The French Federation of American Football, FFFA, wild card playoffs delivered a couple of surprising results and with that, anything can happen in the semifinal matchups looming this weekend.
Amiens Spartiates 45 – Grenoble Centaures 7
The Amiens Spartiates, the #2 team from the FFFA North division literally ran roughshod over the Grenoble Centaures, seed #3 from the South, rolling up 448 yards rushing in whipping the Centaures 45-7.
Running back Valentin Prioul had 12 carries for 173 yards and one touchdown while Dylan Prajet cared the ball 13 times for 156 yards and two touchdowns as the Centaures defense had no answer. Darius Dawsey scored a pair of touchdowns while rushing for 63 yards. Quarterback Clement Schaeffer only threw for 75 yards and one touchdown as the ground game inflicted almost all the damage.
Saint-Ouen L’Aumône Cougars 39 – Marseille Blue Stars 27
The second wild card game was a little closer but the Saint-Ouen L’Aumône Cougars the third place finisher from the North still downed the South #2, the Marseille Blue Stars 39-27. The Cougars broke open a tie football game in the fourth quarter scoring two unanswered touchdowns. Saint-Ouen quarterback Luke Casey only three for 177 yards but he tossed three touchdown passes and rushed for 81 yards and another major. David Bellaiche carried the ball 14 times for 77 yards and another two touchdowns. Evans Sodatonou, Romain Bain and Thibault Mole all caught touchdown passes from Casey. The Cougars defense held the leading quarterback in France, Chase Burton, to 209 yards passing and kept the Blue Stars off the scoreboard in the fourth quarter.
This weekend’s matchups suddenly become tough to predict.
Thonon Black Panthers, #1 South vs Amiens Spartiates #2 North
The Thonon Black Panthers ran through the regular season undefeated with the highest scoring offense in the league. Thonon averaged 42.5 points a game while allowing only 80 in the 10 games. They will be facing the Amiens Spartiates who did not post gaudy numbers at all during the 10 game regular season. They scored 178 points and gave up an average of 12.8 per game. Still, after the results of the wild card games, the Black Panthers will have to enter this game with a great deal of caution.
Asnieres Molosses #1 North vs Saint-Ouen L’Aumône Cougars, #3 North
In the other semifinal matchup, the number one seed in the North, the Asnieres Molosses will take on northern rivals, the Saint-Ouen L’Aumône Cougars, who they defeated twice during the regular season, 20-7 and 32-7. The Molosses have by far the stingiest defense in France giving up a mere 4.8 points a game which offsets a less than spectacular offense which has scored an average of only 17.2. However, in their last five games they outscored their opponents 129-32. The Cougars have a tough assignment but considering the way they upped their play in the wild card win over Marseille’s vaunted aerial attack, this one is up in the air too.