claim Second Seed

The Sutherland Seahawks survive the heat and outlast the Nepean Ducks, 40-8.

 

The Seahawks were excited and focused to get back to football after the holiday break and proved they were hungry for a playoff bye.

 

The Ducks started fast, stealing a turnover on defense and scoring on the following drive. The Seahawks defense had a soft first drive but were adamant they would turn it around quickly.

The ‘Hawks offense answered with a touchdown drive of their own. The 4-play drive resulted in a 28-yard rushing touchdown for Steven Gamu.

 

The defense stood up, proving the “bend, don’t break” mentality as defensive back Seb Riley intercepted a deep ball after a nine-play drive.

The Seahawks pounced on opportunity this game as Steven Gamu scooped up a fumbled punt and took it inside the red zone. Running Back Steven Gamu punched in his second touchdown of the day on a short run.

 

The offense had one more chance for points before halftime and were adamant to score. Quarterback Harry Clarke scrambled out of the pocket and found wide receiver Spencer Christlo. Spencer made a couple defenders miss and took it 62-yards on the stroke of halftime.

Halftime Score – Seahawks 24 Ducks 8

 

The Seahawks’ special teams continued to explode. Running back Blake Maddock took a kickoff return to the house for an 82-yard touchdown.

 

The defense held the Ducks to a 6-play drive before the offense struck again. Harry Clarke took the ball for a 27-yard scamper and another touchdown.

 

The Seahawks’ defense held strong picking up three more sacks and two more interceptions in the 4th quarter.

 

The Sutherland Seahawks finished the season ranked second on the ladder and solidified a playoff bye.

 

Final Score – Seahawks 40 Ducks 8

 

Week 12 Stat Leaders

 

Offense

Harry Clarke – 7/8, 100 pass yards, 1 TD, 6 rush, 62, 1 TD

Steven Gamu – 10 rush, 69 yards, 2 TD

Spencer Christlo – 2 rec, 68 yards, 1 TD

 

Defense

Ethan Scott – 10 tackles, 2 TFL

Seb Riley – 4 tackles, 2 INT, 1 PDEF

Will Atkinson – 4 tackles, 1 INT

Lachie Williams – 2 tackles, 2 sacks

 

Special Teams

Blake Maddock – 1 KR, 82 yards, 1 TD

Seahawks Stay Hot and Beat Mustangs to Move to 5-0

The Sutherland Seahawks put together a strong team performance to stay undefeated and beat the Wollongong Mustangs 46-6.

 

The Seahawks weren’t going to have another slow start after last weeks dismal first half performance. All three phases showed up in the first half to put on an exhibition for the homefield fans.

 

The Seahawks defense stood up early with an interception on the third play from scrimmage by safety Seb Riley. The Seahawks offense kept the ball on the ground with an explosive run by running back Blake Maddock who dived past the pylon for the score.

  

A quick stop by the defense allowed the offense to continue rolling. A 6-play drive capped off by rookie tight end Mitch Sawyer; his first touchdown of the season.

 

Linebacker Lachie Williams blitzed through for his first sack of the game and would help the defense get off the field quickly. Punt returner Matt Hull caught the high ball and found an alley to return the punt 61 yards for his second special teams touchdown of the season.

The defense saw its opportunity to score when safety Seb Riley snagged his second interception of the game. Seb was able to find space and sprint into the endzone to capture the first defensive touchdown of the year.

 

Another stop by the defense gave the offense another chance to score. Two nice receptions, including a sideline grab by wide reciever Matt Hull set up the offense inside the 20. Running back Steven Gamu busted a 19-yard run for his first score of the game.

The Wollongong offense returned to the field and was able to muster an 8-play drive and punch in a 10-yard rushing touchdown before halftime.

 

Halftime Score – Seahawks 34 Mustangs 6

The Seahawks offense returned to the field after halftime and scored on a 3-play drive, capped off with a touchdown to wide receiver Trae Stephens. The Seahawks defense jogged back on the field and safety Seb Riley intercepted his third pass of the game; a career-high day for the veteran defensive back.

With good field position, the offense took advantage and quarterback Perry Cunningham lofted a 14-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Harry Clarke.

 

The game ended early during the third quarter due to low numbers and an injury concern for a Mustangs player. The Sutherland Seahawks wish the best to him and the rest of the Wollongong Mustangs team and we would like to thank them for striving to play through injuries and the heat.

 

Final Score – Seahawks 46 Mustangs 6

The Sutherland Seahawks move to 5-0 and face last year’s champions, UTS Gators, Saturday 28th November at Neptune Oval, Revesby.

