Cambridge Beats the Spread to Crush ARU

Post – Match Summary, Sunday, February 2, 2014 vs. Anglia Ruskin – at the Coldham’s Common, Cambridge.

Cambridge found itself in unfamiliar territory heading into the Coldham’s Bowl against city rival Anglia Ruskin on Super Bowl Sunday.  For the first time this season, the Pythons, with a record of 2-1, were favoured to win … and by 28 points no less.

The Cambridge coaches and captains, respectful of the Rhino’s improvements this year, reminded their players that twice this season the Pythons had punished teams who had underestimated them.  They were decidedly not about to be guilty of the same mistake, particularly as they strive to keep their playoff hopes alive.

The Pythons were further encouraged by a band of faithful fans and the enthusiastic cheering support of the Cambridge Cougars.

Cambridge won the coin toss and kicked off, putting their stellar defense on the field first.  ARU fumbled the first play from scrimmage, which was recovered by full blue lineman Thomas Piachaud and the men in light blue launched their first attack.

It took only two plays for quarterback Joe Yarwood to sail a pass into the hands of Canadian wide receiver Jaason Geerts for a 28-yard touchdown.  Yarwood scored a two point conversion, setting Cambridge ahead 8-0.

Cambridge’s iron curtain defensive line again held strong in the next series, forcing ARU to go three and out.

Next, the Pythons unleashed their ground assault, led by Alex “Special” Brew.  Brew started the drive with a 47 yard run (a career long) and finished with a 2-yard touchdown.  Yarwood connected with Sebastian Funk for the two point conversion, putting Cambridge up 16-0.

Jake Moore kicked the ball back to the Rhinos only to recover it himself after Tom Big Ginger Carr forced yet another fumble.

The Pythons then spearheaded an 8-play drive culminating in a 2-yard touchdown by Sidney student Joe Moore only two plays after making a brilliant catch deep in enemy territory.  The two point conversion was good and Cambridge led 24-0 as the first quarter expired.

The ensuing possession saw ARU again fail to muster any offence, going three and out.  A fumbled snap on the punt was recovered by Pete Campbell on the ARU 15 yard line.  Penalty trouble stalled the Pythons’ advances and they turned the ball over.

ARU again failed to gain any ground, this time thanks in part to the Pythons’ secondary and cornerback Samwise Thompson.

After a few broken plays on the next drive, rookie Brad Idzik broke through the Rhino’s defenders and raced in for a 55-yard touchdown.  ARU thwarted the two point conversion, leaving Cambridge up 30-0 at the end of the half.

Before returning to play, the Cambridge captain set a goal of maintaining the shutout for the second half even as many starters were replaced by substitutes.

The Rhino’s defense took the field in the third quarter fired up and sacked quarterback Aki Mulay twice in the opening drive.  A fantastic punt by Guy Peters pinned ARU on their own 5 yard-line.  The Rhino offense finally found some life as well with an opening 16-yard run.  Cambridge responded with force, with Sam Alderson and Thomas Piachaud both sacking the quarterback on successive plays.  The latter caused a fumble, which Piachaud recovered on the ARU 14 yard-line.

The third member of the Holy Trinity of Offense Jonty Richardson wasted no time smashing his way into the endzone with a 14 yard run and then completed the score with the two point conversion.  This brought Cambridge to 38-0.

The teams then traded turnovers: Sebastian Funk intercepting a Rhino pass and a fumble by Cambridge.  ARU again went three and out and the third quarter came to a close.

The onset of the fourth quarter helped Mulay find his stride, leading an eight play drive that was capped off by a 25-yard dash by Idzik for his second touchdown on the day.  The conversion was no good, leaving the Pythons ahead 44-0.

ARU fumbled again on the next drive, which was recovered by Pete Castle Campbell (his second of the game).

As the clock started winding down and Cambridge found itself deep in the ARU redzone, they put lineman Thomas Piachaud in at quarterback.  Despite heavy blitzing by the Rhinos, on third down, Piachaud somehow found Jake Moore in the endzone for an 8-yard touchdown.  Mulay threw to Big Ginger Carr for the two point conversion.  52-0 Cambridge.

ARU’s final drive was ended by a Guy Peters intercepted and the game concluded with a crushing tackle by Kevin “friendly fire” Maloney.

The Pythons’ playoff hopes live on and once again, Cambridge beat the odds and maintained theiur shutout.  Excellent performances were had by offensive MVP Joe Yarwood with a touchdown and a pair of two-point conversions on the day, the defensive line, Brad Idzik with two touchdowns, special teams MVP Jonty Richardson, and rookie MVP Aki Mulay.

One of the spectators was Brian Jelley, the coach of the Cambridge Cats, the county’s Premier Division team.  He told the Cambridge captain after the game that he was very impressed with their performance and invited several Pythons to play at the county level.

Final score Cambridge 52, Anglia Ruskin 0.

The Pythons would like to thank all the fans who attended and in particular, the Cambridge Cougars.

The Pythons’ next game is Sunday, February 9 at Coldham’s Common versus Essex at 1:00 p.m.

The Pythons are still welcoming new players.  No previous American football experience required.  For more information, please contact Sam Thompson at sirt2@cam.ac.uk.