Defending champion Brussels Tigers to face upstart Ghent GatorsThe 2014 Belgian Bowl on June 29th will feature the two-time defending champion Brussels Tigers, French LFFAB (Ligue Francophone du Football Américain) conference champions who have appeared in the title game six times. They will face the upstart Ghent Gators who arrived in the Belgian final game for the first time in their 15 year history by winning the Flemish FAFL (Flemish American Football League) conference title.
This will be the third year in a row that the defending champion Tigers will appear in the game. In 2013, they faced a tough Brussels Bulls team prevailing in the end 9-0. The story was a little different in 2012, as the Tigers defeated the Antwerp Diamonds in a rout, 46-6. This year, the Tigers were undefeated in league play. In fact, this was the fifth year in a row that the Tigers captured the LFFAB crown.
Although they lost key import Colson Howard to the Munich Cowboys in the German league this season they shook it off. They rely on the toughest defense in the league which allowed only 26 points all year. That defense is anchored by middle linebacker Frédéric Casteels “Moutony” . They look to running back Karim Abdellaoui on offense.
The Ghent Gators are appearing in the Belgian final for the first time in their 15 year history. They finished the regular season 7-1. Their only loss was a 27-25 thriller defeat at the hands of the third place Ostend Pirates. They avenged that loss in the Belgian semi-finals beating the Pirates 16-14 in another great game. The Gators led the Flemish division in offense scoring 288 points while their defense allowed a mere 65 points.
The Gators are led by quarterback Bart Killens who converted from wide receiver a few years ago and has been improving in leaps and bounds. Last season he threw five touchdown passes and 12 interceptions, while this season that ratio changed dramatically to 30 touchdown passes and only five picks. He attributes that to his retooled offensive line and a dangerous group of receivers: Thomas Lezy, Ruben De Ruyter and Stef Dufour. Ghent’s defense is anchored by defensive back Floris Van Cauwenberge, strong safety Kim Jolie, free safety Eckhart Piqueur and defensive tackle Kevin Van Hulle.
Since the inception of the Belgian Bowl in 1987, a team from Brussels has appeared in the game 20 times, winning it nine times. Over the past 14 years, the Tigers have played in the title game six times winning it three times.
Kickoff is 2:30 p.m. CET 8:30 a.m. EST. The game will not be streamed but can be followed on Twitter @Belgianbowl or @EuroSportsLLC.