EFAF is followed by IFAF Europe
16.05.2005 Farnham Knights
Press Release PA Knights
The former East Carolina University playcaller got things started on the
home teams very first drive. Using 4 and sometimes 5 receivers the French
relied upon the arm and athleticism of Mattison on an 8 play drive to their
first score. Mattison hit WR Jeremie Larroque from 13 yards out with a
pinpoint pass for the go ahead score. Emmanuel Charret caught the 2 point
conversion and the Templiers led 8-0.
Kingsley Ejiogu was partnered by Tony Stitt in the Knights backfield and
despite a good opening run the visitors could not sustain a drive and were
forced to punt the ball back to the French team.Mattison then engineered
another 8 play drive which seemed destined to bring further success until GB Defensive Back Mike Dunson stepped in front of his pass in the endzone for the Knights only interception on the day and a touchback.
Joe StLouis joined Stitt in the backfield and the Knights briefly got the
ball moving but a couple of key penalties saw the visitors fighting against
long yardage requirements and again they were forced to punt.
A good punt from Jonathan Gerring saw them pinned back deep into their own
half - but that man Mattison had the answer as he broke loose on a 35yard
run that was chased down eventually by linebacker Jez McLees as the first
quarter ended. Back in good field position the Templiers went back to the
air picking up two big play gains either side of the Knights only sack of
the athletic QB by Great Britain Defensive End Liam Smith. The drive was
completed by Mattisons 20yd strike to WR Yann Audrain - the Knights stopped
the 2 point conversion attempt and the French team led 14-0 and in doing so
they had tied the overall scoreline.
The visitors had struggled to keep the ball - something that had led to
their domination of the home leg - and although Stitt and StLouis both made
good gains on the ground it was the Knights own air attack that sparked
their scoring drive. Rodney Edgerton picked up a quick 7yds and then QB
Ashley Heath found Jonathan Gerring down the sideline for a 53yd gain that
saw the Knights camped at the French 1yd line. Tony Stitt crashed into the
endzone for the required yard and the Knights had pulled the scoreline back
to 14-6. The extra point failed.
The Knights knew that they needed to stop the French momentum but could not
contain the highly efficient French passing game - and once on the next
drive when they did appear to have stopped the home team progress a huge
pass interference penalty saw the chains moving for the home team. Mattison
was also showing his running skills and he finished off the dive with a 6yd
run and added the extra 2 points in the same way to put the French ahead 22
The Knights came back with another good drive picking up short gains on the
ground through Tony Stitt and Paul Wakeford. Ashley Heath hit Stitt on a
short pass to pick up 20yds on the catch and run and the Knights were
knocking on the door of another score. This time however the French stood
firm as Heath's pass seemed destined to produce points the Knights receiver
lost his balance on the turf and a Templier defender stepped in to record an interception and effectively end the half.
The Knights were down but certainly not out at this point and Kingsley
Ejiogu returned to the backfield for their next drive. However the French
had more success in containing the Knights ground game than they had in
England and the Knights were again forced to punt.
Mattison then went to work and, assisted by 30yds through penalties,
completed a 6 play drive which culminated in his 6yd pass to WR Fred
Painchaud (A former team mate of Tony Stitts at the Paris Flash). Charret
again caught the 2 point conversion and Templers had stretched their lead to 30 - 6.
The Knights showed great spirit and continued to try to battle their way
back into the game - but with European rules only providing 12 minute
quarters they knew that the clock was against them. Both teams exchanged
posession as the Knights narrowly failed to keep their next drive moving and then pressure on Mattison saw 2 incompletions and a short run bring
Templiers next drive to a halt.
A good punt with no return however saw the Knights pinned back deep in their own territory. The Knights next drive saw them pick up two 1st downs on Templiers penalties as the tension around the game continued to grow.
However the British team could not sustain the drive and the ball was back
with the French as the quarter ended.
