Team France (1-0) scored early and often as they handed Great Britain their second straight defeat of the 2018 IFAF European Championships, beating them 42-9 in Vantaa, Finland.
France racked up 556 yards of offense in a dazzling display as Great Britain was only able to muster 201. The French ran out to a 28-6 lead at halftime and continued the pressure in the second half.
French quarterback Paul Durand was outstanding completing 17 of 24 passes for 319 yards and four touchdowns with Nelson Tsimi catching six passes for 82 yards and two touchdowns and Andrew James catching two passes for 68 yards and another two touchdowns. Running back Stephen Yepmo had 16 carries for 115 yards and a touchdown while Jason Aguemon had 56 yards rushing while scoring a touchdown. Jason Boufunda carried the ball four times for 63 yards.
Great Britain was by no means toothless but as in their first game against Finland, they kept reaching the red zone without crossing the goal line. This time they settled for field goals from the toe of Ian Jacquet, two in the first half and one in the second.
Quarterback Patrick Daley, who played the entire game, threw for 98 yards but was picked off twice. He was also Great Britain’s leading rusher carrying the ball 13 times for 51 yards. Running back Temitayo Fadahunsi had 11 carries for 45 yards. Charlie Joseph was the leading receiver for Britain with five catches for 37 yards.
After reaching the British 24 yard line on their first drive and coming away with nothing, France did not squander many more opportunities. They scored twice in the first quarter with Durand finding James on a seven yard touchdown pass, and then connecting with Tsimi from 36 yards out following an interception to give the French a 14-0 lead midway through the first quarter.
A fumbled put return gave Britain the ball on the French 19 yard line but four plays later, the Lions were only able to kick a field goal with Jacquet putting the ball through to narrow the lead to 14-3.
Jacquet added another field goal early in the second quarter as again a French turnover gave Britain the ball in good field position. But the French defense stiffened in the red zone.
With France now leading 14-6, and two minutes left in the first half, Durand went to work, first driving his team to the British 16 yard line and then finding Tsimi to extend the lead to 21-6 with a minute to go. Then he threw a 61 yard strike to James with just over 20 seconds remaining to put France out in front 28-6 at the half.
Great Britain came out with authority in the second half as Daley marched them 74 yards in down to the French six yard line but still could not find a way into the end zone. Jacquet kicked his third field goal and Britain narrowed the gap to 28-9.
That was as close as they got the rest of the game.
Yepmo carried the ball seven times on the next French possession finally scoring the touchdown himself from the one yard line and France now led 35-9, late in the third.
With Aguemon stepping in a running back in place of Yepmo, Team France continued to rely on the run game. Starting from their own three yard line with over eight minutes left, France advanced all the way down to Britain’s three yard line with Aguemon rushing for a total of 52 of the 97 yards and punching the ball in to give France a 42-9 lead.
Great Britain could not move the ball effectively the rest of the game and France came away with a convincing win. next up for France is Team Finland on August 2 while Great Britain will play in the game for fifth place on August 4 against Denmark.