LIVESTREAM CEFL: Thonon Black Panthers @ Calanda Broncos, April 30, 14:00 CET (2 pm, 8 am EDT)

The Thonon Black Panthers will take the four hour drive from France to Chur, Switzerland, Sunday, April 30 to take on the Calanda Broncos as the first round of the Central European Football League winds up.

This is the first time these two teams face each other in CEFL action.

The Broncos’ best season in the CEFL was their first one, 2019, when they reached the final and were edged 46-42 by Austria’s Swarco Raiders in the CEFL Bowl XIV. In the following two years after 2020 (COVID), they reached the semifinals. The Black Panthers finished second in the Western Conference in the CEFL Championship in 2019 and fell to the Flash in the second round last season.

Calanda is again back on top of the Swiss National League sporting a 3-0 record including a win over the 2022 Swiss champions, the Bern Grizzlies. Meanwhile, the Black Panthers are on a roll in the French league with seven wins, no losses and a tie (against the 2022 French champions, the La Courneuve Flash).

Broncos head coach Geoff Buffum has assembled an impressive roster including veteran quarterback John Uribe (Lindenwood University) (7 td passes) and All American wide receiver/defensive back Maxwell Gray (Rocky Mountain College). Running back Marco Mahrer and teammate Cesare Alberti have been a force on the ground allowing Uribe to mix up his plays. The receiving corps of Gray along with Celeste Conceprio, Noah Bachofen, Kenneth Musio and U19 receiver Selome Adzaji, has given opposing secondaries problems and will no doubt do so today as well.

Black Panthers head coach Larry Legault has assembled a formidable offense led by quarterback José Tabora (Wilkes University) who has completed 124 passes for 1,807 yards and 19 touchdowns in the eight games and has definitely spread the ball around. Tight end Jack Pilkerton (Kutztown University) has caught 32 of those passes for 562 yards and three touchdowns while Pierre-Yves Dayres has hauled in 33 for 461 yards and seven scores. The third key member of the Thonon receiving corps is Felix Durand who has snagged 28 passes for 416 yards and six touchdowns.

The Black Panthers ground game is led by French national team running back Nicolas Khandar who has rushed for 667 yards and 15 touchdowns while Tabora has 285 yards has kicked in another 285 yards rushing while scoring six touchdowns on the ground himself.

The winner of this game will play a visit to Florence on May 13 to play the Firenze Guelfi (defending Italian champions) in the second round of the CEFL Championship.

Thonon Black Panthers @ Calanda Broncos, April 30, 14:00 CET (2 pm, 8 am EDT)

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