France: St Ouen l’Aumône Cougars down Nice Dauphins in championship rematch

The defending French champions, the St-Ouen-l’Aumone Cougars handed the Nice Dauphins their fifth loss of the season last weekend beating the injury-depleted Dauphins 36-18 in a rematch of the 2016 French championship game.

The win improved the Cougars record to 4-3 and helped them climb back up into a playoff spot.

Quarterback DeAuntre Smiley, the top passer in France, was outstanding throwing for 374 yards and three touchdowns, but even more impressively had an 82.6% completion percentage. Receiver Hervé Omgba caught six passes for 129 yards and two touchdowns while Evans Sodatonou hauled in three passes for 125 yards and one touchdown. Running back Isaac Amoako rushed for 85 yards and a touchdown while César Montreer also scored a touchdown.

Running back Rondell White started at quarterback and was magnificent for Nice. He rushed for 240 yards and one touchdown and completed eight of 15 passes for 120 yards and another score. Receiver Andrew James caught six passes from White for 100 yards and one touchdown.

The Cougars took control early and by halftime had built up a 26-8 lead after racing out to a 19-0 early on.

But White put a scare into the Cougars following a St. Ouen field goal. Stalled on his own eight yard line, White found a seam and raced for a 92 yard touchdown closing the gap to 29-16 in the third quarter.

This seemed to fire up the Dauphins and on the very next series, Nice forced the Cougars to give up a two-point safety to further close to gap to 29-18. Then Nice marched the ball down to the St. Ouen 11 yard line with five minutes left only to watch as the Cougars defense sacked White on a fourth down. Smiley and the Cougars offense then added another touchdown to secure the win and virtually eliminate the 2016 finalists from the playoffs.

With the loss, Nice drops to seventh in the league and would have to win all four of their remaining games and hope that the Cougars lose their last three games to have a hope of qualifying for the post season.

The win moved St. Ouen past the .500 mark for the first time this season and pulled them into a solid playoff spot with three games to go.

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