Sunday, April 28, 2013

Falcons Junior Team Playoff Game at Avignon

We left the stadium in Bron with our Junior squad at 2:30 p.m. for the long, slow bus ride to Avignon for our 8:15 p.m. kickoff against the Warriors in the opening round of the National Junior 9 Playoffs.

The weather called for low temperatures and lots of rain. About half way to Avignon we actually had a light snow flurry.

It is the end of April, isn't it?

NEWS FLASH: From the south of France . . .

 Proof Positive that the Ancient Mayans
Discovered Europe

The great archaeological discovery was stumbled upon while the bus stopped for a . . .

Pee Break

"Smoke 'em if you got 'em" as well.

We finally arrived at Avignon's
tree lined stadium at about 6:45 p.m.

It was windy but the Sun was shining and it would not rain on us. The field was not very muddy so the conditions were much better than promised. 

 Concrete Ping Pong Net and Table

This table was located just outside of the two team's locker rooms leading me to believe that the Warriors were probably very tough mentally.

They were.

 The Locker Room Entrance

 The Field was Lined and Ready

 Twenty Juniors Warming-Up

 Olivier Caldes' Pre-Game Talk

Falcons Hitting Drills

The Opening Kickoff of the 2013
Junior National Playoffs . . .


Not a good start for the Falcons as the Warriors returned this kickoff 80 yards for a TD.

 The Old Swinging Gate

We were really caught off guard on the Warriors' PAT and their #50 cruised in for an easy score to lead 8-0 just seconds into the contest.

The Warriors came to play and play hard! Our big advantage was in raw numbers. If you recall, we play nine man football at this level. While the Falcons had 20 players at their disposal, the Avignon team only had 13.

It would become a factor as the game wore on.

Falcons Sweep

We started our #3 QB because our starter was sick and our back-up did not make the trip. Our starting Center/DE was also not with us causing snap issues throughout the contest.

The Hitting was FIERCE!!!

As it should be in a National Playoff Game.

Avignon QB #10

At the half, we still trailed 8-0 but we felt that the momentum was swinging in our favor as our #1 QB entered in the second quarter and threw effectively.

One of his deep passes set us up with a First and Goal at the two yard line late in the first half. After penalties, a tackle for loss and a QB Sack we failed to score on a Fourth and Goal situation from the 25 yard line.

Time for the Second Half

Coming Up B-I-G!

We continued to throw the ball deep very well and then our B-I-G  boys, the offensive line, forced their will on the Warriors.

A 45 yard TD bomb and a 40 yard Power play TD scamper gave the Falcons a 14-8 lead as the third quarter came to an end.

The Falcons would add in insurance eight yard TD run that was set up by another long pass to make the final score 20-8 in favor of the boys from Bron-Villeurbanne.

It was a great, come from behind victory against a very tough opponent!

Up next for the Juniors is the winner of the Dragons vs. Dragons Noir game. Both of those teams are from the Marseille area. The game site has not been announced as of yet.

We would arrive home at 2:45 a.m. on Sunday morning after a stop at McDonald's for some much needed nutrition.

At about 1:45 a.m. on the bus trip, Papi Bastiand, our Cadet coach and a ref in the Junior game, got a message from the Montpellier Hurricanes people saying that they were forfeiting Sunday's Cadet National Playoff in Bron to our Cadets. Travel issues were the problems here.

So, our Juniors and Cadets both advance to Round Two of the National Playoffs.

Our Seniors (8-0) open the National Playoff run Sunday at 2:00 p.m. at home against the Albi Hurricane (5-3).


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