France downs Team Great Britain to claim 7th in IFAF Europe U19 Championships

France claimed a 21-7 victory on the road against the Great Britain Lions to kick off a weekend of IFAF Europe U19 Championships action featuring six games, including Saturday’s Gold Medal clash between Sweden and Austria.

After the Lions had opened a 7-0 halftime lead, French running back Warren Mudingayi drew the scores level then MVP Mathias Ciocan broke free on a 70-yard run on the end of a short pass before securing the win with a one-yard run and two-point rush. Ciocan finished the evening with 104 yards from 19 carries.

France head coach Emmanuel Maguet:

“We were not disciplined enough in the first half, so we knew that we had to be more disciplined and make plays and that would help us to win.”

After a scoreless first quarter, GB defensive back Joe Timmons crucially broke up Antione Lefevbre’s pass in end zone as France threatened and it was the hosts who broke the deadlock.

Ryan Hart’s reception took the Lions into French territory then Corey Badry hit a diving Daniel Pedro at the French 14-yard mark to set up a pump-fake touchdown pass over the middle to Harley Skinner-Henry. Freddie Terry tagged on the extra point and Great Britain led 7-0.

Linebacker Jack Redhead forced and recovered fumble, but the Lions were unable to capitalize. Another Badry to Pedro bomb to inside the red zone ate up 43 yards, but a fumble turned the ball over and Great Britain had to settle for a seven-point interval lead.

France came out with a clear intention of running the ball after the break and Warren Mudingayi produced a burst of pace behind blocks to cap a run-heavy first possession and tie the score at 7-7.

The blitz-heavy French defense and some costly penalties hampered GB, along with an injury to Badry. France were unable to turn a short field into points after a poor punt by the hosts, but eventually took control on the game-changing 70-yard touchdown.

Both teams lost ground, France through penalties and Great Britain due to a punt return fumble at their own 38-yard mark. Then the visitors narrowly avoided an interception to take the ball to within a yard of the end zone and from there Circan powered over for six and two additional points.

Michael Preston (@PRMikePreston) is currently working with IFAF in a PR capacity. He recently covered Super Bowl LVII as a member of the NFL PR team as he has done for 20+ years. He has held communications positions with NFL Europe, the North