|Otel Guelfi Florence||0||14||0||0||14||Loss|
|Thonon Black Panthers||0||14||10||3||27||Win|
CEFL Championship quarterfinals continued on Saturday with the matchup in Florence, where Italian champion, Otel Guelfi received Thonon Black Panthers. Two teams were equal until the break, posting 2 touchdowns each. Hobbled by injuries, the home team was left scoreless in the second half and the French went back home jubilant.
Early in the game, Adel Bafdile marked an interception for the visitors but his team couldn’t turn it into points.
It was the second period when Otel Guelfi took over with Andrea Fimiani doing most of the work over the ground, moving the chains first and then punching in for the first points, 7-0.
On the ensuing kickoff, Bafdile received the ball deep in his backfield and meandered past defenders and into the end zone to tie the score, 7-7.
A couple of offensive series later Black Panthers’ running back Nicolas Khandar found a clear line through the line and sprinted for 60 yards to be stopped only by a shoestring tackle by Dejion Lynch. His number got called again from the 2 yard line and this time he delivered for 7-14.
Mirroring his production, Guelfi’s rusher Cosimo Casati needed only one shot play to find daylight to the opposing goal line and level up at 14-14.
The home team had another shot before the intermission when Fimiani lobbed a rainbow to Niccolò Formosa. Inches from the goal line, a touchdown seemed imminent but their team was backed off by a penalty and the field goal got blocked.
The visitors started the second half strong by José Tabora linking up with motioning Jack Pilkerton who get behind his defender for 14-21.
Further extending the French team’s lead to 10 points, Kevin Dessaux booted a 31 yard field goal for 14-24.
There was still time for the purple team to get back in action but the stingy Black Panthers’ defense didn’t allow any late surprises.
The game was sealed with another 26 yard-long kick through the uprights by Dessaux for the final 14-27.