The St. Ouen Cougars overcame the outstanding running of Nice Dauphins running back Rondell White and then scored two third quarter touchdowns to down the Dauphins 28-17 to win the French championship game, the Casque de Diamant, for the second consecutive year.
The game was played in the town of Mont de Marsan in southern France.
Trailing 10-0 at the end of the first quarter and 17-14 at halftime, the Cougars found a way to stymie White and the Nice offense in the second half.
Quarterback Matt Schilz, who has been steady all season, threw four touchdown passes to four different receivers on 12 of 18 passing. Running back Isaac Amoako rushed for 70 yards and caught a touchdown pass while receivers Patrick Botela, Marc Bony and Jefferson Alexandre had a touchdown reception each.
White, who was named game MVP, scored two touchdowns in the first half for Nice but could not get untracked in the second half.
Tale of Two Halves
Andrew James opened the scoring in the first quarter with a field goal for Nice and then White took off on a 67 yard run to give the Dauphins a 10-0 lead. Amoako’s touchdown reception reduced the gap to 10-7 but White scored again, this time from seven yards out to extend the lead to 17-7.
Schilz connected with Botela with time running out in the first half on a 17 yard touchdown pass, cutting the deficit to 17-14 for Nice at the half.
With the St. Ouen defense, led by Micah Robinson, keeping White in check in the second half, Schilz marched the Cougars down the field, finding Bony from the one yard line for the go-ahead score.
Then the Cougars special teams blocked a Dauphins punt deep in Nice territory and Schilz capitalized, connecting with Alexandre on a 20 yard pass to give St. Ouen a 28-17 lead.
Neither team could find the end zone in the fourth as both defenses were outstanding.
This was only the second appearance in the French championship game for St. Ouen and their second win. They are the first team to have ever won the French title twice in a row with no previous appearances.
Watch the replay here.