Welcome to the Monday edition of the blog, and finally there’s some football to take a look back at. Let’s not waste time on a fancy introduction, but just get straight down to why we’re all here.
Brussels Bulls 32 – Antwerp Diamonds 0
You’ll find the game report here : https://dalehousden.wordpress.com/2013/02/17/game-report-01-ant-v-bb/
As my Dad would say, “Football is a funny old game”, and he was sure proven right by this game. Just by looking at the score you’d say that the Bulls pounded the Diamonds right into the Puurs ground, although this was far from the truth.
The Bulls dominated in just two places. Obviously, one was the scoreboard. The other was the battle of field position. The Bulls touchdown drives were just of 9, 39, 40 and 40 yards (the other was a PR Brian De Caluwe 50 yard punt return). Due largely to that touchdown, the Diamonds had a net average of -8.0 yards per punt, which can only be described as a disaster area (and that doesn’t even include the bizarre long snap that only went about 3 yards – more on that later. Although, that would have actually improved the net average).
Anyway, the Diamonds fumbled on their first possession, handing the ball straight to the Bulls in the red zone, leading to a QB Njufom sneak for six points. Another run from a quarterback, this time QB Peter Van Aken took the score out to 13-0, and the Diamonds had a big chance to score just before half time but time ran out on them just as they were on the Bulls’ 8-yard line. It would turn out to be their best chance to score in the game.
The Diamonds held the Bulls in check through a lackluster third quarter, but the Bulls exploded for three touchdowns in the fourth term, the punt return from De Caluwe was particularly electrifying. Antwerp had no chance of a comeback, and the Bulls would beat Antwerp for the first time since 2009.
For the Diamonds, it still seems like nobody can stop TE Joris Verhelst (leading his team in rushing, receiving, kick returns and punt returns), even when the whole stadium knows he’s going to get the ball.
The Bulls got a great defensive effort from Kevin van de Wiele, with 10 tackles, and Michael Denolf had 7.5 more.
Puurs Titans 19 – Leuven Lions 6
You’ll find the game report here : https://dalehousden.wordpress.com/2013/02/17/game-report-02-leu-v-puu/
As my Dad would say, “Football is a funny old game”, and once again he was proved right by this game. I’ve been saying that the Titans have to take better care of the football in order to be successful, so what happens? They give the rock away 4 times (3 in the air and 1 on the ground) and still win. How? Well, it just so happens that the Titans have, as of right now, the two best players in the league. But more on them later.
Both teams discovered early in this one that the way to move the football against their opponents was straight up the middle, with RB/S Cedric Steenbeke leading the Titans with 77 yards on the ground, and RB Seppe Delmeiren leading the Lions (and the league, in fact) with 87. Neither team had any love through the air at all, with a grand total of 14 yards passing combined (in fact the Lions had 60 interception return yards for the game).
The Titans’ defensive line did a good job of containing Lions’ QB Bram Baete, and occupying the Lions offensive hogs until one or other blitzing linebacker could take him down in the backfield (the Titans had 6 sacks and a total of 14 tackles for loss). Maybe a little lost to the casual viewer was returning LB Wim Borremans, who also racked up 8.5 tackles and a sack.
I know before the season a lot of people (myself included) thought that the Lions would be the most surprising team this year. I guess we should have picked the Titans instead. But as they say, hindsight is 20/20 vision.
The Lions were certainly successful in moving the football, and despite being constantly nailed in the backfield, they amassed 165 rushing yards, but their passing attack was poor at best. In the end, they just couldn’t get a handle on the Titans linebackers. Whenever there was a key play to be made, it was either LB Mathias Lagae or LB Ken Meersmans who made it – in the Lions final two drives, when they were trying to mount a comeback, they got tackled for a loss five times, three times by Meersmans and twice by Lagae. You want to score on the Titans? You’ve got to deal with both of them. Good luck with that.
Players of the week
QB Peter Van Aken, Brussels Bulls
3/6, 45 yds. 8 rush, 29 yards, 2 td
LB/RB Mathias Lagae, Puurs
5 rush, 7 yards . 11.5 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 5 tackles for loss, 1 pass defend
LB / RB Ken Meersmans, Puurs
7 rush, 52 yards, 2 td . 11 tackles, 3 sacks, 4 tackles for loss
Stat of the week
The Bulls defeated the Diamonds by 32 points (32-0). They also outgained the Diamonds by exactly 32 yards (112-80) in total offense.
Don’t forget to check out the FFL Season Leaders page either for a numbers overload.
Quote of the week
Spending an afternoon with Dieter Eerens will definitely give some material for quote of the week, but it was hard to go past this one. I’ll have to give the conversation for it to make proper sense.
On the field, a Lions player drops a wide open pass that would have been a touchdown (except for that the play was called back for holding anyway and wouldn’t have counted).
Dale : “C’Mon man! You should say it through the microphone, Dieter.”
Dieter picks up the microphone
Dieter (broadcasting on the microphone) : “Special message from Dale – C’Mon man!”
C’Mon Man of the week
The dreaded award returns! I found that a lot of the special teams play was very sloppy on the weekend. We all know how that happens, coaches are too worried about their offenses and defenses and the kicking game gets left to the side. But I’ve never seen a “long” snap like the one Antwerp’s long snapper delivered. The ball must have slipped out of his hand and it just dribbled three yards backwards. Lucky for you I didn’t quite catch the number of the player involved, although I think I know who it was, but just in case I’m wrong I won’t name you, but you know who you are!
Antwerp’s long snapper – C’Mon Man!
Meanwhile, in Wallonia
LLN Fighting Turtles 56 – Wapi Phoenix 0
Charleroi Coal Miners 34 – Waterloo Warriors 33
|LLN Fighting Turtles||2||0||0||82||0||82|
|Charleroi Coal Miners||1||1||0||34||59||-25|
LFFAB : Tournai
Luxembourg Steelers v Waterloo Warriors
Wapi Phoenix v Liege Monarchs
FFL : Gent
12:00 – Antwerp Diamonds v Brussels Black Angels
15:00 – Gent Gators v Puurs Titans
It was a successful first weekend in Puurs. Hats off to the board for their organising a great afternoon, they even managed to conjure up a bit of sun as the day went on as well. Much appreciated!
So on Sunday, FFL Gameday moves to Gent, where both the Gators and Black Angels will play their first games of the season. Let’s hope for solid weather again and some great football, because we’re just getting warmed up! Until next time