Stockholm Mean Machines repeat as Swedish champions

The Stockholm Mean Machines proved once and for all that they are for real in defeating the Carlstad Crusaders 49-35 to win their second straight Swedish championship this past weekend

If there were any doubters left, they are now on the bandwagon. Stockholm is back on top. They downed the eight-time champion Crusaders for the fourth time in four games although Carlstad kept it close until late in the fourth.

Ultimately though, Carlstad could not stop the Alex Thury-Alpha Jalloh connection.

Mean Machines quarterback Thury had his best passing day of the year by a wide margin throwing for 466 yards and five touchdowns with Jalloh accounting for exactly half of those yards hauling in eight passes for 233 yards and two touchdowns. The Crusaders secondary simply had now answer. And he also threw one touchdown pass. The other Stockholm wide receivers were also deadly as Per Lindelöf caught five passes for 65 yards and two touchdowns while RG Miranda had two for 88 and a touchdown. Hans von Wachsman had one catch for 37 yards and another touchdown. Running back Joshua Akena added a five yard touchdown.

For Carlstad,Phil Juhlin started at quarterback and completed 17 of 38 passes for 208 yards and four touchdowns. Emil Knutsson led all rushers for 108 yards and a major while wide receiver Robin Juhlin had five receptions for 72 yards and three touchdowns. Olov Flemstrom caught four passes for 53 yards and the fourth touchdown pass.

Carlstad looked like they were in control early in the game, driving from their own 27 yard line down to the Stockholm eight. Phil Juhlin hit Robin Juhlin for the opening touchdown and for the first time this year the Crusaders had the lead against Stockholm.

Stockholm WR Alpha Jalloh had 233 yards receiving, scoring 3 TDs Photo: Stefan Akander

That was short lived though.

One play later Thury hit Jalloh in stride and he out-sprinted the defense taking it 77 yards for tie the score at 7-7.

Juhin responded, marching Carlstad on a textbook drive, 91 yards in 14 plays, eating up over six minutes and capping it with a touchdown toss to Flemstrom putting the Crusaders back out in front, 14-7.

That’s when Thury set the tone. Backed up on his own 14 yard line, facing a third and 26, he hit Miranda for a 61 yard gain. Two plays later, he found Miranda again, this time for a 27 yard touchdown, tying the game early in the second quarter but displaying the full force of the Mean Machines aerial attack.

On Stockholm’s very next possession, Thury did it again, needing only three  plays to find the end zone, hitting Lindelöf for a 21 yard touchdown, and putting the Mean Machines out in front for the first time, 21-14, early in the second period.

Stockholm QB Alex Thury threw for 466 yards and 5 TDs Photo: Stefan Akander

Two minutes later, with the Carlstad offense stalled, the defense stepped up, picking off a Thury pass. Then Juhlin drove the Crusaders down to the eight yard line and hit the other Juhlin to tie the game up at 21-21.

This was turning into a shootout.

Thury responded again, taking just four plays, including two big pass plays, one to Josh Akena and the other a 37 yard touchdown strike to von Wachsman to regain the lead, 28-21 heading into halftime.

The third quarter opened with another demonstration of Stockholm’s aerial offense. It took Thury three plays and a minute to orchestrate another touchdown as he connected with Jalloh for his second touchdown, widening the lead to 35-21.

Two possessions later, Juhlin kicked the Carlstad offense back into gear, marching from the 38 down to Stockholm’s nine yard line, powered by the hard running of Knutsson who scored to narrow the lead to 35-28.

Thury answered. Relying on Jalloh he drove the Mean Machines 86 yards in eight plays, for of which were completions to Jalloh, finishing by hitting Akena from five yards out, restoring the two touchdown lead, 42-28 as the fourth quarter started.

Carlstad RB Emil Knutsson rushed for a game-best 108 yards and scored a TD. Photo: Stefan Akander

With the crowd and online audience getting their money’s worth, Juhlin took charge. This time, he mounted a 60 yard drive, taking nine plays and capping it with an 11 yard touchdown pass to the other Juhlin, creeping closer, 42-35 with just under nine minutes to go.

The Mean Machines defense then stiffened, snuffing out two consecutive Carlstad drives while Jalloh hit Lindelöf for a 29 yard touchdown with three and a half minutes to play.

The Stockholm defense did the rest, keeping Juhlin and the Crusaders offense from gaining another first down. With two minutes left, the Mean Machines simply ate up the clock and the celebrations began.

 

 

 

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