First game of the CEFL Championship season 2022 was played this Saturday in Thonon les Bains. The Black Panthers have welcomed LG OLED Las Rozas Black Demons in what was Spaniards’ premiere international outing.
Home team has proven its role of a favorite by opening the scoring session in the second quarter. Even so, numerous penalties and strong defenses have led to low points count and the score was active until the end.
Black Demons’ first possession of the ball has set the theme for their whole performance of the day. Namely, they had to punt it away after three short runs.
French team’s offense was more concrete though not much efficient. Their quarterback, Brett Hunchak connected with his receiving corps from the start. Then the offensive line in front of him made space for running back Akiva Wedge to keep moving the chains. As they were getting closer, a penalty backed them off and they tried kicking a field goal but the ball sailed wide left.
Madrilenians continued with their own penalty and quickly punted to their opponents. In their next drive, the Black Panthers’ returned the favor by going backwards 25 yards themselves. However, this didn’t stop them from scoring. Their balanced attack was again staring the same actors aided by running back Nicolas Khandar and receiver Benjamin Lolmede. Finally, Hunchak found Félix Durand in the right corner of the end zone to put the first points on the board. Following a bad PAT the score was 6-0.
Heavily preferring the run, Black Demons’ offense still couldn’t find rhythm and punted once more. They were better on defense though when their rivals took over and had to punt too.
On the next drive by the Spanish team shotgun snap passed the quarterback and he had to fall on the football for a 12 yard loss.
Home team took over and mounted another successful series. Wedge pierced through the opposing ranks and carried the rock to their red zone. Khandar pushed for another first down and with 4 seconds on the clock in the first quarter Wedge broke the goal line for 12-0. An incomplete pass on the 2 point conversion was the last play before the intermission.
Teams trade more penalties and dropped passes in the third quarter, changing possession of the ball. When the Black Panthers take over Khandar rushes again but linebacker Jorge Felix Velasco Velo is vigilant, strips the ball and recovers it.
Black Demons’ offense sputters once more and tries a 4th down conversion which fails on the rival’s 33 yard line. On the next play their defensive back Jorge García Vargas gives them another go at the ball by intercepting Hunchak.
Defensive unit of the home team answers right back when Guillaume Rolle sacks the Spanish signal caller. This gets canceled by a pass interference penalty on the 4th down and the Black Demons’ drive is still alive. Now Dorian Pin records another sack and the visitors have to punt. The ball is muffed by a punt returner and Pablo Rodríguez Delgado recovers it for an advantageous field position by the Black Demons on the rival’s 38 yard line. Another turnover on downs ensues when they can’t get in gear.
Black Panthers’ drive stalls too and they turn the ball over on a fruitless 4th down conversion. With 6:14 left on the clock the visitors put on one last attempt and this time they won’t be denied. Their French runner Alexandre Voumbo-Yalo moves the chains to the opposing 30 yard line. Another pass interference penalty adds 15 more yards to their efforts. Receiver Jesús García-Valcárcel Patiño finds a hole in the zone defense and hauls in a 19 yard pass. With 2:08 still to go Voumbo-Yalo breaks into the end zone for a touchdown and the final score 12-6. His 2 point conversion rush is stopped short of the goal line and the onside kick is recovered by the home team which runs the clock.
In the second round the Black Panthers will host the winner of the game between Badalona Dracs and Flash de La Courneuve which is played on 23 April.
Game video: https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x89ni7i