14th February 2016 – Pythons vs Falcons – Game preview

Sunday sees Cambridge play Kent for the second time this season, team Statistician and Archivist Coach Steve Guy has penned a history of the fixture and were we both stand.

The season so far for Kent…

01/11/15 Sussex Saxons 34-6 Kent Falcons (L)
15/11/15 UEA Pirates 16-8 Kent Falcons (L)
22/11/15 Kent Falcons 14-26 Sussex Saxons (L)
29/11/15 Kent Falcons 16-9 Cambridge Pythons (W)
06/12/15 Brighton Tsunami 9-2 Kent Falcons (L)
31/01/16 Kent Falcons 18-0 UEA Pirates (W)
14/02/16 Cambridge Pythons -v- Kent Falcons
21/02/16 Kent Falcons -v- Brighton Tsunami

Much like the Pythons, Kent has struggled this season in the rarefied air of the newly formed BUCS South East 1A Conference. The Falcons opened with a heavy 34-6 defeat away to Sussex which has been their heaviest defeat of the season. Three other defeats have also occurred, but they have not been disgraced by the score in any of these. They closed out 2015 with a tense, come-from-behind 16-9 victory over the Pythons. A second victory happened in their last game with a shutout win over UEA that was something of an upset to the form book. The Falcons will be looking to build some momentum on that win to close out their season, starting today.

History of the Fixture

1996 Cambridge Pythons 24-0 Kent Falcons
2012 Kent 20-22 Cambridge Pythons
2013 Kent Falcons 0-20 Cambridge Pythons
2015 Cambridge Pythons 17-0 Kent Falcons
2015 Kent Falcons 16-9 Cambridge Pythons

The very first time these two proud teams played each other was in 1996 – before a number of the players today were even born! Back then Cambridge won 24-0. Interesting fact to note – The head coach of the Pythons in 1996 was Julian Fuller – he is still our head coach in 2016!

It would be 16 years before we would meet again. In 2012 the Pythons travelled to the undefeated 4-0 Kent more in hope than expectation. A performance for the ages from Nick Roope for the Pythons on both sides of the ball (119 yards and 3TDs rushing combined with making 2 interceptions) lead the way to a shock 22-20 Pythons victory. Current Pythons Tim Allen and Jack Tavener (who also snagged an interception in this win) were part of the roster and will be looking for a repeat performance today.

2013 saw a smothering 20-0 win for the Pythons with all three touchdowns (Jack Tavener, Joe Moore and Alex Brew) all coming from runs. Brew also managed to grab two interceptions as the Pythons defense had a great day. This was a much-needed win that would kick-start our season after an opening loss to UK college football superpower Herts.

The final regular season game of the 2014/15 season saw the two teams meet at Coldham’s, knowing that the winner would be crowned Conference Champions advancing to the playoffs with the loser going home, their season over. The Pythons ran out 17-0 winners with a controlled performance and all the points coming in the first half. A field goal by Jack Tavener (that man again!) opened the scoring and then touchdowns by Joe Moore (a run) and James Digby (a catch from a Joe Yarwood pass) puts the seal on things.

The most recent game was in the first half of this season, when the two teams met at the end of November. Both went into the game winless, desperate to grab a win to reboot their respective seasons. Kent opened the scoring in the second quarter with a touchdown resulting from a strip sack of Python’s quarterback Aki Mulay. The Pythons quickly levelled the score at 6-6 with a 25 yard Mulay pass to James Digby before taking a 9-6 lead with a field goal by Jack Tavener (he must really have it in for Kent!). Kent scored a rushing touchdown with their opening drive of the third quarter and then a field goal in the fourth quarter to secure a 16-9 victory.