Week 7 Stat Leaders

 

Offense

Perry Cunningham – 9/18, 144 pass yards, 3 TD

Steven Gamu – 5 rush, 56 yards, 1 TD, 1 2PT conv

Harry Clarke – 3 rec, 53 yards, 1 TD

 

Defense

Seb Riley – 3 tackles, 3 INT, 1 PDEF, 1 TD

Lachie Williams – 6 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 TFL

Austin Green – 4 tackles, 0.5 sack

 

Special Teams

Matt Hull – 1 PR, 61 yards, 1 TD

Seahawks Beat Sydney Uni in Thriller Comeback

The Sutherland Seahawks extend their undefeated streak to 4-0 with a thriller come from behind victory against the Sydney University Cubs.

 

The Seahawks were slow to wake up for an early Saturday morning kickoff as both the offense and the defense struggled in the first half. The offense went for a 6-play drive before turning the ball over on downs in the Cubs half.

 

The defense was still rubbing the sleep from their eyes as the Cubs took advantage with a deep shot on their first play from scrimmage. Sydney Uni’s quarterback threw a touchdown to a receiver in the corner of the endzone to cap off the drive. Cubs hit the lead, 6-0.

 

The Seahawks offense returned to the field but stalled after 5 plays resulting in a punt. Punter Matt Hull kicked a terrific punt landing inside the 10-yard line. The defense held strong with two sacks by rookie linebacker Lachie Williams.

 

The offense returned to the field but to no avail as a fumble set up the Cubs in good field position. The Cubs offense taking advantage of the turnover with a deep shot towards the endzone. The catch and run resulting in a touchdown. Cubs further their lead, 14-0.

 

The Seahawks offense was motivated by their turnover and drove the field in 7 plays; running back Steven Gamu punched in the 2-yard touchdown to get the Seahawks on the board. Cubs lead 14 – 6.

 

The defense was starting to roll but couldn’t manage to get off the field. The Cubs converting multiple 3rd downs throughout the game. A 13-play drive that chewed the clock played to the Cubs advantage. But the defense holding tight and creating the turnover on downs gave the Seahawks offense the ball with 5:45 minutes left on the clock.

 

The offense progressed forward each play on the drive, the ‘hawks finally feeling the momentum. A jet sweep pop up pass allowed wide receiver Spencer Christlo to get on the outside with plenty of work to do. Spencer beat four tackle attempts on the 23-yard touchdown reception which flipped the game. The Seahawks lined up for the 2-pt conversion attempt. Quarterback Perry Cunningham making a great read and finding receiver Matt Hull open for the score. Game tied 14-14.

 

The defense returned to the field with one goal in mind, get the football back. The 6-play drive saw Sydney Uni reach midfield. With three defenders in the face of the quarterback, he forced an errant throw. Linebacker Albert Johnson intercepted the ball and made a short return. The consistent pressure by the defensive line forced multiple incompletions on the day.

 

The offense at midfield was ready to hit the lead and it only took 1 play. A quick throw to wide receiver Harry Clarke allowed him to beat a defender and fly down the sideline. Making 3 tacklers miss, Harry raced into the endzone for the go-ahead touchdown. The offense, the sideline and the away fans erupted at the sight of the score. Seahawks 22-14.

 

Sydney Uni began their drive on their own 15-yard line. The Seahawks defense needed one more stop to cement the comeback victory. A blitzing Lachie Williams pressured the quarterback into looking to throw, and defensive end Finn McNamara intercepted the football at the 10-yard line. The interception solidified a second-half shutout by the defense and sealed an incredible come from behind victory for the Sutherland Seahawks.

Final Score – Cubs 14 Seahawks 22

 

The Sutherland Seahawks will be looking for a more complete performance next week against the Wollongong Mustangs at Neptune Park, Revesby.

 

Week 6 Stat Leaders

 

Offense

Perry Cunningham – 8/11, 144 pass yards, 2 TD, 0 INT, 21 rush yards

Steven Gamu – 11 rush, 29 yards, 1 TD, 1 2PT conv

Blake Maddock – 8 rush, 51 yards

Harry Clarke – 3 rec, 64 yards, 1 TD

 

Defense

Albert Johnson – 5 tackles, 1 INT, 1 PDEF

Seb Riley – 7 tackles, 1 PDEF

Lachie Williams – 1 tackle, 2 sacks, 2 PDEF

Ethan Scott – 5 tackles, 1 sack

Finn McNamara – 3 tackles, 1 INT, 1 PDEF

Strong Team Performance Takes the Seahawks to 2-0

The Sutherland Seahawks make a statement as they roll through the Northern Sydney Rebels, 32-6.

 

The Seahawks came out strong and had no signs of looking flat. A quick stop came for the defense as Linebacker Ethan Scott dived on a loose football, setting up the offense at the Rebels 11-yard line.

The offense struck quick as running back Steven Gamu juked his way to an 11-yard touchdown run. The defense picked up where they left off last week with another short drive. The Rebels dedicated rush attack allowed the Seahawks defensive line and linebackers to get into a rhythm early with two tackles for loss in the first 2 drives.

