ECJ2000: Russia books final place

Category: - published 2000-08-03 by EFAF

Russia will meet either Finland or holders Germany in the final of the Wilson 2000 European Junior Championships after a stunning and convincing 32-0 win over France at the Wilmersdorf Stadium in Berlin.

The 1998 beaten finalists were pounded by the dual rushing attack of Anton Paramonov and Evgueni Chekhov and will now contest the fifth place playoff against Great Britain. Austria will meet the losers of the decisive Germany versus Finland clash for third place at the Jahnstadion on Saturday, when games kickoff at 10:00 a.m., 3:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.

France simply needed a win to clinch a place in the final, while Russia went in search of victory by more than 18 points to edge Austria out of a tiebreaker and quickly dented the scoreboard.

Russia made their intentions known early on as Paramonov had carries of 24 and 14 yards, but quarterback Evgueni Sigaev was unable to find two open receivers in the end zone when gambling on fourth down.

France twice went three and out and Russia opened their third drive with good field possession at the French 47-yard mark and again relied on Paramonov to get them a crucial first down, before talking the lead with 24 seconds remaining in the first quarter.

Paramonov charged 21 yards for the game's opening touchdown and with the 19-point margin needed to reach the final in mind, Russia opted for a two-point conversion and Sigaev found tight end Andrei Iassenovski in the endzone.

Fellow rusher Chekhov then added his power on the ground to the Russian offense and charged 52 yards on the first play after linebacker Andrei Tiagounov had recovered a French fumble near midfield. From the French two-yard line the first push for the end zone was stopped before Paramanov went over and Sigaev added the two-point conversion with a quarterback keeper for a convincing 16-0 lead.

Russia fumbled away possession at their own 35-yard mark with just under two minutes to play in the first half and French wide receiver Nordine Ben-Mimoun responded with a spectacular leaping catch for a 25-yard reception.

That bought up first and goal at the Russian six, but defensive back Denis Zemskov hauled down rusher Mehdi Baba-Aissa before a stunning play earned Russia a 24-0 halftime lead. French quarterback Jerome Faundez was intercepted in the end zone by Igor Ilioukhine and he raced 95 yards untouched for a touchdown and Sigaev again added the quarterback keeper.

Russia strengthened their stronghold and the likelihood of a final berth immediately after the interval when Chekhov burst in to score from three yards out and his backfield partner Paramonov added the two-points to bring up a 32-0 lead.

France had a 70-yard touchdown reception by Ben-Mimoun ruled out for offensive pass interference, then moved the ball aided by two personal foul penalties to the Russian 10-yard mark, but fumbled away possession.

Article by : Micheal Preston

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