ELF: Rhein Fire squeak by Paris Musketeers in Battle of Contenders

In a matchup of two title contenders, the Rhein Fire bounced back from a stunning loss last week to defeat the Paris Musketeers on the road by a score of 19-14.

Paris got the ball first and put together an impressive opening drive, marching down the field and finding the end zone on a five yard rushing touchdown from Jason Aguemon.  The Fire drove down the field in response, but quarterback Jadrian Clark was intercepted by Maceo Beard to end the scoring threat.  A couple of plays later, the Fire returned the favor as Paris quarterback Zach Edwards was picked off by Omari Williams, giving the ball back to the Fire.  However, the visitors then turned it over once again, as Beard recovered a fumble by receiver Devin Heckstall on the Paris 10 yard line.

Photo @uzis.studio

The game settled down after that crazy sequence of events going into the second quarter.  There, the Fire got on the board on a field goal from Sebastian Van Santen.  But on the ensuing Paris possession, Edwards hit Florian Larose on a deep shot to extend the lead to 14-3.  The visiting Fire later got the ball back with a couple of minutes left on the clock, and made the most of their possession, and they methodically moved down the field and found the end zone on a short touchdown pass from Clark to Sergej Kendus.  However, the conversion failed, so Paris took a 14-9 lead into halftime.

The Fire got the ball first in the third quarter and marched down the field, but had to settle for a short field goal by Van Santen.  That would be the only points of the quarter, as the teams traded punts on the next several drives.

In the final frame, Rhein took their first lead of the game on a one yard rushing touchdown from star running back Glen Toonga, who punched it in with just under eight minutes left.  The Paris offense drove down the field looking to respond, but were stopped on fourth down on the Fire 12 yard line.  The Fire then punted and Paris returned it for a touchdown, but this exciting moment was nullified by a penalty. 

The Musketeers had a chance to score a touchdown to take a late lead, but Edwards was intercepted by Tony Anderson on the first play of the drive to seal the game.

The Fire hit the road next week to take on the Berlin Thunder, while Paris has a bye week before hosting the Cologne Centurions.

A current student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Carter played football in high school and has been a lifelong avid football fan.