So here we go with the final games of the FFL season (Titans vs Diamonds will not be played). This season has had its ups and downs, I suppose you could say, but it finished on a good note in Izegem (and Anderlecht), so let’s find out what happened.
Brussels Bulls 33 – Gent Gators 0
This was another one of those games that I’m not really sure that the final score was fair. The Bulls were the better team, no doubt, but Gent deserved at least one touchdown, they just can’t seem to score when they get in good position to do so. But maybe this says more about the Bulls than it does about the Gators, because they won the game to record a perfect regular season, 6-0.
Bulls RB Acheson was all over this game, and he opened the scoring late in the first quarter with a 5-yard run, and on the next possession for the Gators, Bulls S Van de Wiele (5.5 tackles, 1 interception) made a pick-six and suddenly it was 13-0.
But the Gators would hold firm throughout the second quarter despite two more interceptions, mainly thanks to CB D’Heere (6 tackles, 2 interceptions) who made two interceptions of his own to keep that 13-0 scoreline until the main break.
After a long punt return, the Bulls had a short field and the drive was capped by FB Pierquin from two yards away, and a bit later it was RB Acheson again, this time from 11 yards.
The Gators would respond with a long drive, but again as they approached the endzone the drive stalled, and the Bulls finished the scoring with a 38 yard pass from QB Njufom (2/6, 52 yards, 1 touchdown) to WR Stalmans (4 catches, 70 yards, 1 touchdown) and the final score was set.
Antwerp Diamonds 13 – Izegem Tribes 13
You Flemish guys have a funny expression where you say that a tie is like kissing your sister. I don’t know about that (I have two brothers), but in my experience ties feel very empty and unsatisfying, kind of like all that effort has been for nothing. But it’s never for nothing, it’s football! And for most of the game, a tie didn’t seem likely, even though it was a low scoring game.
It was the Tribes who started with a long drive that stalled, then Antwerp got the ball and marched it 73 yards in 8 plays for a touchdown, courtesy of QB Wauters (10 rush, 29 yards, 1 touchdown) who snuck around the end for 9 yards. The Diamonds then went and converted the touchdown as well.
In the second, the Diamonds had to punt from their own territory, but the snap was a bit high and that allowed Tribes CB Barbour to tackle the punter before he could boot it away. Two plays later, RB Atwood (8 rush, 68 yards, 1 touchdown) ran it in from 20 yards away, making it 7-6 for the Diamonds at half time.
On the opening drive, Tribes CB Humprhey made and interception and took it all the way to the house, this time with a conversion too, putting the Tribes up 13-7. It was looking good for Izegem, but they just couldn’t get a handle on TE Verhelst (7 rush, 96 yards, 1 touchdown) , and he would eventually score a rushing touchdown, but this time the kick was no good and we were tied 13-13.
The Tribes couldn’t make anything happen on offense and were forced to punt. But they tried a fake which backfired, and it led to a Diamonds field goal attempt with almost no time left. The kick was up but it was wide from 25 yards away and the game was over.
Brussels Black Angels 14 – Puurs Titans 0
And now a difficult job – to write about a game I didn’t see.
Looks like neither team was able to put together a long drive at any point in the whole game. In the first half, the Angels drives were terminated by turnovers, while the Titans were mostly being stopped by the Black Angels defense, their runningbacks found room very hard to come by. RB Lagae (8 rush, 49 yards) had conescutive runs of 13 then 20 yards to get the Titans into the redzone, but penalties and a bad snap drove them backwards.
After a Titans punt, WR Alloun fielded it and cut his way through the entire Titans coverage team for a touchdown, but it was flagged for a block in the back. However Brussels had great field position, but were held back by LB Borremans with a big tackle for loss and at half time it was all donuts, 0-0.
Angels QB Noel (7/11, 68 yards) got into the groove in the second half, completing 5 straight passes and leading his team down towards the redzone, but again they were held back, this time by CB Baeten (5 tackles, 1 interception).
On offense the Titans turned to RB Steenackers (8 rush, 27 yards) but even he found making big gains very tough, and it was still 0-0 until late in the game.
And then it was time for the man himself, HB Banza. The league’s leading scorer made a huge run on third down, going 34 yards into the endzone and putting his team up 7-0. The Titans failed a fourth down conversion and it was Banza again, this time from 8 yards away, icing the game. K Godichals kick was good again and the final score was set.
With the win, the Black Angels finish second in the FFL and get a home game next weekend, against the Liege Monarchs. The Titans have to be happy with third place and an away game against the Fighting Turtles.
Players of the week
Bulls RB Acheson – 20 rush, 179 yards, 2 td
Black Angels HB Banza – 13 rush, 89 yards, 2 td. 4 tackles, 2 tfl
Tribes CB Humphrey – 3 rush, 18 yards. 2 catch, 16 yards. 9.5 tackles, 2 interceptions, 1 touchdown.
Play of the week
There were two plays that were virtually identical, Tribes CB Humprhey and Bulls S Van de Wiele made interceptions around midfield, avoided tackles, cut back right and took the ball all the way to paydirt for six points each.
Quotes of the week
“Well, I was open” – me, after taking a catch on the sideline during the Gators vs Bulls game. Now that I think about it I should have taken off up the sideline and done my famous lawnmower touchdown celebration!
“You are really spoilt” – Tribes S Kenneth Huyghe to me after I received a banana from Aurelie Mertens (looking after the stats man is always appreciated, thankyou!). And I hope you’re finally happy now, Kenneth!
C’Mon man of the week
I am really struggling with this one. I’m sorry, but I’ve got nothing! I must be forgetting something, I’m sure of it.
Stat of the week
4 Gators players had at least 3 receptions against the Bulls. I do believe that this hasn’t happened before.
FFL Fantasy Football Challenge
So after a long and difficult season for Klaas and I trying to predict just how well you guys would play, it’s ended in a tie, 4-4.
Team Dale : 40.42
Team Klaas : 32.41
I think I speak for both of us when I say it’s been fun doing this. It’s nice that all of you guys have been really into it as well – this has been a great addition to the blog!
I’ll be heading out to the Turtles field to watch them take on the Titans on Wildcard Weekend. I’m looking forward to it. I might write something on Thursday but I can’t do proper previews of the games as I know nothing about the Turtles nor the Monarchs.
Come to think of it, I might take a look back at various predictions I made this year and see how clever I was.
On the facebook page, you’ll find the links to all the stats leaders from the entire season, so be sure to check out how you and your teammates really did this season! Also don’t forget to vote for the Offensive and Defensive Rookies of the Year.
I’d just like to take this opportunity to thank the Izegem Tribes for their hospitality. And not to forget David Corijn, who went out of his way to record the stats for the Titans vs Black Angels game, because as the Football Gods know, if nobody had recorded the stats of that game, then this would have been the last blog post ever.
Until next time