18.04.2005 Farnham Knights
British Champion wins against French Semi-Finalist
Personal Assurance Knights (GB) 20-6 Templiers d'Elancourt (FR)
The PA Knights started their 2005 European campaign in the EFAF Cup with an
historic win against the Templiers from Elancourt (Paris). The game was the
first ever Stadium based home game for the Knights with 570 spectators
watching on from the seating at Aldershot Towns Recreation Ground Stadium.
It is also the first time ever that a British club team has defeated a
French club team in a European competition.
Having two years previous European experience the Knights knew that the pace
of the game steps up from that generally experienced in the British League -
that was certainly the case with this game as the physically smaller French
team more than made up for that aspect with their speed.
Knights kicker Steve Belcher (sponsored by Expio Consulting) got the game
underway and the French team led by American QB Perez Mattison (East
Carolina University) started on Offense. Despite a good early run from the
speedy Mattison the Knights Defense closed down the French and they were
forced to punt. The crowd enthusiastically got behind the Knights but the
French Defense limited their progress and the pattern for the first quarter
was set as the teams exchanged punts and posession with no scoring in the
The Knights were maintaining the majority of the time of posession as their
ground game using Kingsley Ejiogu, Joe St Louis and Moses Tomas continued to
make progress but dropped passes kept them out of the French endzone.
With halftime rapidly approaching the Knights embarked upon another
Offensive drive from within their own half as their Offensive Line started
to dominate the tiring French Defense. Led by QB Ashley Heath (Sponsored by
Premier Prospects) they drove deep into French territory on the speedy
rushing of Ejiogu and the determined conversion of 3rd down situations by
Joe StLouis. With less than a minute to go in the half it was Kingsley
Ejiogu (who would go on to notch up close to 200yds for the day) who dived
in to score from 2yds. Belcher added the extra point kick and the Knights
led at half time by 7-0.
The visitors American coaching staff made some key adjustments at half time
in an attempt to close down the Knights attack and this appeared to have
paid dividends as the Knights first series gained only 2 yards. The reliable
boot of punter Belcher set the French back at their own 24yd line as Neil
Edwards followed up the kick with a crunching tackle on the returner.
Templiers came out passing but had little success and they too were forced
to punt after a minimal gain. The teams had two further exchanges of
posession as both Defenses dominated - the Knights being led by former
London Monarch Tony Mackenzie.
With three minutes remaing in the quarter the Knights embarked on a 9 play
drive that would see them score as the 4th quarter began. Starting at their
own 33yd line the Knights were boosted by Ejiogu as he followed his blockers
and broke clear for a 28yd gain indeed it was only the speed of Perez
Mattison (Also playing on Defense) that prevented him adding another score
for the Knights. Ejiogu on the ground and a quick pass from Heath to Moses
Tomas saw the home team on the visitors 1yd line. From here nothing could
stop the powerful Tomas crashing in to score behind the blocking of the
Knights OLine. Belcher added the extra point kick and the Knights lead
stretched to 14-0.
Templiers knew they need to get back into the game quickly and came out
passing. The Knights however pressured the QB and three plays later
Templiers were forced to punt the ball back to the home team.
Tomas and Ejiogu again made good yards on the ground and then QB Heath found
Dwain Clarke open down the sideline - the Templier defender had two
options - to allow Clarke to catch the ball and score or to commit a penalty
and give up 15yds - he understandably chose the latter option. That put the
ball into Templier territory at the 40 yard line - Ejiougu followed Tomas
for 4 yds and then Heath found Clarke again - this time however the Knights
WR was beyond any defenders reach and the Knights celebrated a 36yd
touchdown. The extra point attempt failed and the Knights led 20-0.
This time the Templiers passing attack had greater success as Mattisin hit
Tanvet and Yann Audrain picking up two consecutive 1st Downs to move into
Three subsequent incomplete passes saw the visitors foced once again however
to punt the ball away.
In a regular game the Knights would have eaten up the remaining 5 minutes
with their rushing game but as QF match up is a two leg tie they were
concious that the aggregate score is what will decide who goes forward in
the competition. They therefore continued to chase points and embarked on an
11 play drive that took them to a third down situation at the visitors 17yd
line. Seeking to stretch their lead however led to the only turnover of the
game as Mattison stepped in front of Heath's passat the 4yd line and took
the interception 55yds back down the field to the Knights 41 yd line.
