Welcome. Many of you know that I was pretty annoyed Sunday evening. I had actually written my farewell blog post – now I hope that you’ll never get to see it (to be honest it’s a pity because it was actually really good!) Let’s get to work
Gent Gators 61, Limburg Shotguns 7
Welcome to the Ken Philippe show! 5 rushing touchdowns + 7 extra points = 37 points in one game. Anyone think that someone else has ever scored that many in FFL history? I doubt it.
In general, the Gators were just too much for the Shotguns. Respect to the boys in green for playing with so few players and finishing the game strong too, QB Eeman finding WR Pauwels for a consolation touchdown, but it was too little too late.
Offensively, the Gators did pretty much whatever they pleased, rushing for 210 yards (128 from RB Philippe and 44 yards and 2 touchdowns for QB Killens), while WR Vermassen (3 catches, 44 yards, 1 td) had a good game on the outside.
The Gators outgained the Shotguns 293-107, and were aided by S Jolie’s 3 interceptions. RB Jans added 58 rushing yards for the Shotguns too.
Antwerp Diamonds 14, Leuven Lions 10
Again the Lions played a close game and again they just can’t quite find a way to get over the line, this time despite leading the game in virtually every statistical category (total yards, rushing yards, passing yards, third down conversions etc).
It was a good start for the Lions, RB Van Camp (10 rush for 75 yards, 1 td, 3 rec for 50 yards) scoring early to make it 7-0, but the Diamonds hit back with a touchdown by TE Verhelst (4 rush for 43 yards, 1 td, 2 rec for 8 yards), and a two point conversion made it 8-7 Diamonds at the half.
A third quarter field goal for the Lions put them up 10-8, but a long Antwerp final quarter 68-yard drive was capped off by QB Borra (9 rush for 37 yards, 1 td) for what would turn out to be the final score. The Lions would get one more chance, but that man again, Borra, made the sack on fourth down and the game was as good as over.
The Lions outgained the Diamonds 223-138, while QB Baete went 7-7 in the game.
Brussels Black Angels 29, Puurs Titans 12
It was windy in Ostend, and the Angels held sway in field position throughout the first quarter, after being stuffed by a Titans goal line stand, QB Njufom found WR T Bouron on a slant for 6 points, but that would be the end of the scoring in the first half, as neither team could get much going.
The Titans forced another punt by the Angels, which WR Vermeir duly took 80 yards to the house, but the extra point was missed and the Angels led 7-6 heading into the final quarter.
The last term belonged to Angels HB Banza (11 rush for 153 yards, 2 td). The Titans couldn’t get a grip on him and he ran all over them for touchdown runs of 25 and 27 yards, also QB Njufom managed to sneak one in from 1 yard away. Puurs would score one of their own, LB Meersmans taking a handoff, busting a couple of tackles and scampering 50 yards to the endzone, but the game was long gone by this point, the Titans had played admirably but the Black Angels wore them down in the end, the 5 Titans interceptions were too much to make up.
The Angels had 287 yards of offense while the Titans could make just 75. Making his season debut was RB Trouillez for the Angels, rushing 12 times for 54 yards.
Brussels Bulls 14, West Flanders Tribes 7
This game started just the same as Angels-Titans. The Bulls were stopped at the goal line but had the wind and therefore great field position after a punt, marched the ball down and scored, RB Acheson (31 rush for 210 yards, 2 td) slamming one in from 4 yards away. When the teams switched ends for the second quarter, the game went the other way, the Tribes pushing, a lot of it through the air (QB Vermaut 13-29, 160 yards, 1 td, 3 int), but lacked the incision to be able to finish their drives.
The Bulls tried to help out by fumbling on both of their first two plays from scrimmage, RB George (10 rush for 23 yards, 1 td) scoring on the ground to tie the game up, but the lead didn’t last long as RB Acheson scored again, this time from 41 yards away, the extra point was good and the Bulls led 14-7.
After this, it was the Bulls defense who made the plays, totalling 3 sacks (DE Sumen with 2) and 4 interceptions (LB Nicolajeff with 2) in total, and when Tribes QB Vermaut had to leave the game due to a deep cut on his finger the Tribes were done.
Tribes receivers WR Laleman (6 rec for 90 yards) and TE Vanhee (5 rec for 38 yards) had big days, as did LB Vanmarcke (9 tackles), but nobody could match the impact that Bulls RB Acheson had. The Bulls had a grand total of 0 passing yards, but who needs to pass when you can block and run like that?
