American Football International

Around the Continent: Roger’s Corner – August 6th, 2014

Great football action continues in Europe!

A number of leagues are still in full action in Europe with playoff spots up for grabs.

It has been a tumultuous week for the Berlin Adler (Europe #8). After dropping a huge 56-7 loss to the Braunschweig New Yorker Lions (Europe #2), the team watched as club management decided to fire head coach Kim Kuci a few days after the game. This happened to the EuroBowl winning head coach!

The team then hosted the Kiel Baltic Hurricanes (Europe #3) and lost in a thriller 21-20, leaving them dangerously close to missing the playoffs in Germany. This would be a first. The EuroBowl winning team does not qualify for the playoffs in its own country the same year! P

Poland crowned a new champion as the Gdynia Seahawks upset the Wroclaw Panthers 41-32 in a game that became a game in the fourth quarter. With the Seahawks up 35-12 early in the final period, Wroclaw mounted a comeback bid and looked dangerous in doing it. They scored three touchdowns but could not quite make it. Read the story HERE.

In Ireland, the championship final – the Shamrock Bowl – is this Sunday, August 10 as last year’s champion, the Belfast Trojans will face the  Trinity College Dublin who have never been in the final before. Read further and watch for a preview in AFI.

As mentioned last week, the Serbian team Vukovi Belgrade (Europe #11) completed a wonderfully successful 19 game season winning the Central European Football League title while also winning the Serbian league (www.saaf.rs).Read an article on that website about American Football International Review too. And look for an upcoming story on this remarkable team in AFI!

Here then is what happened around the rest of the continent last weekend.

Austria

The Austrian final three weeks ago, Austrian Bowl XXX, was a thriller for the ages as the Vienna Vikings (Europe #1) and the Swarco Raiders (Europe #5) battled to a 17-17 tie in regulation time. Vienna scored the only touchdown in overtime to win its third straight Austrian title 24-17. Read the game recap here.

Belgium

Belgian Bowl XXVII saw a new champion crowned in July as the Ghent Gators made no mistake handing the defending champion the Brussels Tigers a 38-0 pummeling. This was the first ever title win for the Gators and they did it on their first try. Read the game recap HERE!

CEFL (Central European Football League)

Vukvoi Belgrade (Europe #11) capped a grueling yet highly successful season earlier in July, by beating the Ljubjana Silverhawks 27-17 to win their second title of the year. Vukovi reached three championship finals winning two of them. A remarkable achievement.

Czech Republic

The Czech championship ended, as expected last month, with the Prague Black Panthers (Europe #10) taking the title beating the Pnbram Bobcats 40-0. With that, Prague finished a great season with a record of 13-6. They played more games than any other team in Europe.

Denmark

No games were played as the Danish league is taking a break. Action returns this weekend, on August 9. The Copenhagen Towers (Europe #17) lead the entire league and have scored 268 points in six games while allowing only 26 against. Phenomenal numbers. They are first in Group 1 and have defeated the Triangle Razorbacks and the Gold Diggers (two and three in Denmark) by a combined total of 58-6.

Finland

In Finland, the Helsinki Roosters (Europe #13) were back in action, and found their form again totally annihilating the Kuovola Indians 80-7. After losing badly two weeks ago to the Crocodiles, the Roosters, with new quarterback Sean Shelton at the helm replacing the injured Robert Johnson, flexed their muscles against a depleted Indian’s squad.   TAFT survived a scare as the Helsinki 69ers pushed them, scoring two second-half touchdowns. TAFT still managed to prevail 38-34. The Turku Trojans took the wind out of Senaijoki’s sails after their big win last week against the Roosters, beating the Crocodiles 37-19. This has created a three-way tie for first. The Crocodiles with 10 points have the advantage with a plus 158 point differential, while the Trojans are in second with a plus 149 point advantage. The Roosters are third with at +119 points. Sitting in the fourth and the final playoff spot is TAFT at 3-3 with six points.

France

The Thonon Black Panthers (Europe #14) won the French league in thrilling fashion a month ago. But they lost lost in the semi-finals of the inaugural IFAF Europe Champions League tournament to Vukovi Belgrade 19-7.

