France: La Courneuve Flash dominate Saint-Ouen-L’Aumône Cougars to take over 2nd

The La Courneuve Flash scored on their first two possessions and went on to defeat the  Saint-Ouen-L’Aumône Cougars 43-12 in a crucial game in the race for playoff spots in France’s  FFFA – Fédération Française de Football Américain.

With the win, the Flash improve to 6-2 with two games left in the season and now sit in second in the standings behind the 7-1 Thonon Black Panthers. Saint-Ouen falls to 4-3-1 and in fifth place and in danger of missing the playoffs for the second year in a row. The Cougars won back-to-back French titles in 2015 and 2016.

Flash quarterback Paul Durand threw five touchdown passes, two each to Kevin Mwamba and Stéphane Fortes and one to Mickael Doukoure. A fumble recovery for a touchdown and a field goal by Matthieu Lamy accounted for the other points for la Courneuve.

Running back Brandon Crawford scored on a one yard run for  Saint-Ouen-L’Aumône and Sofian Baghriche recovered a fumble in the end zone for the other Cougars touchdown.

Durand wasted no time finding Mwamba for a 93 yard touchdown to open the game. Following an Isaac Amoako fumble, Durand followed that up on the Flash’s next possession with a 64 yard scoring toss to Fortes and the Flash took a 14-0 lead into the second quarter.

With the Cougars offense finally beginning to move in the second quarter, Crawford found the end zone from a yard out reducing the lead to 14-6.

Then Lamy kicked a field goal making it 17-6 at the break.

The Cougars defense forced a fumble on the first series in the second half deep in Flash territory and Baghriche jumped on the loose ball to score a touchdown.

That was as close as Saint-Ouen would come.

Durand put a dagger in the hearts of the Cougars hopeful five plays later as he connected with Mwamba for his second touchdown of the game extending the lead to 24-12 late in the third quarter.

Then when an early fourth quarter Saint-Ouen drive was stalled on the Flash 33 yard line, Durand made them pay again, tossing a 67 yard touchdown pass to a streaking Fortes.

With the score 31-12 midway through the fourth quarter Durand was still not done. After another stalled drive by the Cougars, Durand connected with Doukoure on a 58 yard touchdown extending the lead to 37-12.

Then, like everything else in this game for the Cougars, a fumble by Thibault Mole after catching a pass was recovered by the Flash and returned for a touchdown.

In the tight race for the final three playoff spots, and with two games remaining, the Flash are second at 6-2, the Asnieres Molosses are third at 5-2-1, the Marseilles Blue Stars fourth with a 5-3 record and Saint-Ouen-L’Aumône fifth at 4-3-1.

Next up for the Flash is Asnieres Molosses on May 19 who have not lost a game since losing to the Flash in February. The Cougars take on the 1-7 Rouen Leopards on May 20.


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