Key Upset In Switzerland Changes Playoff Landscape

The Basel Gladiators needed to win badly in Switzerland’s top division and they did Saturday as they surprised the previously undefeated Calanda Broncos beating them 39-32 at home in Basel at Stadion Rankhof.

This was an important win for the Gladiators who had dropped their previous meeting with Calanda 34-20. With it, they clinched a playoff spot and gained much-needed confidence.

Basel quarterback Sebastian Frausto completed 12 of 15 passes for 192 yards and three touchdowns and ran one in himself. Receiver Rene Fink was on the receiving end of all three. Running back Raphael Rousis added the final touchdown while the Gladiators scored two points on a safety.

Calanda quarterback Josh Dean was outstanding in the loss throwing for 298 yards and three touchdowns.

Although the Broncos outgained Basel in the air and on the ground by a wide margin, the difference was short fields and long fields. While Basel’s special teams gave them good field position throughout the game, they also forced Calanda to start from within their own 10 yard line more than once.

Switzerland - Basel-Calanda 2016 action - 2pic

Playoff positions still up for grabs in Switzerland

Basel’s win sets up an interesting scenario in Switzerland. With the final weekend of play coming up, the Calanda Broncos are in first at 7-1, the Bern Grizzlies second also at 7-1, the Winterthur Warriors are third at 5-4 and Basel fourth at 4-4. This definitely makes for a dramatic finish to the regular season.

Switzerland - Week 9 league standings

Basel faces the Bern Grizzlies this weekend and a win coupled with a likely two points from a previously cancelled game with the Zurich Renegades and a Winterthur loss would give the Gladiators a 6-4 record which could put them into third ahead of Winterthur. However, Winterthur plays the Calanda Broncos and a Winterthur win (they were close to beating Calanda earlier in the season) would solidify the Warriors third place spot.

A Calanda loss coupled with a win by the Bern Grizzlies would then make the re-scheduled makeup game between Bern and Calanda decisive. They are slated to play June 26 to make up for a game that was cancelled earlier.

Whew.

So Calanda could finish either first or second as could the Bern Grizzlies. The same goes for Winterthur and Basel. A Winterthur loss and Basel victory puts the Gladiators in third.

This will be an interesting weekend of football in Switzerland.

Roger Kelly
Roger Kelly is an editor and a writer for AFI. A former PR Director the B.C. Lions of the Canadian Football League for 7 years, he now lives in Sweden writing about and scouting American Football throughout the world.
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