The favored French put on a clinic; shut-out Danes in Graz, Austria!
photos via Thomas DePaepe
France showed Denmark an elite level of American Football in tonight’s group action in the 2014 European Championship played in Graz, Austria. France, like Denmark’s Saturday opponent Austria, is a country with a tradition of American Football. And they certainly looked strong and dominated play from start to finish. France out-gained Danes 563 – 77 and rushed for 6 TDs.
Before the game there was a belief that Team Austria was the highest level of American Football in Europe, but today France kicked the level up a notch. France has assembled a quite a team for this tournament, with several players from the professional Canadian Football League, the American Collegiate level, and from teams in the powerful German Football League.
France’s offense came out hot from the start. Running Back Stephen Yepmo scored four first half touchdowns and kick returner Guillaume Rioux took a punt back all the way for a touchdown. A second French running back Nicloas Khandar Shahabad added another score. France’s kicker Boris Bede converted five of six extra points and France rolled into halftime up 41-0!
Only downside of the half was France’s loss of defensive lineman Giovani Nanguy who left with an arm injury and had to be hospitalized.
France’s defense set the tone from the start. In the first half the Danes tried to hold there own, but the physical superiority of France was particularly striking on the line. France defense dominated the line of scrimmage. Besides a couple of first downs, the Scandinavians never came close to the scoring.
“I have faced many different D-lines, and this is definitely the best D-line I have ever faced.” – Danish captain Peter Moller.
The second half started and France’s offense did not let up as running backs Khandar Shahabad and Anthony Dable pushed the score to 55-0. Denmark’s offense manage to move the ball into field goal range but failed to convert.
As the game wound down, France and Denmark brought in their backups and France added another touchdown and Boris Bede field goal to finalized the score: France – 65, Denmark – 0.
POST GAME INTERVIEWS:
France Head Coach Larry Legault :
“The first game in a tournament is always the most difficult, I am happy with the win against Denmark. The team was visibly tired from the very physical game against Austria, … now our next challenge will now be to deliver a second good games in 48 hours.. . “
Denmark Head Coach Lars Carlsen:
“We were up against a top level team. A team of skilled and well-trained athletes. We simply could not stop them. We were out-coached, and we had been fully prepared for his match. We faced a much better team today. They were very strong and brought more speed in comparison with Austria. Their D-Line was very strong. We had already started to rotate players at half-time (France was up 41-0) to prepare for the 5th place match. Our goal now is to stay in the A-group. “
Denmark Captain Mikkel Vangsgaard:
“We had watched so much film, but it was of just half of the players who were on the field today. They played a completely different offense than what we’ve ever seen on film – it was a completely different team.”