Again the Knights defense stopped the Templiers attack and the home team
were forced to punt but they had taken vital time off the clock in the final period. With time running out the Knights knew that they need two scores and punt returner Mike Dunson tried to break a big return by reversing his field - he appeared to be about to break free but a last grasp attempt by a French defender saw the ball come loose in the Knights own endzone - the Knights recovered it but in doing so they conceded a 2 point safety 32-6.
With little time remaining and needing two scores the Knights attempted an
onside kick - unfortunately the pace of the French astroturf saw the loose
ball travel to the French second line just too quickly for the Knights hands team. The Knights defense however stood firm and they had a final
opportunity to move the ball. Ashley Heath's 18yd pass to Mike Dunson saw
brief progress made but the French defense was happy to sit back to defend
the passing game knowing that the Knights had so little time.
The Knights turned the ball over on downs and Templiers then ran the ball
and the clock out to the final whistle.
The French team will now go on to the Semi-Final match up with the Carlstad
Crusaders from Sweden. The Knights meanwhile will turn their attention to a
huge domestic league clash with the London Olympians at Crystal Palace
National Athletice Stadium next Sunday - KO 3pm.
Knights Head Coach Steve Rains said "We are naturally disappointed - playing in Europe is an important part of our programme and we take it very
seriously. Templiers are however a very good team and in Perez Mattison they have a genuine US College Division 1 QB - he didn't have a good day when they came to England and we were able to take advantage of that by wearing them down and keeping posession of the ball. Today he had a stellar day and we were playing catch up from early on in the game.
We will take this on the chin and must now turn our attention to the British Championship, I was very proud of the players for the way they fought right up to the last whistle of a very tough game - I have no doubt that we will be ready to play another big game next week . Our game on Sunday against the London Olympians is now our focus point - its a huge game for both teams and its important that we concentrate on that and our regular season in Britain as we defend our position as National Champions"
Defensive Co-ordinator Ian Ellis said "Mattison was outstanding - speaking
to their coaching staff after the game it was apparent that he used the
audible system to adjust a lot of plays during the game - and he did a very
good job. Of course we were not beaten by one player - the team around him
did a good supporting job - but there is no doubt that his performance was
the key to the difference between this game and our first meeting"
Offensive Coach Paul Allison added " Although the penalty count was 90yds to 120yds in our favour it is still way too much to give away to quality teams. We were hurt by penalties at key times and must learn from that."
Club Chairman Dave Maskell concluded " Overall the team battled bravely and
we can and should be proud of our achievement in continuing Britsh
representation in European Club competition. It was the first experience for me having been away from the sport for a while - it is hard work and there is a lot to it - but we learnt a lot also and the support of our local council, Aldershot FC and our sponsors Personal Assurance has started a real community involvement for the club that we hope to continue."
A Heath 9 of 18 for 104yds 1Int
J Gerring 3 for 62yds
R Edgerton 2 for 8yds
T Stitt 2 for 17yds
M Dunson 1 for 18yds
S Peck 1 for -1yd
T Stitt 12 for 61yds 1TD
K Ejiogu 8 for 31yds
J StLouis 3 for 21yds
P Wakeford 2 for 8yds
M Saunders 1 for 2yds
A Heath 1 for 1yd
R Edgerton 1 for -10yds
Passing 9 of 18 for 104yds
Rushing 28 for 114yds 1TD
Total 46 plays for 218yds 1TD
Passing 22 of 37 for 332yds 3TD
Rushing 13 for 89yds 1TD
Total 50 plays for 421yds 4TD
J McLees 6 tackles
S Kockleburgh 5 tackles
L Smith 4 tackles + 1Sack
J Cashman 3 tackles
M Jimerson 3 tackles
N Edwards 3 tackles
T Siewert 3 tackles
M Dunson 2 tackles + 1Int
M Lloyd 2 tackles
S Clackson 1 tackle
D Freeman 1 tackle
C Cooke 1 tackle