Did you realise that there will be just two more blogs after this one? Well, I might make it three, we’ll see about that later. Anyway, here’s what happened on Wildcard Weekend.
West Flanders Tribes 42, Liege Monarchs 0
The Monarchs made the long trip to the Wild West to face the Tribes, and they were left with an equally long trip home after being shut out, and never even really threatening to score.
West Flanders opened hard and fast, denying everything the Monarchs tried and scoring three touchdowns in the first quarter, QB Vermaut rushing two scores from 4 and 10 yards away and WR Laleman catching a 15 yard pass for another one. The score was 20-0 at quarter time and the game was as good as over.
In the second term, QB Vermaut completed his personal hat-trick from 3 yards away and taking the score to 27-0 by half time.
As nice as the Tribes offense played, it was their defensive line who dominated this game, scoring at least 8 sacks, DE Dossche even getting in on the scoring by nailing the Monarchs QB for a safety. Either side of the defensive score were touchdown catches by WR Degroote (45 yards) and another from WR Laleman (38 yards).
The Monarchs did manage to gain some yardage, especially in the final quarter, when it seemed that the Tribes eased up because it was all wrapped up.
Antwerp Diamonds 22, LLN Fighing Turtles 13
After a rather, shall we say, unfortunate delay because there was no ambulance, the Diamonds didn’t waste any time with TE Verhelst opening the scoring and providing a 6-0 lead. But the lead didn’t last long as the Turtles could score a touchdown of their own but couldn’t make the extra point either leaving the score at 6-6.
Afterwards veteran RB Seber scored the first of his two touchdowns and the two-point conversion was completed from QB Borra again to TE Verhelst, however again the Fighting Turtles scored a six-pointer but chose to kick the extra point rather than go for two, leaving them 14-13 down at half time.
In the second half it was again RB Seber who struck for another touchdown, with another two point conversion, this time for RB Vervaet, leaving the Diamonds up the all important 9 points, 22-13. After this the game was shut down, first by the Diamonds defense, and then by inclement weather.
C’Mon man of the week
I can’t really include the whole ‘Where’s the ambulance’ routine because I don’t know the details, however there was an easy choice for C’Mon man this week, a guy I played with at the Tribes who I hadn’t seen for a while, Steven Halewijn. We were talking NFL and he asked my favourite them, which is the Minnesota Vikings.
He said, “Oh, they’d be the closest team to Canada, I guess, which is where you’re from”
I said, “C’Mon man!” (well, actually I didn’t say that, but I should have!)
Quote of the week
“I play my best game of the season and you aren’t taking the stats!”, Tribes QB Bene Vermaut
All-FFL team preview
Here’s a list of how many players made it in from each team
Brussels Bulls : 9
West Flanders Tribes : 7
Brussels Black Angels : 7
Antwerp Diamonds : 5
Gent Gators : 5
Puurs Titans : 5
Leuven Lions : 3
Limburg Shotguns : 1
This brings us to a total of 42. Just 18 players who were selected last year have earned a spot this time around, and many of those are actually selected in different positions to last year as well. I have tried to pick a team that could theoretically play a game, so there are specialists in there and people who can do many things to solve problems we might have during a potential game.
Preview : FFL #2 West Flanders Tribes @ LFFAB #1 Brussels Tigers
This is one of those unfortunate games that I can’t preview properly because I don’t know anything about the Tigers. What I can say is that the Tigers beat the Monarchs 54-8 in their one matchup this season so that is pretty similar to what the Tribes were able to do against Liege.
Most everyone is expecting a close one and I don’t have any reasons not to expect that either. In that case it becomes a question of who can execute and make a play when it matters most, and as far as that goes, I believe in the Tribes. They’ve been there, done that, and are determined to do it again.
I do think it’ll be close but I just like the Tribes to get the job done.
Tribes chance to win : 60%
Preview : FFL #3 Antwerp Diamonds @ FFL #1 Brussels Bulls
This is a tough one to preview as well as nobody is really sure just how much the Bulls exerted themselves in the Diamonds 28-0 win of a few weeks ago. I don’t think it’s quite as simple as just saying, ‘well, if the Bulls play all their starters they’ll walk all over Antwerp’, although in fairness I do think the Bulls will win, but I expect them to have to fight for every yard.
The Bulls haven’t played in a few weeks now so I wonder if they’ll start as sharply as they would like to, and if they don’t, it’ll be up to the Diamonds to make the most of their opportunities. In any close game, field position can be crucial, so look to the special teams to make a difference.
The Bulls passing attack is perhaps not explosive but it keeps the chains moving and the Diamonds #2 pass defence will look to smother it completely. On the flipside, the Diamonds ended the FFL season ranked last in pass offense, however the Bulls pass defence was just second last.
Having said all that, the Bulls hogs had an excellent season, and there’s no reason to think that that won’t continue now. I think that the Diamonds can keep the game close, but I do think that the Bulls can control the game and head to Ostend in a couple of weeks’ time.
Bulls chance to win : 70%
Diamonds chance to win : 30%
I hope that people are going to head to Brussels and check out a game, I think they both have the potential to be great ones. I’ll be checking out the Bulls-Diamonds game and I’m looking forward to it! Until next time
PS Thanks to John Jolie for the review of the Diamonds-Turtles game!