‘That is what Varsity is all about, sportsmanship' - Fernami Oke, Falcons Game Day Captain
The Kent Falcons sealed a strong win for University of Kent against Canterbury Christ Church University in the first 2019 Varsity game. The score was 46-0, the Kent Falcons American Football team helped UKC to draw first blood against our local rivals the CCCU Chargers in a game which showed off Kent’s potent aerial attack in a rush heavy 1A South-eastern division matchup. The game captured everything that Varsity is about, a large crowd of both UKC and CCCU students turned up in their droves to support their respective sides. The sides were made up of both genders with each team having respectively sized rosters. The game was played with heightened consequences due to the results around the division in recent weeks combined with the pageantry of Varsity.
The game got off to an explosive start with Wide Receiver Tom Goddard (Number 45) showing from the offset the threat that he posed with an early touchdown, two more would follow as Goddard ran away with offensive MVP. When asked post-game about his performance in the Falcons, he added that he ‘hadn’t had a good couple of games recently’ and that the team’s coach was ‘on him with a lot of pressure’. Well, after a three-touchdown performance you would imagine Goddard will avoid a scathing this week.
On the other side of the ball an early interception set the tone and the UKC Kent Falcons never looked back. The Chargers entered Kent’s red zone just the one time and, once again, they turned the ball over. The shutout was Kent’s second of the season and was another fine showing by a defense that last year was ranked nationally as BUCS’ number one.
After the game, line backer Tanaka Gee (Number 59) and Raguel Kwami (Number 30) gave an interview in which they spoke of how ‘defense always ball’s out’ and of how the match with Christchurch shouldn’t be thought of as any more than a normal game as, in the words of the Falcon’s Gee, ‘there is no competition when there is always the same winner’. Kwami went on to make reference to how the crowd had helped to carry the team to the comprehensive win and that it is always that little bit sweeter to beat our ‘enemies’.
In the celebrations that followed the blowout win, the Falcons coach was drilling it into his players about how important it is for them to trust one another as they look to win their second consecutive 1A South East division title. Following this, Game Day Captain, Feranmi Oke (Number 40) spoke to the group to reaffirm how vital the victory was with a three-way fight for the division title ongoing (Kent, UEA, Queen Mary), whilst also paying homage to the fact that although the unbeaten season was derailed last week, the Falcons have not lost a regular season home game in the past 2 and a half years and that now that is the record that the team must fight to retain.
In conclusion, the game was best summed up by a quote from UKC’s very own Game Day Captain. Following an injury to a CCCU Chargers player, Oke turned to his team to state ‘that is what Varsity is all about, sportsmanship’. Or you could argue that the word 'blowout' best summed up the game. I will leave that decision to you. One win, thirty-nine to go.
Photos taken by Violeta Ivanova (InQuire Photographer)
Interviewed by Meg Warwick