With 1min and 12 seconds to go Templiers sought to at least reduce the
Knights lead by one score. Two pinpoint passes to Yann Audrain (21yds) and
speedy WR Larroque (14yds) saw them knocking on the door at the Knights 6yd
line with just 50seconds remaining. Confusion on the Templiers sideline saw
them run the next play with too many players on the field and they were
moved back out to the 21yd line after the penalty. Mattison hit Rano for
13yds on the next play but two incomplete passes saw the visitors forced
into a desperation pass on third down from the 8yd line - when it fell short
it seemed the Knights had held on to their 3 score lead - however a roughing
the passer penalty saw the visitors given another chance as the ball was
moved forward to the Knights 4yd line with a fresh set of downs and 30
seconds to go.
An incomplete pass was followed by Mattisons quick strike to Yann Audrain
who did well to hold on to the pass, which was deflected by GB cornerback
Simon Kockleburgh, for a precious 6 points. The Knights successfully
defended a two point trick play and with 8 seconds to go the game was
effectively over with the score at 20-6.
The Knights recovered the onside kick and ran the clock out to record an
Knights Head Coach Steve Rains said "This was a very tough game. Templiers
are a very good team and we know that we still have a lot of work to do when
we visit them for the second leg. Kingsley Ejiogu was outstanding today and
impressed everyone who was here to watch, I know that he will be the first
to say that the lead blocking of Moses Tomas and Joe StLouis with the
awesome work done by our Offensive Line deserve equal credit - but he is a
real talent and he took full advantage of the opportunities that their work
Defensive Co-ordinator Ian Ellis commented "Although we were disappointed to
give up the score at the end of the game that does not detract too much from
what we achieved here today. We are now leading by 14points at the half way
stage and need to go to France next month and repeat todays success - it
will not be easy but that is always the case in European games"
Chairman David Maskell concluded "We are pleased that the French team
enjoyed their visit to England despite the result going against them. We are
grateful to Aldershot Town FC and Rushmoor Borough Council for their support
in staging the game here at the Recreation Ground - it has been a fantastic
day for us - we hope the crowd enjoyed it and that we will be able to come
back here again at some stage"
The Knights return to British League action in 2 weeks time when they visit
the Cambridgeshire Cats.
TEM..... 0 0 0 6 - 6 |
PAK..... 0 7 0 13 - 20 |
| Team Player AttCmpInt Yds TD Lg
| TEM P.Mattison 31-13- 0 132 1 21
| PAK A.Heath 22- 5- 1 53 1 36
Templiers Elancourt PA Knights
TEM PAK | ----RUSHING---- #-Yds TD |----RUSHING----#-Yds TD
1st Downs 10 18 | J.Tanvet 7-34 0 |K.Ejiogu
Rushes-Yds 12-41 45-259 | P.Mattison 4-12 0 |J.St Louis 12-51
Pass Yds 132 53 | J.Larroque 1--5 0 |M.Tomas 3-12
Passing 13-31-0 5-22-1 | |G.Hart 2-7
Plays 43-173 67-312 | ---RECEIVING--- #-Yds TD |R.Edgerton 1-1
Avg/play 4.0 4.7 | Y.Audrain 4-53 1 |A.Heath 1--9
Kick ret 3-72 2-35 | X.Rano 3-20 0 |
Punt ret 3-39 4-17 | J.Tanvet 3-16 0 |---RECEIVING---
Int ret 1-55 0-0 | O.Tauma 2-29 0 |D.Clarke 2-42
Fumb ret 0-0 0-0 | J.Larroque 1-14 0 |M.Tomas 1-7
Fumb-Lost 1-0 0-0 | |J.St Louis 1-4
Penalties 10-113 3-24 | |R.Edgerton 1-0
Punts 8-34.2 4-40.8 | |
Possession 15:16 32:44 | |
3rd-Dn Eff 1/9 6/16 | |
4th-Dn Eff 0/0 1/1 | |