Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Battle for First Place

St-Cergues Bulldogs (3-0)
Bron-Villeurbanne Falcons (2-0)

After 2 1/2 months since the last game for both teams, the stage was finally set for the epic contest between the Sud Poule C's last two undefeated squads. Obviously, first place was at stake as well as the inside track to the French Division III National Playoffs.

It was an overcast day with the temperature at kickoff a balmy 36ºF/2ºC. This game was a make-up of a Week #4 game originally scheduled to be played on December 9, 2012. Snow in Lyon that weekend forced the postponement.

John van den Raadt

The Bulldogs had the ball first but the Falcon defense came out strong forcing a Three and Out.

On the Falcons first possession, the Head Coach decided to go for it on fourth down but the St-Cergues defense was ready. The Falcons turned the ball over on downs deep in their own territory. FIRE THE COACH!

The Bulldogs took quick advantage of their good field position and connected on a 20 yard pass for the game's first TD. The Bulldogs kicked the PAT and led early 7-0.

The Falcons got a big pass play of their own when QB John van den Raadt hit WR Christophe Garel on a 50 yard pass that had a late hit penalty on the Bulldogs tacked on at the end. RB Brice Rontet would go the last 8 yards of the drive on a nifty TD run. The PAT was no where near the uprights. The Bulldogs now led 7-6.

The Falcon defense again forced a Three and Out as the First Quarter came to an end with the Bulldogs leading 7-6.

The Falcon offense started to get untracked in the second stanza. With a good mix between running and passing plays, the home team was able to take the lead for the first time as QB John van den Raadt scampered 3 yards for the go-ahead TD. VDR would also score on a two point PAT run to give the Bron-Villeurbanne eleven a 14-7 lead.

The Falcon defense was getting very physical by this point as the game had to be halted a few times for shaken up Bulldog players. The Falcons were pumped up after their third Three and Out of the half.

A penalty slowed down the Falcon offense and, combined with a strong effort by the Bulldog defense, the Falcons were forced to punt after a Three and Out.

The Falcon was about to end the half with another good effort when the Punt Block Fiasco happened. The Bulldog punter was roughed by one of our players., good call as I saw the play. A referee claimed that our return man touched the ball making it a live ball which the Bulldogs recovered. Not sure about this call as I did not see it. Here is the problem, the Head Referee gave them the ball and added a 15 yard penalty for the roughing the kicker. The play thus gained the Bulldogs about 60 yards of field position. This was a very big example of a poor job of penalty enforcement by yet another EuroBall referee. I should be used to it after five years here, but I'm not. Fortunately, the Falcon defense came up with another superb effort and the Bulldogs turned the ball over on downs with about five seconds left in the half.

The Falcons took one more shot at the end zone. John launched it about 65 yards but the Bulldogs prevent defense picked it off, no problem in that circumstance. At the intermission, it was Falcons 14 - Bulldogs 7.

Lots of Hitting in The Pit Today!!!

The first Falcon drive featured a big run by van den Raadt and a bigger pass play from VDR to Christophe Garel. The drive ended when VDR and Garel connected again on an 11 yard TD strike. Papi Bastiand found his mark on the PAT and the Falcons were in command 21-7.

The Bulldogs mounted a good drive of their own until DE Remi Laurencon made another great play in sacking their QB on fourth down. Remi would have three QB Sacks on the day and constantly pressure him too.

The Falcon offense was stymied, Three and Out.

The Falcon defense kept grinding away and recorded their fourth Three and Out of the day.

The Falcons start to drive the ball as the Third Quarter ends with the Falcons ahead 21-7.

Sometimes it's more like a Mosh Pit

RB Wahid Larbi had a nice run during this drive but the Falcons would turn the ball over on downs deep the Bulldog territory.

The Bulldogs moved the ball a bit but would eventually turn the ball over on downs as well.

The next Falcon drive saw Wahid Larbi catch a nice 20 yard pass from VDR which eventually led to a 1 yard TD run by Wahid. Papi added the PAT, Falcons now up 28-7.

Bulldogs offense goes Three and Out again.

The Falcons punt the ball away with 10 seconds left in the contest.

The Bulldogs take a knee on the last play of the game as the Falcons take over the First Place post in Sud Poule C by a final score of 28-7!

On a negative note, Falcon WR Emrah Bayrak did suffer an injury late in the game that required transportation to a local hospital for observation. Hopefully he is going to be fine with some rest.

GREAT, GREAT effort by all of the Falcons. We played well against a strong opponent but we still have a lot of improving to do to be sure!

The Offensive Linemen and Friends

Back Row, L. to R.: G/T Mehdi Bezghiche, G/T Alexandre Da Silva, LG Yoann Ros, RT Pierre Podgorski and LT Djamel Laib

Front Row, L. to R.: C Mathieu Givet, QB John van den Raadt, RB Brice Rontet and RG David Melin

Team Photographer Nath Caldes was hard at work during the game, I will post more game photos later this week when they become available.

Division III - Sud Poule C

Week #4 Make-Up Game Result
Bron-Villeurbanne 28 - St-Cergues 7
BYES: Chambéry, Clermont-Ferrand and Lyon

Bron-Villeurbanne Falcons 3-0
St-Cergues Bulldogs 3-1
Chambéry Aigles 1-2
Lyon Les Gones 1-2
Clermont-Ferrand Servals 0-3

Week #6 Games
Sunday, February 24, 2013
Clermont-Ferrand (0-3) at Lyon (1-2)
Chambéry (1-2) at St-Cergues (3-1)
BYE: Bron-Villeurbanne (3-0)

No word yet on the make-up dates for the two Week #5 games that were postponed due to inclement weather last weekend.

No comments: