VIDEO & PREVIEW: France’s FFFA Elite Week 2

This FFFA Elite, Fédération Française de Football Américain, preview comes courtesy of Vox Stadium and Marion Santiago and has been translated by AFI.

Saturday night, the Molosses of Asnieres-sur-Seine host the Templiers d’Elancourt to kick-off the 2nd week of Elite American football championship.

This is a match that promises to be particularly competitive between the outsider Templiers and a Molosses club who wants to show heart in their home opener after a season opening loss the the Flash in La Courneuve two weeks ago. Also on Sunday, there are three other meetings of France’s Casque de Diamant. It’s time for a preview.

Images: FFFA / Direction and Commentary: Marion Santiago

Argonautes d’Aix-en-Provence v. Centurions de Nîmes

With their 7-49 season open win against the Dauphins de Nice, the Argonautes took the lead of the FFFA’s Elite championship. A first place performance but against a sub-par opposition offered by Nice. This season could be complicated for the Dauphins, a club that is in transition. The goal of the Argos next opponent, the Centurions, is much more ambitious.

Despite falling to the Thonon-les-bains Black Panthers in week 1, the Centurions have shown great resilience. Trailing 24-0, the Nîmes managed to close the gap to 24-20 through an effective passing game. It is in defense of the Centurions that must get up to speed, especially particularly the run defense. Against 2x defending champions, the Centurions gave up 238 yards on the ground, making them the worst defense in the league. And given that the Argonautes have a strong ground game (201 yards, 4 TDs), the have been Centurions warned.

Cougars de Saint-Ouen v. Flash de la Courneuve
>> to watch live streaming on Vox Stadium

After an opening weekend performance scoring 34 points, including 5 touchdowns, the Flash de la Courneuve have the second best offense in the league. In his first match with the Flash, quarterback Paul Durand was impressive against the Molosses (10/21, 215 yards, 2 TDs), giving him the highest rating in amoung the Elite (165 rating). In the backfield, Marcus Shaw, the American running back, made a splash by scoring two touch his first two touchdowns.

So it is a impressive opponent that will visit the Cougars of Saint-Ouen-l’Aumône, whose season opener left a bitter taste. Against the Templiers d’Elancourt, president Xavier Mas players’ leading 0-14 at halftime, but gave up the lead in the second half and left Elancourt with a draw, 14-14. The fault was perhaps a predictable offensive scheme. The Cougars threw the ball 75% of the time, the largest ratio in the league. Penalties also killed the Cougars, who must be more disciplined if they hope to defeat the Flash de la Courneuve, who seek their tenth French title.

Dauphins de Nice v. Black Panthers de Thonon-les-bains

Although not strong in the air (3/8, 72 yards, 1 TD, 2 interceptions), the Black Panthers quarterback Billy Greene showed the full extent of his mobility in the first game of the season. Rushing for 94 yards on 14 carries and two touchdowns, Greene had a strong showing for his new team. In the backfield, the Canadian was helped by Milton Knox Jr., who ran for two touchdowns and 105 yards. Like last year, the ground game is undoubtedly the number one asset of the Black Panthers. The only downside to the game was the injury of Stephen Yepmo, the French running back who lead the Black Panthers last season. Yepmo will most likely not return until at least mid-season. However, this should not prevent head coach Larry Legault‘s team from a strong performance against the Dauphins this Sunday.

Falling to the freshly promoted Argonautes, Nice have shown serious deficiencies in several areas, particularly at quarterback, played this season by Colby Davies. His numbers in the season opener (7/20, 141 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT), have raised some questions about his skills at the position. Indeed, the American has not played quarterback in quite awhile, playing receiver and defensive back at the University of Western Washington. This is a gamble for Nice who would like to be more reassured in the offensive backfiled, particularly with the reception of the Black Panthers on the horizon.

Statistical Leaders - Offense

Passing LeadersClubRatingYardsTD-INT
Paul-Durand11Paul DurandFlash1652152-0
2Jimmie RussellArgonautes1551413-1
3Blake RoblesCenturions1411833-1
4Evan GehlertMolosses1182071-0
5Zach ShawTempliers1121892-1
Rushing LeadersClubYardsTDYards/Carry
Milton-Knox-Jr1Milton Knox Jr.Black Panthers10524.8
2Billy GreeneBlack Panthers9426.7
3Alexander TsassongTempliers6306.3
4Flavian RudaArgonautes6115.1
5Geoffrey LewisArgonautes6025
Receiving LeadersClubYardsTDReceptions
benjamin-weischedel1Ben WeischedelCenturions10727
2Mickaël DoukouréFlash9824
3Kevin ChevalmeArgonautes8326
4Patrick BotelaCougars73-2
5Jefferson AlexanderCougars71-4

Statistical Leaders - Defense

Tackle LeadersClubTacklesSoloAsissted
florian-de-lorgeril1Florian De LorgerilCenturions1275
2Jesse KirstatterArgonautes1174
3Camille GruelCenturions981
4Rody SurpinTempliers972
5Alexandre Le GalloArgonautes752
Sack LeadersClubSacksTackles
samuel-norca1Samuel NorcaFlash35
2Tim WillmanCougars2.54
3Bessala N. BesbackFlash23
4Raphael DemartyCougars22
5Alexandre Le GalleArgonautes17
Interception LeadersClubInterceptionsTDYards
Sinthujan-Apputhurai11Sinthujan ApputhuraiCougars1-46
2Sandy MarcinCenturions1-45
3Sofiane MahmoudiArgonautes1-31
4Maxence GaudetBlack Panthers1-30
5Alex PanizzaArgonautes1-28

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