American Football International

Recap: French National Team v. Augustana College

” Augustana QB Sam Frasco scored three touchdowns with rushes of 59, 10, and 5 yards. However, the French had some great plays and showed flashes of greatness.”

[dropcap]N[/dropcap]ext May, France’s National American Football team will attempt to capture the IFAF Europe title for the first time. In order to reach this goal, Larry Legault, the French National team Head Coach, has organized a series of friendly matches, the first of which was this past Saturday against the American Augustana College (NCAA D-II). Played at Stadium Lille Metropole in the north of France, Augustana never trailed and their sophomore quarterback Sam Frasco scored three touchdowns with rushes of 59, 10, and 5 yards. However, the French had some great plays and showed flashes of greatness.

There were 7,000 spectators in attendance, including the visiting “Augies“ fans, and it didn’t take long for their QB Frasco to reach the end zone. On the third play of the game Frasco kept the ball on an option play and went 59 yards, scoring the game’s first 6 points. After teams traded punts, the Augies forced a turnover on a ball tipped by a French receiver and senior LB Dylan Smith came up with the ball. They then capped long 61-yard TD drive with another TD rush by Frasco. The first quarter ended with Augustana ahead 13-0.

The second quarter saw both teams throwing interceptions. A nice drive with receptions by Anthony Dable and Steve Delaval was ended when French QB Perez Mattison, who played at East Carolina University, launched a deep ball that fell into the hands of Augustana’s Justin Gruca. French safety Arnaud Vidaller returned the favor on the following drive, picking off Frasco. French team had a strong defensive second quarter and at halftime the scored remained 13-0 to Augustana.

Early in the third quarter, French running back Stephen Yepmo, MVP 2013 of the Elite Federation Francais Football Amercain (FFFA), found his way into the end zone after a 70 yard drive and the French cut the score to 13-7 Augustana. On the next drive, the Augies scored a touchdown after converting on a crucial 4thand 1, just as the fourth quarter began. Frasco’s third rushing TD and kicker Lensing’s extra-point gave Augustana a two possession lead.

The Augies thought they had the game in hand after forcing the French to punt on their next drive. With less than 5 minutes to play, Augustana’s running back made a costly fumble and French defense recovered the ball. This turnover set up a nice drive featuring RB Brice Marcais, who plays his American Football in Canada. Marcais found the end zone on a short screen pass from Mattison for the second French TD of the game. The French coaching staff chose not to try an onside kick and Augustana College was able to run out the clock and seal the victory.

Augustana College is now 4-1 in their five international trips. They have won games against Sweden (1999), Italy (2004), Austria (2007) and now France. Their only loss was in 2010 against the Austrian National team.

For French National team, the loss had some promising signs; the defense had strong game even if they had trouble to containing Augustana’s QB Sam Frasco. The French offense scored twice through their powerful running game while Perez Mattison stepped in the absence of the French’s “incumbent QB” Max Sprauel.

Next up the French National Team will be an international friendly game against Sweden in October.

– Thomas DePaepe

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