Flash looking to return to glory against playoff newcomers Molosses
The playoffs have arrived in the France’s top league the “Championnat Elite.” After an exciting and competitive regular season, both semi-finals will be played on Saturday night. This is the preview for the semi-final between Flash de la Courneuve v. Molosses Asnieres-sur-Seine.
Flash de la Courneuve v. Molosses Asnières-sur-Seine
The Flash de la Courneuve will welcome their Parisian suburbs neighbors from Asnières. The Flash are the most celebrated American Football team in the country, winning 9 national championships since 1997 and reaching the Eurobowl final 3 times. The Flash has a long tradition and is well recognized through Europe for their youth program.
But since losing to the Swarco Tirol Raiders in the 2009 Eurobowl final, it has been a slow rebuilding process for the Black and Yellow. No stability at the Head Coach position, an old generation of players stepping down, it has been a struggle, winning only 1 championship in the last 4 years (after 5 titles in a row from 2005 to 2009).
This season, the new coaching staff, led by local guy and former player, Head Coach Patrick Cark, has done a good job developing young players and improving as the season went on. With a record of 5-2-1 during the regular season, that young squad had his share of ups and downs; a surprising tie versus the defending champions Black Panthers and big win versus Templiers, but losses at Cougars and at Dauphins.
One thing is sure though : the offense can be explosive. Running a no-huddle spread scheme, American QB #13 Daniel Connors (Southwest Baptist University) has a great cast of WRs at his disposal. French national players #11 Steve Delaval and #82 Paul Durand are in the slots. #9 Artchill Monney and #22 Mickael Doukouré bring speed on the outside. Last season, OL had to be totally rebuilt, but you can start to see some real improvement upfront. #41 Guillaume Buquet and ex-NFL Europe player #28 Laurent Marceline are a great 1-2 punch at RBs.
Defensively, another NFL Europe veteran, CB #2 Samyr Hamoudi, is the vocal leader of that young unit. Others players to watch are American LB #6 William McHale (Yale University) and big hitter #1 Steve Berton at safety.
Molosses have been a pleasant surprise since moving back up to Division 1 in 2012. After two 5-5 seasons, the men of Head Coach Jérôme Dondey finished the regular season at 5-3 and got their first playoff berth since 2003!
QB #12 Tommy Corwin (University of Central Missouri) has two good threats with WR #10 Marc Bony and WR #81 Alexandre Laruel. RB #25 Théophile Sasa has been a good change up for their passing offense.
On the other side of the ball, look out for American LB #7 Marty Patterson (Gardner-Webb University) and national team LB #92 Arnaud Couanon.
The Flash totally dominated their first meeting at the end of regular season, a big statement win, 42-12 on the road, to get their playoff spot.
FLASH. Undefeated at home this season and playing in La Courneuve can be intimidating. It seems the Flash new generation starts to click at the right time. Molosses have some potential offensively and will have to score a bunch of points to stay in the ball game.