The Bulls narrowly outgained the Tribes 229-216, Bulls SS Mees leading them with 6.5 tackles.
C’mon man of the week
I should have thought that this was fairly obvious.
Quotes of the week
So instead, we’ll go with two quotes of the week, actually, one is a quote and one is a conversation.
“Oe’ist?” – Black Angels QB Francis Njufom doing his best to fit in in West Flanders
“Good morning, Hans”
“Don’t you talk to me”
“Are you trying to win quote of the week? *laughs*”, myself and Hans De Leenheer
Stat of the week
So far this season, Gators RB Ken Philippe averages 21.7 points per game. This is more than the Diamonds (17.3), the Titans (15.6), the Bulls (14.0), the Angels (9.3), the Shotguns (6.3) and the Lions (6.0).
Players of the week
I’ve decided to split this into three. Normally I’ll post it on the facebook page but I wasn’t very motivated to do so this week.
Offense – Bulls RB Ben Acheson. Any other week, Gators RB Philippe would have won, but if you rush for 210 yards against the Tribes and lead your team to victory over a team that had won 50 straight in Belgium, you deserve it.
Defense – Gators FS Kim Jolie. Made just the 1 tackle against the Shotguns but made 3 interceptions, taking over the league lead in that category, and returned one of the picks to the house as well.
Iron man – Titans LB Ken Meersmans. 1 kick return for 5 yards, 3 rushes for 52 yards and 1 touchdown (a 50-yarder), 13.5 tackles, 1 sack, 1 fumble recovery. Any questions?
Looks like the voters (myself included) were wrong to put the Tribes at number one, but we’ve made the adjustment back to how it was supposed to be. The rest of the top 5 remain the same, but the gap between one and two has never been bigger.
1 – Brussels Bulls 0.888
2 – West Flanders Tribes 0.723
3 – Antwerp Diamonds 0.583
4 – Gent Gators 0.508
5 – Brussels Black Angels 0.481
April 1, Anderlecht
12:00 – #2 West Flanders Tribes v #3 Antwerp Diamonds
15:00 – #5 Brussels Black Angels v #4 Gent Gators
April 1, Leuven
14:00 – Leuven Lions v Limburg Shotguns
What to watch for
Tribes v Diamonds
The Diamonds still have to play the Tribes, Bulls and Angels, and they’ll need to win at least one of those (preferably against the Angels) in order to qualify for the playoffs for the first time in several years. They catch a wounded Tribes team whose mental state may be worse than their physical state, after all, who knows how they’re going to react to the loss? They certainly don’t.
Antwerp has a tough defense but they’re ranked last in opponents’ 3rd down percentage, so they’ll want to improve here to get their offense on the field. As for the Tribes, they’ll want to improve on their -1 turnover differential.
I see this as a bit of a tough slog. I like Antwerp to be able to move the football and the Tribes to do it less consistantly but in larger chunks. This is a great test for both teams.
Prediction : Tribes 21, Diamonds 14
Computer says : Tribes by 8
Next up is Angels at home against the Gators. The Gators struggled mightily with the physicality of the Diamonds and I expect much of the same here. In the final quarter last week, the Angels looked like they had run into a bit of form, so could that be the spark that they need to kick on for the rest of the season, knowing that their crucial matchup with the Diamonds is just 2 weeks away?
I think the Gators will have learned from their loss to the Diamonds, but the Angels have the number one defense in terms of yards per play. Here’s an interesting one for you – the Gators lead the league with a third down conversion rating of 48%. The Angels lead the league with a third down conversion rating against of 10%.
Prediction : Angels 17, Gators 9
Computer says : Gators by 11
Well, one team is going to get a win this week (unless it’s a draw). The Lions just haven’t found a way to make it happen yet, but this is their best chance yet, at home to the Shotguns. You’ve got to like the matchup of the speed of Lions QB Baete against virtually a whole team playing ironman football – it’ll get to them eventually.
The heart of the Shotguns shouldn’t be underestimated, and they can score touchdowns from anywhere at any time, they just haven’t shown the consistency to really scare anybody yet.
So I think Limburg can make a few big plays but Leuven should have the speed to run over the top.
Prediction : Lions 34, Shotguns 12
Computer says : Lions by 38
So that’s that. Next week I’ll post something but it’ll probably be Tuesday morning – Tuesday afternoon I leave to go home for a few weeks. See you all when I get back