Sunderland Spartans failed to score for the second time this season as they lost 35-0 to Edinburgh Napier Knights.

In their last game before the Christmas break, the Spartans also lost QB Trevor Hill early in the fourth quarter to a shoulder injury, leaving back-up QB Mark Daniel Laing to close out the game.

It was a nightmare start for the Spartans, with QB Hill throwing an interception early on in the first quarter, handing the ball to the Napier Knights on the Spartans 40-yard line.

Following that play, the Napier Knights scored the opening touchdown, with the running back eluding several tackles to walk the ball into the end zone. After a successful conversion, the Napier Knights took a 7-0 lead.

Despite wave after wave of attack, the Spartans defence were able to hold out the away side for the rest of the opening quarter.

The Spartans didn’t improve in the second quarter, with poor offensive play resulting in the Napier Knights offence getting the ball in good field position.

They were then soon able to extend their lead, with the Scots QB feeding the ball to the running back, who was able to convert from the one-yard line to take the score to 14-0.

The Napier Knights scored their third touchdown of the game to open the third quarter. Leaning on their running game once more, the QB again handed the ball off to his running back who managed to weave his way through the secondary to convert, making the score 21-0.

Worse was yet to come for the free-falling Spartans as QB Hill coughed up the ball under pressure in his own end zone to hand the Napier Knights another touchdown, taking the score to 29-0.

With the Spartans defence limiting the visitors to only two field goals in the remainder of the game, the final score finished 36-0 in favour of the Napier Knights, much to the relief to the Spartans coaching team who were left without QB Hill for the last four minutes after falling heavily on his shoulder.

After the loss, receiver Jonny Grey was keen to praise on the rest of the team.

“There is no way to get around it, that was a tough game,” said Grey

“I am very proud of all of the team because we fought all the way until the end, despite the opposition having double the numbers.”

Head coach Pete Nichol echoed Grey’s comments before encouraging his team to come back in the new year fit and ready to fight.

“As Jonny said, I am very proud of the fight we showed today. No-one lacked effort today and if we had as big a group of players as Edinburgh, we would have beaten them.” said Nichol

“Everybody can go and enjoy their Christmas, rest up, get back to full fitness then come back ready for the second half of the season.”

After the Christmas break, the Spartans travel to Scotland to face Glasgow Tigers on January 28.