Hello and welcome back to the blog. After the disappointment of having the games in Izegem cancelled I decided to go cross-country to Beringen and have a bit of a look see at what was happening over there. I’m glad I did, even though my game predictions turned out to be completely and utterly wrong!
Gent Gators 28 – Brussels Black Angels 14
It seems that there’s nothing more fun for players to remind me of my game predictions when I mess up! OK, so I got this one wrong, however I was definitely right about some things – this is going to be an extremely dangerous team. How about them Gators?
They opened up on fire, recovering an onside kick and then marching the ball downfield until WR De Ruyter found some room in the endzone and was found by QB Killens for six points. The same connection was made on the two point conversion and they were up 8-0.
The game would stagnate at this point as the Angels tried to figure out how to counter the passing game of Gent while trying to get their own running game going.
They did get it sorted after Gent failed a fourth down conversion, rushing the ball downfield until RB #19 found the endzone from 2 yards away, WR Alloun catching the two point conversion and the game was tied. But not for long. The ensuing kickoff was picked up by Gators CB Van Cauwenberghe, who bounced off one tackle and ran 83 yards to the house. After a couple more ineffective drives the half was over, with the Gators ahead.
And they started the second half in much the same way that the opened the first, it was another good kickoff return by Van Cauwenberghe which gave the Gators offense a short field until QB Killens found WR Vermassen in the endzone for a touchdown, then he found TE Lagae for a tough catch over the middle for 2 more points and the Gators were up 22-8.
Things would go from bad to worse for the Angels. After going three and out and being forced to punt, stand-in RB E Piqueur took a swing pass, got a block and 71 yards later reached the endzone. This time the conversion failed but it was 28-8 half way through the third quarter.
The Gators offense didn’t manage much more after this point but they’d already done enough. Brussels RB #19 scored again, this time from 8 yards away to make it 28-14 near the end of the third quarter, but in fact not much more would happen in the game as the final score was already reached.
For the Black Angels, CB Delaisse had 6 tackles where 2 were for a loss, and their RB #19 had 9 rushes for 47 yards and 2 touchdowns.
The numbers were much greater on the side of Gent, outgaining the Angels by a massive total of 304-136. I’ll discuss more of them later in the player of the week and stat of the week categories, but S/RB E Piqueur had 2 catches for 102 yards and 1 touchdown, plus 3.5 tackles and 1 interception. Also S Jolie led the game with 8.5 tackles, where 2 were for a loss and also 1 fumble recovery. He also had 1 catch for 10 yards and 6 rushes for 20 yards.
The Gators looked really good at times because they have so many threats. Keep in mind that their best receiver wasn’t even playing in this game and they can only get better as the fields dry out. As for the Black Angels, they will be better for the experience. It’s widely known that they’re never at their best in the first game, so I expect a better performance from them next time around.
Limburg Shotguns 20 – Antwerp Diamonds 9
So this game didn’t really turn out how I’d thought it might either. It started slowly, with the Diamonds having to settle for a field goal after a touchdown had been called back due to a penalty, and to be honest that was just about all there was to report from the first half.
But whatever the Shotguns coaches said at half time worked a charm, as the boys from Limburg launched a withering assault, scoring 20 points in about 10 minutes to take the game away from the Diamonds.
It started on the first play from scrimmage after the half, when QB #86 (8/19, 142 yards, 1 td) found WR #2 on a screen and 65 yards later the Shotguns took the lead. Their next two drives also finished in the endzone, with rushing touchdowns to the quarterback from 8 yards away and RB #21 (15 rush, 75 yards, 1 td).
Antwerp tried hard to bridge the gap and did score on a nice pass from QB Wauters to WR #30 to bring the score back to 20-9, but it was too little too late, as their final pass attempt fell incomplete and the Shotguns were left to take a victory.
Here’s a surprise for you, LB Borra led the Diamonds with 4.5 tackles. For the Shotguns, LB #59 had 7 tackles and LB Eeman had 6 including 1 for a loss.
The Shotguns had enough with just 10 minutes of offense to win the game but they’ll look to be more consistent in the future. The Diamonds younger players will need to learn from this game, step up and make a few big plays in the coming games.
Players of the week
Gators QB Killens: 17/38, 263 yards, 3 touchdowns.
Gators WR De Ruyter : 7 catches, 89 yards, 1 touchdown, 1 2xp, 4 tackles
Shotguns WR #2 : 5 rec, 122 yards, 1 td, 3 tackles, 2 p d
Stat of the week
So for the last couple of years the stats were taken from all the games in the FAFL. I don’t see that happening this year (having said that, if you do want to help then now is the time to say it), but we saw some stats on Sunday that we’ve never seen before. Bart Killens threw for 263 yards, the previous record (which he also owned) was 200. Also Ruben De Ruyter caught 7 passes, which beat the previous record of 6.
One other thing, 7 Gators caught passes during the game, which has also never happened before.
Quote of the week
“So that’s the Diamonds prevent defense” – Frederik “Hicky” George, after hearing the Diamonds coaching staff calling for prevent at the end of the first half against the Shotguns, and then watching LB Borra coming around the edge and clobbering the Shotguns quarterback as he threw the ball.
C’Mon man of the week
I may have mentioned this before, but teams need to practice the Victory formation. When your coach calls out to “take a knee”, he’s referring to the quarterback and only the quarterback. I’ve seen guards, tight ends and virtually ever other position on offense take a knee along with the quarterback and it looks ridiculous. Practice the Victory formation, you never know when you’ll need it! C’Mon man!!
This won’t be a regular thing because I don’t often talk about the officials, but I guess I will this once. The Diamonds had a touchdown called back on a clipping penalty and there was some controversy about it. I saw it, and it was definitely there. But I think they blew one on one of the Shotguns touchdowns (I believe it was their second) that was a blatant ‘aiding the runner’ call. But to be fair I think overall they did a nice job, and I’ve always liked that they’re open to explaining any calls that needed an explanation. If you have a question for them as well (like I did after the first game) then check out their facebook page “BAFOC”.
There will be computer rankings this season, but because there have only been two games they’re quite meaningless at the moment, I’ll only publish them after week three (and they probably won’t be really useful until about half way through the season).
Week two preview
So as far as I know (if the schedule hasn’t changed, and I’d kind of heard rumors that it has, but I’m not sure), there’s only one game on Sunday. It’s in Liege, and will be the Charleroi Coal Miners against the Liege Monarchs. I must admit that I know absolutely nothing about either team, and so am in no state to make any kind of prediction about the game at all. Not much in the way of a preview, but hey, at least I’m honest!
So that’s just about everything that there is to say today. Good to see some familiar faces at the games, and great that football season is back. Until next time