The Seahawks offense returned to the field and drove into the Rebels red zone with a mixed play selection. A quick first quarter was in the books and the Seahawks were burdened with a 4th and 12. Quarterback Perry Cunningham was able to find wide receiver Harry Clarke open in the corner of the end zone for the 22-yard score.

 

The offense drove the field through the air and running back Blake Maddock was eager to find his way into the endzone. Maddock sprinted to the corner pylon; and in an effort to reach across the goal line, fumbled the football. Harry Clarke provided a heads up play recovering the football in the end zone, resulting in 6 points for the Seahawks.

The Seahawks offense scored 3 from 4 drives, and the defense stayed hot, holding the Rebels to 0; allowing only 1 pass completion before halftime.

 

Halftime Score – Seahawks 22 – Rebels 0

The defense continued its hot streak as a punt pinned the Rebels offense on their own goal line. An aggressive play call allowed rookie linebacker Lachie Williams to fly into the backfield for a safety; the defenses first score of the season.

The Seahawks offense stalled during the second half of the game, with the Rebels coming away with 2 forced punts and two turnovers. The Rebels would take advantage of the short field going on to score a touchdown through the air. Although, the Seahawks defense continued to rally together and it would be the only score against them for the day.

Seahawks running backs took turns toting the rock in the 4th quarter as Perry Cunningham finished the drive by throwing his 2nd touchdown pass of the game. Wide receiver Trae Stephens hauled in his 2nd touchdown of the season.

Final Score – Seahawks 32 – Rebels 6

The Sutherland Seahawks move to 2-0 and face last year’s champions, UTS Gators next  Saturday 31st October. The game was originally scheduled for Neptune Oval, Revesby, but has now moved to Kareela Oval, Kareela 1pm.

Week 3 Stat Leaders

Offense

Perry Cunningham – 13/25 112 yards, 2 TD, 2 INT

Steven Gamu – 10 Rush, 93 yards, 1 TD

Trae Stephens – 7 Rec, 62 yards, 1 TD

Harry Clarke – 4 Rec, 37 yards, 2 TD

Defense

Ethan Scott – 12 Tackles, 1 FR, 6 TFL

Lachie Williams – 10 Tackles, 4 TFL, 1 Safety

Daniel McDonald – 7 Tackle, 1 Sack

SEAHAWKS WIN OPENER AGAINST PIRATES

The Sutherland Seahawks opened the season with a 32-12 win over the Western Sydney Pirates.

The Western Sydney Pirates caught the Seahawks napping on the opening play with a kickoff return touchdown. But the Seahawks’ offense didn’t take long to get in rhythm; a 6-play drive capped off by a Steven Gamu touchdown run.

The Seahawks Defense bounced back with a quick turnover as rookie linebacker Ethan Scott recovered a fumble at the Pirates 16-yard line. Quarterback Perry Cunningham took an immediate deep shot to wide receiver Spencer Christlo resulting in a touchdown pushing the Seahawks to a 14-6 lead.

Another quick defensive drive allowed the Seahawks offense to game plan a 5-play touchdown drive, with rookie running back Blake Maddock diving towards the pylon for the score.

The Seahawks defense couldn’t get off the field during a Pirates 16-play drive. Two 4th down penalties kept the drive alive for the Pirates resulting in a touchdown.

A 4th quarter grind by both teams chewed the clock and the defense was able to keep the Pirates scoreless in the second half.

Final Score – Seahawks 32 Pirates 12

With a week 2 win in the books, the Seahawks turn their attention to the North Sydney Rebels in a week 3 battle at Forestville Park.

 

Week 2 Stat Leaders

Offense

Perry Cunningham – 15/23, 157 yards, 2 TD, 2 INT

Steven Gamu – 7 Rush, 53 yards, 1 TD

Trae Stephens – 6 Rec, 48 yards, 1 TD

Harry Clarke – 4 Rec, 50 yards, 1 2PT conv

Defense

Ethan Scott – 8 Tackles, 1.5 Sacks, 1 INT, 1 FR, 1 TFL

Xavier Patte – 4 Tackles, 0.5 Sack, 2 Pass Def

Daniel McDonald – 1 Tackle, 1 Sack, 1 Pass Def, 1 TFL

Special Teams

Matt Hull – 2 KR, 128 yards, 1 TD

2020 Tryout information

New players can register their interest in attending try out days with the club’s coaches via this link.

The 2020 season start date will be announced shortly by Gridiron NSW. Modified team training will begin shortly with normal team training beginning in July.

2019 SEASON TRYOUTS UPCOMING

 

The dates for the tryouts for the Division One and Colts Team have been set:

Colts (Ages 15-19):  Friday 7th June 7-8pm

Division 1: Saturday 8th June 3.30pm to 4.30pm

You will need boots and yourselves only.

You may register your interest in attending my emailing sutherlandseahawks2018@gmail.com

Successful recruits will be invited to equipment fit outs beginning June 10th.

Location: The tryouts are will be held at Waratah Athletics Track Sutherland