Białystok Lowlanders capture Liga Futbolu Amerykańskiego title in Poland, upset Wroclaw Panthers

The Białystok Lowlanders defeated the Wroclaw Panthers 14-13 to capture Polish Bowl XIII and win Poland’s Liga Futbolu Amerykańskiego (LFA) title for the first time in their history.

The win marked the first time since 2009 that a team not from Wroclaw or Gdynia has won a Polish championship.

The Lowlanders defense set the tone early, as defensive back Tomasz Żukowski picked off Wroclaw quarterback  Jan Wawrzyniak on the first series. However, the Panthers returned the favor, forcing a fumble as neither team was able to gain any momentum.

Then, early in the second quarter Wawrzyniak marched the Panthers deep into Białystok territory, carrying the ball himself down to the 10 yard line.  Mateusz Szefler plunged into the end zone on the next play to give Wroclaw a 6-0 lead. However, the Lowlanders special teams blocked the extra point attempt by Dawid Pańczyszyn, a key play in the game.

Lowlanders QB Ryan Kasdorf scored 2 TDs Photo: Marcin Fijałkowski / Interception

Białystok responded on the next series as quarterback Ryan Kasdorf connected with Tomasz Zubrycki to move the ball down to the Wroclaw six yard line. On the next play, Kasdorf scored himself and Bartłomiej Trubaja kicked the crucial extra point giving the Lowlanders a 7-6 lead at the half.

Wroclaw opened the scoring in the second half with Bartosz Dziedzica racing 77 yards for a touchdown. This time Pańczyszyn did not miss and the Panthers led 13-7 midway through the third quarter.

Both defenses continued to play excellent, physical football and neither offense could move the ball effectively.

Białystok got the first big break of the game as early in the fourth quarter, a bad snap caused Krzysztof Wis  to fumble the ball deep in his own half of the field. The Lowlanders took over and Kasdorf scored again and Trubaj kicked the all important PAT giving the Lowlanders a 14-13 lead.

The Panthers had more chances but a final interception by Lowlanders defensive back Marcin Kaim sealed the historic win for Białystok .

AFI
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