Belgium: Brussels Black Angels capture Belgian Bowl XXXI

The Brussels Black Angels spoiled a magical year for the league newcomers the Limburg Shotguns in Belgian Bowl XXXI, by overwhelming them 50-0 to win their third Belgian title.

This was the fourth straight appearance in the Belgian championship game for the Black Angels and 11th overall. They have won three of the last four but this was the most lopsided victory.

In earning the win, the Brussels ended the Cinderella run of the Shotguns who had only moved up from the second division this season. Limburg were led by Jaycen Taylor, who starred for Purdue and has won championships in Italy and Finland and played with the Swarco Raiders in Austria, had moved to Belgium in late 2017 together with his Belgian wife and son.Taylor started the year at running back but suffered a season-end injury, tearing his achilles tendon, and stepped in as head coach when the previous coach left the team.

Black Angels QB Tomasz Firszt threw 4 TD passes Photo: Dafke’s pictures

After a tentative start, the Black Angels roared out to a 25-0 halftime lead and left no doubt the rest of the way.

Quarterback  Tomasz Firszt, who is also the Belgian national team quarterback, threw four touchdown passes, while backup quarterback Kevin Noël threw a fifth in a dominating display. Wide receiver Thomas Bouron scored two touchdowns on pass receptions and added a third on an end around. Gaetan Lebek also had two touchdown receptions while wide receiver Nick Buggenhout scored on a nine yard touchdown reception and running back Abel Mampaka aded a rushing touchdown while defensive back Xavier Simon scored on a pick six. On defense, nose tackle Lallemand Raphaël recorded three sacks, defensive end Reda Vranken had two and Brice Bouron one.

The Shotguns only managed a total of 87 yards of offense under relentless pressure from the Brussels front seven. Quarterback Jason Jackson was sacked six times and was able to complete only three of 11 passes for 25 yards and rushed for 21 yards.

Black Angels WR Gaetan Lebek scored 2 TDs Photo: Dafke’s pictures

Brussels did not open the scoring until midway through the first quarter though as Firszt connected with Lebek with Adrien Massart kicking the PAT for a 7-0 lead.

Then the floodgates opened. With Limburg unable to move the ball, the Black Angels struck three more times in the second quarter. Firszt found Buggenhout from nine yards out to increase the lead to 13-0 and then Simon picked off a Jackson pass and returned it 40 yards to make it 19-0. Then, on a planned trick play that went slightly awry, Bouron took the ball on a four yard end around to give the Black Angels a 25-0 lead at the break.

The second half resembled the first as Lebek hauled in a screen pass from Firszt and raced 77 yards to up the lead to 31-0. With the defense continuing to play lights out football,  Firszt and the offense got the ball back and marched down to the Limburg six yard line. Mampaka carried the ball in from there and the third quarter ended 37-0 in favor of the defending champions.

Firszt threw a 33 yard touchdown pass to Bouron to open the fourth quarter for a 44-0 Brussels lead. Then Bouron scored his third touchdown of the game, hauling in a 25 yard touchdown pass from Noël for a 50-0 lead.

In fact, the only part of the Black Angels game that was not clicking on this day was the kicking game. They missed six of eight point after attempts. In this game, it did not make a difference.

 

AFI
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