Saturday, March 23, 2013

Junior Game in Chambéry

Saturday saw us traveling back to Chambéry for a 4:00 p.m. Junior game against the Aigles. We got there early so I decided to check out the action at Chambéry's large soccer, rugby and American football complex.

Most of the fields had football games in progress.

Soccer = Football in France

All Sizes at Play

Shot on Goal

1 on 1

Wide Left!

Pass It!

Penalty Kick

It went in.


The Local Rugby Club

Across the Rue from the Stade . . .

. . . included a Chateau

Pre-Game Talk

This was a very important game for the Falcon Juniors. The Aigles were 1-0 coming into the contest while the Falcons were 1-1. Since the two teams compete in a five team league and only play the other four teams once, this was a do or die game for the Falcons. Come playoff time, only the top two teams in the conference get invited to the tournament.

The Falcons could not afford a second loss. Thus, we pulled out all stops and suited up our super secret weapon . . .

. . . The Centaur!!!

Falcons Warming Up

Power Off Tackle Left

It was 0-0 after the First Quarter, we were sluggish.

Power Off Tackle Right

At half time, the Aigles led 8-0 thanks to a very short field after turning the ball over on downs deep in Falcons' territory.

Power Off Tackle Right Again

#78 does know that we're on offense, right?

Power Off Tackle Right Again and Again

At about this time, the game was stopped for over 20 minutes due to an injured Aigles player that had to be boarded and taken to the hospital. I hope that he is OK.

 Don't we have any other plays?

If its not broken, don't fix it. The offensive line started to really push the Aigles around.

OK then, QB Wedge it is for 6 Points!

This TD cut the Aigles lead to 8-6 as the Third Quarter came to a close.

Then things got weird.

In Junior nine-man football in France, the defense is not allowed to rush the punter or a field goal attempt. Thus these plays look like something out of a high school All-Star game.

The Falcons were punting, as our punter took about one slow step he was hit by a rushing Aigles lineman about five yards deep in our backfield. Our punter broke free, picked up about five yards but was still a couple of yards short of the first down. No problem, the incredibly easy to call penalty would give us the first down.

Except that there was no penalty.

The referee admitted that he missed the call and gave the ball to the Aigles on downs.

Wrong answer.

Our Head Coach went BALLISTIC!!! His second 15 yard penalty got him ejected from the game.

Sort of.

He handed me his play sheet which I quickly passed off to John van den Raadt.

Our coach continued to roam the sidelines yelling at the ref who threatened to stop the game and give the win to the Aigles.

He didn't.

The refs problem was two fold.

First, he admitted his mistake and did nothing to change it. Isn't that what all of these officials meetings after penalties are called all about, to try and get the play correct. There were at least two penalties called today that were waived off after such consultations. Why not meet to get this obvious  non-call correct?

Second, our Head Coach is one of the top American Football Officials in all of France. He runs the referring clinics at the start of the season and worked the National Championship game last year.

Oh my.

In the end, the Falcons put together one last drive thanks to a great fourth down stop by our defense. A one yard run pushed us in front for the first time in the game with 3:58 left in the contest by a score of 12-8.

That would be the final score as the Falcons improved to 2-1 with only one game left on their regular schedule The Derby on April 21st at the home field of the Lyon Gones.

Interesting and GOOD win Falcons!!!

Happy Post-Game Falcons!!!

You think the Falcon Juniors are happy? Wait until you see the smile on my face in only . . .

Days when I get to Paris!!!

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