Top Ten Under-19 “Here Comes the Boom” moments - 2016-2019
10 Toby Naylor makes a block in junior debut (2017)
Number 44 hit the ground running in his first regular season under-19 game. As well as making this nice ‘clack’ on a punt return, Toby recorded a pick and a fumble recovery that game. Another player making his junior debut was cornerback Kieron Johnson, who recorded 2 picks and a bat down.
9 Rowan Milner stands up ball carrier for a TFL (2018)
Here’s middle linebacker Rowan Milner’s masterclass on how to bag yourself a tackle for loss. Step 1: identify the run. Step 2: tear through the gap. Step 3: wrap ‘em up.
8 Nick Bergamaschi hurries QB, forces pick (2017)
In a home game with the Farnham Knights, linebacker Nick Bergamaschi pressures the Farnham quarterback which forces him to throw an interception. The reason why this play makes number 8 is because - although it was a sweet hit - it came late in the third quarter of a tied game, and the turnover that resulted helped keep the Seahawks in the game for as long as they needed to eventually triumph 20-12.
7 Toby Naylor blows up block (2018)
In this clip, Naylor blitzes the left side and blows up the halfback who steps up to block him. While Naylor doesn’t make the sack on this play, he helped force an incompletion and, besides, Hannah Elton-Dobbin’s photos of the collision are simply incredible.
6 Four pancake blocks in an 8 yard run (2018)
Will Purdy made 8 yards by reversing field in this run against Thames Valley in the season opener. This wasn’t without help, though: FB Dom De Monte lays out a huge hit on an unsuspecting Tigers linebacker; C Kieron Purdham gets a DOUBLE pancake, and; WR Ben Thomas puts yet another body on the floor right before the play ends, taking the total to four pancake blocks!
5 David Pepper blows up block to secure the sack… twice (2016)
Pep’s had a notoriety for his speed and aggression since the day he first stepped on a football field. In this 2016 game with the South London Renegades, Peppers blows up the running back and gets a mean sack on the quarterback. Later on in the same game, he accomplishes the same again.
4 Nick Bergamaschi sacks QB 4 times in 3 quarters (2016)
This game established Nick Bergamaschi as a force to be reckoned with. An unassuming man off the field, Nick is unstoppable within the gridiron and showed that in this 2016 home game with the London Warriors. Nick amassed 4 sacks within the first 3 quarters. David Pepper also got 1.5 sacks, the other 0.5 credited to DL Ben Fuge - so by the time Alfie Griffiths added to the tally with a sack of his own, Warriors quarterback Nathan Webb decided 7 sacks was enough and practically had to be carried off the field. Here’s Nick’s 4 sacks.
3 Sam Gee makes a block on punt return (2019)
What more needs to be said? In the 2019 season opener hosting the Wembley Stallions, fourth-year safety and running back Sam Gee blocks for punt returner Seb Blears and the air time this Wembley gunner gets is just spectacular. Take a look for yourself.
2 Alfie Griffiths lowers the boom in Kent (2017)
Griffiths, standing no taller than 5-foot-7, was one of the smallest guys in the league. For a small man, he had a big personality and made an even bigger impact - not just on the team, but on this Exiles linebacker too! Turn your sound up for this one!
1 Toby Naylor jacks up All-DC receiver (2019)
Jack Stodel, the Hertfordshire Cheetahs’ star offensive player, learned the importance of keeping your ‘head on a swivel’ on this punt. Naylor eyed him up and laid him out without hesitation. The only pity is that this film has no audio - but don’t try imagining it. This hit made a “whump!” like you’ve never heard before. The sound of the hit usually hypes up the sideline, but there was an unordinary quietude after this particular play. The cause for concern was legitimate, as Stodel had messaged Naylor some time afterwards explaining that this hit had broken three of his ribs - an exceptional circumstance that accentuated the force of this collision. It is a visual representation of the Hawks’ 33-6 home victory over the Cheetahs, a ‘payback’ game for the 38-0 defeat in Hertfordshire the previous year - a feat deserving of our #1 spot. Toby is the only player to be featured three times.