So where had that weather been, and how can we convince it to hang around for a few more months? It was a really great day for football in The Swamp, and nice to see all four teams giving it a good crack*. I even got a bit sunburnt, but that’s the price that I’m willing to pay!
Brussels Black Angels 27 – Antwerp Diamonds 6
Talk about a game of two halves. The Angels started quickly, WR T Bouron taking the opening kickoff 53 yards all the way to the Diamonds’ 22 yard line, where 6 plays later, HB Banza would slam it in from 3 yards away, putting Antwerp down 6-0 straight away.
But they would respond immediately, QB Wauters hitting TE Verhelst a couple of times and some strong running up the middle led to a 6-yard scamper from RB De Groef to tie the game. The two point conversion was intercepted by LB Delaisse, so it remained 6-6.
Antwerp’s defense made it tough for the Black Angels to find their rhythm, but the Diamonds helped them out with another interception, and by being severely beaten in the field position game (the Black Angels averaged almost 24 yards per kick/punt return, not to mention the 85 yards they gained on turnover returns). But still the Diamonds would hold, and after they gained a couple of first downs, it was again RB De Groef who took a handoff to the left and up the sideline for 40 yards, all the way to the Angels’ 10 yard line. But a crucial fumble on the next play, caused and recovered by LB Dosunmu, ended Antwerp’s hopes of leading at half time.
The second half was all Brussels. They clamped down on defense, only allowing the Diamonds 1 first down in the entire half, which again led to great field position. And when the Angels have the ball around the goal line, there’s just one man getting the football, and that’s HB Banza. He pounded in three more scores, from 3, 2 and 5 yards away, giving him a total of 4 rushing touchdowns.
The Angels were without starting QB Noel, but their back-up QB Dereine did a great job filling in for him, taking care of the ball and making good passes when required. LB Dosunmu had 8 tackles to lead his team, while DE Cleeren did the same for Antwerp, with 8.5 tackles.
So now the Black Angels are 2-1, and looking like getting back to the postseason after missing out in 2012. Meanwhile the Diamonds are now 0-3, and it looks virtually impossible that they’ll be able to make a big run like they did last season.
Puurs Titans 28 – Gent Gators 13
Speaking of a game in two halves, the Gators were a touchdown to the good at the main break, opening up a 13-6 lead over the Titans.
After a couple of punts to get things started, the Titans put together a 7 play drive which led to a QB Steenackers bootleg for 12 yards and 6 points. Gent were forced to punt again but a strip sack and recovery by DE Mankusa gave the Gators good field position and they converted on a QB Killens to WR Lezy pass for 28 yards and a touchdown. K De Gussem was good on the extra point and the Gators would lead 7-6.
Killens and Lezy weren’t done yet, as they connected again , this time for a huge play, 76 yards up the right sideline (the longest single play of any kind in the FFL this season), and the Gators would take that 13-6 lead into half time.
But the second half was a different story. Gent turned the ball over 4 times, two of those were interceptions by CB Baeten, one of which he took all the way to the house from 60 yards away. The Gators could only manage one long play in the second half, and apart from that the Titans defense strangled the game.
Meanwhile on offense, three Titans rushed for touchdowns in the second half, QB Steenackers, RB K Meersmans and RB Steenbeke. In fact Steenackers rushed for 106 total yards in the game, and K Meersmans chipped in with 7.5 tackles too (4 for loss).
On the Gators side, QB Killens ended with an even 200 passing yards, and S Piqueur paced his team with 9.5 tackles.
The Titans were able to run the football very consistently, and they’ll be a handful for the rest of the league as we head towards the playoffs. Sitting at 2-0, Puurs will certainly be looking at qualification for the playoffs as their target, and once they’ve achieved that, who knows.
Players of the week
Black Angels HB Rashidi Banza
13 rush, 41 yards, 4 td. 3 tackles
Gators WR Thomas Lezy
5 rec, 158 yards, 2 td. 4.5 tackles, 1 p d
Titans CB Raphael Baeten
3 tackles, 1 tfl, 2 int, 85 int yards, 1 td
Play of the week
Gators QB Killens fires a short pass to WR Lezy, he avoids a tackle, puts on the afterburners and he could…. go…. all…. the…. way! 76 yards, thank you very much.
Stat of the week
Both teams that lost on Sunday had more total offense than the teams that won.
C’Mon man of the week
I have two C’Mon mans (C’Mon men?) this week.
1 – Let me just start by saying this – I understand what you were thinking, my man. You were trying to save your team yardage. But you can’t try to throw a pass while being tackled and surrounded by 4 defenders, especially not as a running back – luckily the ball fell incomplete (although the refs must have ruled it down by contact anyway). Mathias Lagae – C’Mon man!
2 – I didn’t see which official it was, but one of them threw a flag at one point and it landed on the back of Gators DT Depreitere’s neck, and as you know, if you’re wearing shoulder pads, removing an object from there isn’t easy. I hope someone got it on camera, because it was as funny as hell! Mr Official – C’Mon man!
Quote of the week
“I haven’t blown my whistle yet”, the ref, who blew his whistle three times to tell Titans QB Steenackers that he hadn’t blown his whistle yet
|Brussels Black Angels||2||1||0||61||20||41|
Meanwhile, in Wallonia
The scores from last weekend were as follows
LLN Fighting Turtles 24 – Liege Monarchs 14
Brussels Tigers 61 – Wapi Phoenix 0
Charleroi Coal Miners 28 – Andenne Bears 13
As I understand it, the Walloon teams play 7 regular season games. This means that the Brussels Tigers and the LLN Fighting Turtles have already qualified for the playoffs in the top two spots.
FFL Fantasy football challenge
So I was right, I did have the team to pick up the win this week. This was also the first time that all four players that I’d picked actually played, so I think it’s fair to say that the curse is officially over!
Team Dale 82.42
Team Klaas 26.00
So that means the score is 2-2. Klaas will have the number one pick next weekend.
Rumours abound about the games next weekend, but nothing is confirmed, so I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what happens over the next couple of days. Hopefully this whole schedule thing gets sorted out as soon as possible. Anyway, I’m sure that there will be football this weekend. And wherever there’s football, you’ll find me. Until then
* ‘To give it a good crack’ is an Aussie phrase meaning to give your best effort