Falcons flying into Varsity

Image courtesy of Kent Falcons and Jaden Shepherd

Just over halfway through their season and the Kent Falcons find themselves at 2-4 after a bruising loss at home to the Brunel Burners. In a hotly contested 1A South East Conference, the Falcons currently sit third with four points, behind joint second Essex Blades and Queen Mary Vipers on six points each, and Brunel topping the table on ten points. Team Captain Tom Cox said of the season so far: “We had a great start of the season and, despite a couple of bumps along the way, the commitment and effort I'm seeing now gives me hope we'll finish the season as well as we started it.”

The season began with two home victories for Kent. First, an easy 42-14 win against Imperial Immortals which saw Kent’s defence suffocate Imperial’s offence and the Falcons offence feast of the back of it. Quarterback Julien Cary balled out, passing for six touchdowns, four caught by game MVP Tom Goddard. The second win came in a hard-fought defensive struggle between the Falcons and the Essex Blades which had no scoring until the 4th Quarter in which a last-minute touchdown and a two-point conversion brought the nail bitter to an end and a victory for Kent.

The third game of the season was an offensive firefight between the Falcons and the Queen Mary Vipers. There is a growing rivalry between the two sides and that was reflected in the score as Queen Mary only won by 1-point in the 38-39 point match up. This marks the first time the Falcons have lost at home in the regular season in years.

Image courtesy of Kent Falcons and Jaden Shepherd

Just before Christmas, the Falcons went on the road to face the Imperial Immortals and fought through tough conditions that resulted in shock loss. The offence did not live up to its full potential with multiple dropped catches, while the injury-laden defence struggled to contain the Immortals offence. Defensive back Lewis Amaira, who broke his collar bone in the game, said of the loss: “Football’s a mental and physical game of four quarters, we came into the second half overconfident and the result reflected that.”

The second half of the season began with the Falcons’ most painful loss to date. In the 15-0 shut out, the Falcons offence could not get the ball downfield. Missing key players hindered the team as there were limited targets for QB Julien Cary who was well protected by his offensive line throughout the game.

Head Coach Greg Chapman said to the team at the end of the play that the loss came from little mistakes. The first touchdown came after a long throw that caught the Falcons secondary napping, putting Brunel right in the red zone who scored on the next play. After kicking for the extra point, the game was 7-0. Midway through the 4th quarter, the Falcons were punting again after another three and out when a muffed punt in the endzone gave Brunel their second touchdown. What followed was one of the little mistakes Chapman was talking about.

Image courtesy of Kent Falcons and Jaden Shepherd

As Brunel lined up for their extra point attempt, Kent was not set, missing players that allowed Brunel to walked it in for two. With two minutes left there was a last gasp of air by the Falcons who managed to drive it downfield aided by a big catch from WR Lewis Moir. However, stumbling in the red zone the Falcons did not score and another painful home loss transpired. One positive for the Falcons to take away from the game was its defence which played brilliantly, with a particular stand out performance by fresher DB Maurice Kyere. The defensive line also had pressure on the Burners QB throughout, sacking him multiple times and causing huge loss of yardage. The Falcons now sit at 2-4 after the loss to Brunel as per league rules, that game counted for two losses for Kent, due to them having to cancel their first matchup. Kent now goes on the road back to back weeks to face Queen Mary and Essex. Kent will need to win both these games and have Queen Mary and Essex loose to Brunel if they are to secure a place in the playoffs.

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First published in 1965, InQuire is the University of Kent student newspaper.

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