Pythons Knock Falcons Off Their Perch
AMERICAN FOOTBALL: Pythons squeeze the life out of the Falcons in a huge upset against a top-10 ranked team.
Snake eating birds or bird eating snakes? Both exist, but this Sunday it was the snakes who proved deadlier as the Cambridge Pythons continued in giant-killing form against the Kent Falcons, ranked eighth in the country.
Prior to the game Kent looked to be a force to be reckoned with, having scored over 40 points in 3 of their 4 matches this season. The Pythons were under no illusion that they would be up against a tough opposition, but confidence was high.
Captain Piachaud flies into the Falcons
The game got underway with the Falcons gaining good field position from the initial kick off, however the offence stalled and punted to the Pythons.
After a run play went for short yardage, QB Joe Yarwood unleashed a pass to the fade, to find WR Steve Kinnersely for a 72 yard connection. Some hard running followed, with last week’s MVP Nick Roope pounding the ball in for the score. The two-point conversion was successful and Cambridge were on top 8-0. Then just before half-time the Falcons got a nice drive going and scored with QB Brendan Spangler passing to WR Harry Carter, with another connection between Spangler and WR Aaron Whitworth levelling the scores at 8-8 at the half.
The second half saw the Pythons keep the ball on the ground, managing to get some really good gains. Despite that, Kent were the first to strike, with Spangler finding WR DeVonte Osar-Emokpae open in the end zone. The conversion was unsuccessful, putting the score at 14-8.
Cambridge didn’t hang around for a reply and struck back when Nick Roope found his way into the end zone on an inside run. With the successful conversion the score stood at 16-14 to the Pythons. With just 5 minutes left in the game the Falcons found an open receiver for a long pass play down the field, giving them a 1st-10 in the Pythons red zone. The Pythons defence stepped up and forced the 4th down. Kent opted for a field goal formation, however the combination of a bobbled snap and some great pressure by the Pythons DL saw the kick blocked by Harry Clifford.
But the Falcons regained possession quickly, and Kent WR Aaron Whitworth found his way into the end zone only for a QB sneak to be stuffed before the line, denying the Falcons a crucial two points. The Falcons were ahead 20-16 with 3 minutes left to go.
But far from giving up, RB Lajos Torok made a huge 40yd run to set the Pythons up in the end zone. Like a hammer to a nail Cambridge pounded the ball up the middle gaining nice yardage each attempt. Finally Nick Roope found an opening and bullied his way over the line. The conversion was unsuccessful, giving the Pythons a 22-20 lead.
With 35 seconds left the Falcons still had time to win the game, but fantastic pressure from the Cambridge DL forced a bad throw from the Falcons QB which ended up in Python hands. The Pythons side-line exploded knowing they had just won the game and had done what many said they couldn’t.
Photos courtesy of Sam Allard