Sussex Thunder 28 Bury Saints 28 – Saints are pegged back by last-gasp touchdown

Action from Bury Saints' 26-26 draw at Sussex Thunder - QB (9) Francis Hughes hands ball off to RB (

Action from Bury Saints' 26-26 draw at Sussex Thunder - QB (9) Francis Hughes hands ball off to RB (7) Cory Jenkins. Picture: William G Watson - Credit: William G Watson

Just under 12 months ago a hot and sunny day was the backdrop for an epic encounter between the two sides which saw the Saints win in triple overtime and advance to the RoseBowl.

The Saints defense came out of the blocks flying, and from the first play from scrimmage CB Dmont Herring intercepted a deep pass from the Sussex QB which he returned 55 yards for a TD.

The Green and Gold extended their lead in the second quarter when QB Francis Hughes led an 85 yard drive which culminated in a 44 yard TD pass to WR Aaron Wheatley.

A few drives later it was the Thunders turn to turn the screw, as they intercepted a Hughes pass and two plays later ran in points of their own to make the Half Time score 14-7 to Bury. The second half started evenly but it was the Thunder that put the first second half points on the board as after a poor punt by Bury, they drove 31 yards ending with a rushing TD to tie the game at 14-14.

As the third quarter came towards its end Hughes hit RB Cory Jenkins on a swing pass, and he turned the corner for a 57 yard TD. The two point conversion was unsuccessful and the Saints held a 20-14 lead.

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The fourth quarter saw Sussex drive 70 yards downfield to tie the game, and the subsequent PAT was successful to give them the narrowest of 21-20 leads with 12 minutes remaining. Saints responded with a touchdown from Wheatley with White adding the extras giving them a 28-21 lead. Thunder came back well though and with two seconds left scored a touchdown to secure a tie with the extras.

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