CEFL Championship’s second semifinal was played in La Courneuve, where the current French champions, the Flash, have greeted E-R Parma Panthers. It was a tough contest by equal opponents as the score was balanced after the first half and the winner has emerged only in the last moments.
|Flash de La Courneuve||7||7||6||6||26||Win|
|E-R Parma Panthers||7||7||0||7||21||Loss|
Anthony Paoletti’s lob to Simone Alinovi put the Panthers in the red zone. His next pass got intercepted by Junior Smith.
The Flash constructed a long drive that ended with a touchdown when Léo Cremades zipped to François Bremond to open the scoring session, 7-0.
The visitors responded by Paoletti connecting with Dario Zatti for an equalizer, 7-7.
Another drive by the Panthers got capped off by Paoletti when he dialed up Alinovi in the end zone for 7-14.
François Pion moved the chains for the Flash and Guillaume Buquet punched in to level the score at 14-14.
When the Italian team got the ball back Paoletti was picked off by Brandon Minin and the Flash had the short field. They get close enough to try for the field goal but the kick sailed wide left as time in the first half expired.
After the intermission Paoletti linked up with Ryan Minniti and the Parmigianos got close enough for their own field goal but now their kicking unit missed the uprights.
The home team utilized their Cremades-to-Bremond connection again to get closer to the goal and Pion scored over the ground, 20-14.
Pushed by the Flash penalty, the visiting team scored on the next drive over Ryan Minniti who took a direct snap and punched in for a late lead by his team, 20-21.
Hurrying to catch up Cremades constructed a long drive and capped it off with another touchdown to Bremond for the final score 26-21.
With 32 seconds left on the clock, Paoletti’s only thought was to go deep downfield, but one of his passes got intercepted by Kevin Poignie to end the game.
Thonon Black Panthers have already punched their ticket to the big one earlier in the day. This win by the Flash marks the first time since 2015 that the two teams from the same country will be in the CEFL Bowl. It’s also the first time that a French team will show up in the finals of the CEFL Championship and, straight off, it’s not just one but two of them.