LIVESTREAM CEFL: La Courneuve Flash @ Thonon Black Panthers, May 14, 18:00 CET (6 pm, 12 noon ET)

This Saturday will feature a highly anticipated matchup in Central European Football League action as two of the premier teams in France, and Europe, the Thonon Black Panthers and La Courneuve Flash, will face each other.

The Paris-based Flash will travel to Thonon-les-Baines for a showdown with the Black Panthers for bragging rights and a chance to advance to the final four in a tournament featuring the some of the premier teams in Europe.  These two teams are at the top of Conference A of the French league, with the Flash sitting at a perfect 8-0 and the Black Panthers trailing them at 7-1.  The Black Panthers’ only loss came at the hands of the Flash, way back in week one of league play on February 12th.  While they were defeated soundly by a score of 35-0 in that contest, Thonon has looked much better since then, rattling off seven straight wins before today’s game.

La Courneuve Flash @ Thonon Black Panthers, May 14, 18:00 CET (6 pm, 12 noon ET)

Thonon is quarterbacked by Canadian import Brett Hunchak, who has had an outstanding season for the Black Panthers in his first season with the team.  The 6’3″, 195-pound Calgary, Alberta native has completed 68 of 132 passes for 923 yards and 12 touchdowns.  Remarkably, he has not thrown an interception this season, and he is the only quarterback in the league to not do so.  Hunchak has been supported by running back Nicolas Khandar, who sits third in the league with 450 rushing yards and leads the league with eight touchdowns on the ground.  Benjamin Mulindahabi leads the way on defense, ranking second in the league with 40.5 tackles.

On the other side, La Courneuve is led by American quarterback Conor Miller.  Like Hunchak, Miller is in his first season in the French league and has led his team to the top of the standings.  So far, he has racked up 935 yards passing and 11 touchdowns, despite the fact that he has exited several games early as the scores got out of hand.  His top two targets are Stephane Fortes and Ryan Smith, both of whom rank in the top 10 in the league in receiving yards.  Jason Bofunda is the primary running back, as he sits second in the league in rushing yards (just ahead of Khandar) and second in the league in rushing touchdowns (just behind Khandar).  All throughout their roster, the Flash are loaded with talented players who play as a team, which has propelled them to an 8-0 start in league play while outscoring their opponents by a combined score of 403-70.

In Week 1 play in the French top league, the Black Panthers could not get anything going offensively in their meeting with the Flash.  The La Courneuve defense stifled Hunchak in his first game in France, as he finished just 8/22 for 81 yards while being sacked three times.  Thonon finished the game with just 100 total yards and zero points.  The defense held up relatively well against the high-powered Flash offense, giving up just 14 points through the end of the third quarter before a 21-point fourth quarter outburst from La Courneuve put the game out of reach.  Since that shutout, the Black Panthers have found their groove offensively, averaging over 36 points per game, while the Flash have been flat out unstoppable.  This game is a huge chance for the Black Panthers to make a statement by taking down their rivals in tournament play.  After this game, the teams will face off one more time on June 4th in the last week of the regular season and will potentially battle again in the league playoffs.

The winner of this game will advance to the CEFL semifinals on June 4.

Watch the game live here. La Courneuve Flash @ Thonon Black Panthers, May 14, 18:00 CET (6 pm, 12 noon ET)

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.