LIVESTREAM French Championship: La Courneuve Flash vs Thonon Black Panthers, July 9, 18:00 CET (6 pm, 12 noon ET)

The French D1 Elite Season comes to an end this Saturday with an exciting championship matchup between the La Courneuve Flash and the Thonon-les-bains Black Panthers.

The last time the Casque de Diamant (Diamond Helmet), as the championship game is known, was held was in 2019 (due to the pandemic) and Thonon won that one beating the Saint-Ouen Cougars 24-7. This year the game is being played in Thonon-les-bains, meaning that this is essentially a home game for the Black Panthers. These teams are division rivals and have already played each other three times this season, so they are very familiar with each other.

Through three meetings in the past six months, the Flash lead the season series two games to one. The first meeting took place way back on February 12th, in week 1 of the regular season.
That game resulted in a dominant 35-0 victory for the Flash, who protected home turf and got off to a great start to a great season. Three months later, on May 18th, the two teams met in a Central European Football League playoff event, outside of regular French league play. This game was much closer than the first matchup, yet the Flash still came out on top with relative ease, winning 45-27. Finally, on June 11th, in the last game of the regular season, the Black Panthers took down the previously undefeated Flash by a score of 38-21.

La Courneuve Flash vs Thonon Black Panthers, July 9, 18:00 CET (6 pm, 12 noon ET)

Both teams finished the regular season 9-1, but La Courneuve won the division based on a point differential tiebreaker. Thus, the Flash had a bye in the first round, before they easily took down the Saint-ouen l’aumone Cougars by a score of 34-2. The Black Panthers dominated the Toulouse Ours 41-0 in their wild card matchup, then took down the Marseille Blue Stars on the road in an absolute thriller, 28-27.

The identity of each team has been well-documented. The Flash have steamrolled over each team in their way this season thanks to a high-flying offense (led by quarterback Conor Miller
and running back Jason Bofunda) and a shutdown defense. The Flash have the challenge of squaring off with the only team that has beaten them this season in the Black Panthers. Led by quarterback Brett Hunchak, running backs Nicolas Khandar and Akiva Wedge, and a well-balanced defense, the Black Panthers have been the hottest team in the league for months
now. It seems like these teams were almost destined to meet up in the championship game.

After three previous matchups where the margin of victory was at least 17 points, this year’s Casque de Diamant promises to be an exciting game.

Watch the game live here. La Courneuve Flash vs Thonon Black Panthers, July 9, 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.