France: La Courneuve Flash advance to French title game, beat Marseille Blue Stars in defensive battle

The defending champion La Courneuve Flash defeated the Marseille Blue Stars 19-9 last weekend to advance to the FFFA, French Federation of American Football championship game – Casque de Diamant – for the third straight year  and 11th time in their history.

As in the first game of the year between these two which the Flash also won, 7-6, this game was a defensive struggle.

The Flash had a total of 240 yards of offense (164 passing, 76 receiving) while Marseille was held to 10 yards rushing and 162 yards passing.

Flash QB Paul Durand Photo: Eric Lancelle

Flash running back Nicolas Khandar scored two touchdowns while quarterback Paul Durand completed 15 of 30 passes for 164 yards and one touchdown. Wide receiver Mikael Doukoure caught three passes for 39 yards and one touchdown.

Travis Adamson completed just 17 of 41 passes for Marseille for 162 yards and a touchdown but threw three interceptions. Pereese Joas caught the lone touchdown pass for the Blue Stars.

Marseille took a first quarter lead on Adamson’s touchdown pass to Joas and held it through the break. They added to it as the defense forced La Courneuve to concede a two-point safety giving the Blue Stars a 9-0 lead. Then Khandar struck for a touchdown to close the gap to 9-6.

Durand found Doukoure in the fourth quarter to give the Flash the lead and Khandar broke for his second touchdown of the game giving the Flash a 19-9 lead they would not relinquish.

La Courneuve move on to face the Thonon Black Panthers for the second year in a row after Thonon defeated Asnieres Molosses 14-9 in the other semifinal.




Roger Kelly is an editor and a writer for AFI. A former PR Director the B.C. Lions of the Canadian Football League for 7 years, he now lives in Sweden writing about and scouting American Football throughout the world.