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15.04.2008 Graz Giants

TUREK GRAZ GIANTS advance to the Quarterfinals of the EFL

The Turek Graz Giants advance to the quarter-finals of the European Football League, beating the French champion Flash de la Courneuve 49:27 on April 12th at ASKOE Stadion Graz-Eggenberg.

Giants run over Warriors to reach the Final
(c) Winterthur Warriors
Giants run over Warriors to reach the Final
(c)Winterthur Warriors

Before a home crowd of approximately 1,400 spectators, the Giants were able to make up the 12:14 loss in the first game played between these teams in Paris on March 22nd.

Both offenses were almost unstoppable in the first half: The Flash took the opening drive and scored just 99 seconds into the game: Guillaume Buquet ran 12 yards into the endzone to give the Flash an early 00:06 lead; the PAT by Patrick Couton was blocked by the Giants defense. With 08:56 to play, the Giants answered with an 18 yards TD pass from QB Chris Gunn to WR Moe Muheize on fourth down; Marc Biedenkappīs PAT was good, making the score 07:06. With 11 seconds left in the opening quarter, the Giants scored again: QB Chris Gunn carried the ball for the final 4 yards; after Biedenkappīs PAT the Giants held a 14:06 lead at the end of the first period.

57 seconds in the second quarter, the Flash stroke back on a 43 yards TD run from Antoine Saillant; the conversion – a pass from QB Yohann Rouat to WR Steve Delaval - was good, tying the game at 14:14. 69 seconds later, Giants QB Chris Gunn found WR Moe Muheize for a 27 yards TD pass; Biedenkappīs PAT was good, giving the Giants a 21.14 lead. With 07:34 left in this period, the Flash scored on a 2 yards run by Daniel Podin; the PAT by Patrick Couton was good, thus the game again tied. Moe Muheize scored again, this time on a 9 yards TD run; Biedenkappīs PAT was good, the Giants had a 28:21 lead with still 04:58 to play in the first half. The Flash used this time, scoring 10 seconds before intermission – QB Yohann Rouat found former NFL Europe WR Marc-Angelo Soumah for a 12 yards TD pass; the PAT by Patrick Couton was wide, so the Giants took a 28:27 lead into the locker rooms.

The game changed in the fourth quarter: The Giants defense who missed starters James Canetti on the defensive line and Gregor Kodella as Middle Linebacker due to injuries tightened up and stopped the Flashīs running game. At 09:30 in the third quarter, Armando Ponce de Leon scored on a 12 yards TD pass from QB Chris Gunn; the PAT by Biedenkapp was good, the Giants led 35:27. With 02.32 left in the third period, QB Chris Gunn scored on another TD run – this time from 4 yards out; Biedenkappīs PAT again was perfect, enlarging the Giantsīs lead to 42:27.

Early in the fourth quarter - 10:52 to play - the Giants managed the gameīs last score: QB Chris Gunn threw his fourth TD pass – a 6 yards toss to WR Moe Muheize; the PAT by Biedenkapp made the final score of 49:27.

Player of the game was Giants WR Moe Muheize, catching 3 TD passes and rushing for another; QB Chris Gunn also played an outstanding game, throwing 4 TD passes as well as scoring 2 rushing TDs. The whole Giants offense played almost flawlessly, producing seven scoring drives. The Giants defense came back to their usual strength in the second down, shutting down the strong Flash rushing attack, thus forcing them to throw the ball.

The Turek Graz Giants will face the German vice-champion Stuttgart Scorpions at Stuttgart on May 10th; with the EFL semi-final at stake, the Giants will have to play their very best football.

European Federation of American Football