The much-awaited Kenyan American Football 8-man league finally commenced with the showdown between the University of Nairobi, Nyati and the Grand Warriors from the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology. As expected, the match was a display of the competitiveness that the sport has grown to be associated with in the country.
The Grand Warriors were participating in their debut match while the Mighty Nyati was fielding a team that was regarded as experienced when it comes to the Kenyan chapter of American football. Coming into the match, the University of Nairobi could safely be regarded as the favorites to win. But this was especially because fans didn’t know what to expect from the new team.
The actual game debunked all these preset notions of Nyati being the best team of the day. From the onset, the team seemed to be ailing from the loss of their star quarterback, Tony Okello. Nyati also seemed to be incapacitated on the line of scrimmage with the Grand Warriors fielding strong linemen largely drawn from the JKUAT sparrows team. Nyati, whose strongest gameplay include passes were officially crippled. Even with very reliable wide receivers, the new
Even with very reliable wide receivers, the new quarterback Edwin Osuma couldn’t make as much completed passes as he needed to dominate the game. The Grand Warriors, on the other hand, noticing these gaps in the Nyati offense and defense went all out, taking every single opportunity they had to outscore the seemingly confused Nyati players. Within the first quarter, the mighty Nyati had conceded 22 points, mostly made from aggressive run plays from the Grand Warriors.
The Mighty Nyati sought to reorganize their defensive plays to stop the Warriors running backs from penetrating their defense even more. These new formations that included reassigning roles and backing up their linemen put up more resistance against the Warriors. This strategy worked prompting the Warriors quarterback to switch to pass plays. One of which would give them their final touchdown bringing the score to 28.
Meanwhile, the Mighty Nyati was trying a variety of offensive plays to no avail. Both pass and run plays were shut down by the fired-up Warriors defense, further frustrating the UoN offense. At the end of the game, they only managed to earn two points from a safety tackle following a kickoff in the first half.
In terms of entertainment, the match was thrilling and interesting with the Warriors striving to stamp authority as contenders of the league while Nyati was working to restore their form. Aggression and charged tackles dotted the game with players on both sides doing their best. The takeaway from the game was that the eight-man league was better played with a range of trick run plays with limited throws. This lesson, though painfully
This lesson, though painfully learned by the UoN Mighty Nyati would be valuable for all the teams going forward. With the high level of competition displayed in the first match of the season, the league is set to be very entertaining in the long term. The second match will be held on the 27th May 2017, Saturday in Umoja 1 primary school. This match will feature the JKUAT sparrows against the Umoja Chiefs.