LIVESTREAM France: La Courneuve Flash @ Thonon Black Panthers, Feb. 17, 18:45 CET (6:45 pm, 12:45 pm ET)

The defending champion Thonon Black Panthers (0-0) will play host to their bitter rivals, the La Courneuve Flash (1-0) as the second weekend of action in the French D1 Elite league 2024 season kicks off.

Thonon had been scheduled to play the Saint Ouen Cougars in their opening game of the season two weeks ago but the game was postponed. Meanwhile, the Flash defeated the Asnieres Molosses 21-14.

Black Panthers head coach Larry Legault enjoyed another excellent season last year hoisting the national championship trophy and reaching the Central European Football League against the Flash.

Still, the loss to the Flash in the CEFL final stings which makes this game all the more important for both teams. The two squads played to a 14-14 tie in one of their two regular season matchups in 2023 and the Black Panthers won the other 21-14.

Legault brings back most of his team from last year starting with quarterback Jose Tabora Jr. The dual-threat American passer was one of France’s best quarterbacks last season throwing to talented receivers Felix Durand, Leo Sarsteel, and Benjamin Lolomede all of whom are back for this season. They also added American tight end Odel Turnbull to help in the run-and-pass game.

Defensively, they brought back Valentine Roesch and Abedel Bafdile and in the secondary they have talented defensive back Tyron Smile who brings experience from the GFL.

The Flash and head coach Nicholas Simoneu found themselves in a hole in their season opener against the Molosses falling behind 14-0 in the first quarter. But the ground game turned it around as running backs Francois-Guilhem Pion and Judson Saint-Louis each found the end zone to tie the game. Then young homegrown quarterback Leo Cremades. tossed a hail mary to Yannis Soummar with little time left in the game for the win.

The Flash fell just short of back-to-back titles last year when they lost to Marseille in the semifinal. They did however win the CEFL beating the Black Panthers in another epic game between the two French powerhouses.

The Flash definitely have a talented wide receiver corps for Cremades to throw to led by Darius Dawson, an Alabama native who has been a standout in Poland, Germany, Mexico, and France over the past several seasons. They also signed American offensive lineman Hans Solberg from Concordia College to beef up their offensive line.

La Courneuve Flash @ Thonon Black Panthers
Feb. 17, 18:45 CET (6:45 pm, 12:45 pm ET)

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