Cambridge’s Single Legion Prevails

After last week’s decisive victory over Kent, the Cambridge Pythons American football team hosted the undefeated Northampton Nemesis.  Northampton was favoured to win by 21 points and Cambridge was gravely outnumbered for the second week in a row, dressing only 17 players.

With characteristic indelible will to attack, reminiscent of Caesar’s assault on Rome with a single legion, Cambridge set out to prove they are never to be underestimated, in spite of their numbers.

The Pythons won the coin toss and deferred to Northampton, who elected to receive.  The opening return was impressive and the Nemesis offence took to the field.  Despite some elusive dashes by their quarterback, Northampton’s drive was sloppy and riddled with fumbles and false starts.  They eventually turned the ball over on downs.

Cambridge had trouble igniting their offensively, going three and out on the first drive.  Northampton marched deep into the red zone, but the Pythons’ iron curtain defense stood strong.

Cambridge took over on their own 12 yard line with minutes left in the first quarter.  The unforgiving running attack led by Alex Maximum Brew and speedy Joe Moore, along with completed passes to Canadian wide receiver Jaason Geerts and another to Brew, brought the ball just 4 yards from the Northampton end zone.  Penalties backed the Pythons up 10 yards, but captain Joe Yarwood sailed a pass off the fingertips of a Northampton defender into the hands of his partner in the holy trinity of offence, Jaason Geerts, for the first score of the game.  The extra point was no good, putting Cambridge up 6 – 0.

Northampton was bruised but not broken and they returned the ensuing kickoff all the way to even the tally at 6.  They tried a two-point conversion but were unsuccessful.

Both teams’ defenses stepped up for the remainder of the second quarter, forcing back to back three and outs.  The last play of the half was a notable sack by captain Tom Big Ginger Carr.

The second half began with a Cambridge offensive fumble and a long Nemesis drive led by their agile quarterback.  The only highlight for Cambridge in this was a devastating hit by captain and free safety Jack Tavener.  Northampton again found themselves just 5 yards from the end zone, but after ex-NCAA linebacker Yusuf Parray forced a fumble and with a bone-rattling hit, they turned the ball over on downs.

Cambridge again fumbled and Northampton regained control on the Pythons’ 25.  Tom Carr’s relentless punishment of the Nemesis quarterback continued, felling him twice for 5 yard losses each time.

More excellent Pythons’ defense led by Yusuf and Ram deflected more Nemesis pressure.  The third quarter ended with an interception by Brew as Cambridge took over on their own 10.  Yardy was then intercepted but Northampton was forced back at every turn by tackles for losses by Sebbie Funk, Yusuf, and Tim Allen.

The Cambridge offence revived itself and Yardy completed two passes to ironman Tom Carr for 34 yards, which was followed by a gorgeous 20-yard run by Mighty Brew.

Another exchange of possession and the Pythons took over on the Northampton 29 with time winding down in the game.  Brew powered forward on three runs for 15 yards.  This brought up fourth down on the 13 yard line.  The potential game winning kick soared just wide of the upright, but a Nemesis penalty gave Cambridge a second chance.  With 20 seconds to go in the game, Cambridge captain Jack Tavener nailed the field goal to put the Pythons ahead.

FG

All Northampton hopes of a comeback were shattered when Tom Carr added his third sack of the day and Yusuf “I can bench press your entire flat” Parray pummeled the quarterback, forcing a fumble just as the game clock expired.

Another victory for Cambridge against all odds.  Excellent performances were had by special teams MVP Jack Tavener, Yusuf Parray, Alex Major Brew with an interception and tons of yards on the ground, defensive MVP Tim Allen, Tom Carr with four sacks on the afternoon, offensive MVP Joe Moore, and the entire Pythons’ defense who shielded every attack Northampton could mustre.

The men in light blue proved once again the power of a single legion.  The Cambridge captain’s post-game speech was the shortest to date (echoing the odds): “Northampton by 21.”  Final score Cambridge 9, Northampton 6.

team

The Pythons’ next game is Sunday, January 26 at the Farnha

m Royal Rugby Club versus BNU at 1:00 p.m.