Germany

North:  The Braunschweig New Yorker Lions saved their firepower for the second half in defeating Dresden 49-34. Down 24-14 at the half, the Lions proceeded to score five second half touchdowns. Quarterback  Casey Therriault accounted for five (two rushing and three passing) on his own. The Cologne Falcons (Europe #7) tightened their hold on a playoff spot beating the Berlin Rebels 44-14. The Kiel Baltic Hurricanes took a 21-7 lead on the Berlin Adler and held on in the second half to win 21-20. With four games to go, the Adler will have to battle every week against teams above them in playoff position. Braunschweig still leads the North at 7-0, followed by Kiel (6-3), Cologne (5-2) and Dresden at 5-3. Berlin sits in fifth with a 4-4 record. 

South:  The Schwabisch Hall  Unicorns (Europe #6), led by running back Marcus Sims’ 257 yards rushing and five touchdowns, pounded the previously unbeaten Stuttgart Scorpions 48-28. But the game was still in doubt until the Unicorns scored two fourth quarter touchdowns to put it away. The Marburg Mercenaries (Europe #18) had no trouble with the Franken Knights defeating them 42-14. The Munich Cowboys earned a much-needed win over the Allgäu Comets beating them 25-22. Finally, the Saarland Hurricanes jumped out to a 20-0 first half lead and then hung on against the Rhein-Neckar Bandits to beat them 28-27.  Stuttgart still leads the South at 9-1, with the Unicorns second at 9-2. The Marburg Mercenaries remain third at 7-2 while Saarland holds on to fourth place at 5-5.

Great Britain

Premiership North:  The Sheffield Predators  upended the winless Doncaster Mustangs 28-8 to stay close to the last playoff spot in the North. Tamworth Pheonix moved into a tie with the East Kilbride Pirates beating the Yorkshire Rams 32-13. The Lancashire Wolverines  overwhelmed the Gateshead Senators 63-0 to stay ahead of the Coventry Jets in the standings.    So the East Kilbride Pirates and the  Tamworth Phoenix are tied for first both with 8-0 records. Lancashire jumped up into a third place tie with Coventry, as they both have 5-3 records.

Premiership South: Only one game was played as the Bristol Aztecs defeated Colchester 57-0.  The London Warriors lead the South with an 8-0 record with the Blitz in second at 6-1. The idle Bristol Aztecs remain solidly in third at 6-1 while the London Olympians occupy fourth at 3-3.

Holland

In July, the Alphen Eagles won Tulip Bowl XXX in a nail biter, beating arch rival the Amsterdam Crusaders 14-12. This was the third Tulip Bowl victory in a row for the Eagles.

Ireland

Having lost only one game between them this season the Belfast Trojans and Trinity College Dublin will square off Sunday in the Irish championship, the Shamrock Bowl. This has the makings of an exciting final.  In the past 14 months, Belfast and Trinity have faced each other twice in competitive games, winning one each. Both teams were also finalists in the EFAF Atlantic Cup in 2013. The Irish championship game, the Shamrock Bowl takes place August 10. This is the first appearance in the Irish championship game for Trinity while the Trojans have won the last two.

Italy

The Milano Seamen (Europe #15) won their first-ever Italian championship – Super Bowl XXXIV in July beating four-time champion the Parma Panthers handily 33-3.

Norway

The Norwegian championship was decided last month as the Kristiansand Gladiators beat heavy favorite the Eidsvoll 1814s 22-21 on the last second hail mary pass.

Poland

The Polish Super Final saw the Gdynia Seahawks defeat the Wroclaw Panthers 41-32 to win their second Polish title in three years. Read the game recap HERE.

Serbia

Earlier this month, Vukovi Belgrade (Europe #11) made no mistake in the Serbian championship game beating rivals the Kragujevac Wild Boars 27-17, to cap a highly successful season. The Serbian squad also reached the finals of the the IFAF Europe Champions League tournament losing in a close one to Helsinki 36-27.

Spain

The season has ended with the Badalona Dracs as new champions.

Sweden

The Carlstad Crusaders (Europe #12) rolled over the Stockholm Mean Machines 69-7 to take over sole possession of first place in the Swedish Super Series. The second place Tyreso Royal Crowns  delivered the same fate to the Arlanda Jets handing them an embarrassing 70-6 defeat. The Orebro Black Knights beat the STU Northside Bulls 39-20. In a game for the fourth and last playoff spot, the Kristianstad Predators edged the Uppsala 86ers 26-23 after scoring a touchdown with less than two minutes left on the clock. With three games remaining,  Carlstad sits solidly atop the standings with a 7-0 record. The Royal Crowns are second at 7-1 but cannot catch the Crusaders having lost to them earlier in the season. Orebro sits at third at 5-2 while Kristianstad has secured fourth with the win over the 86ers.

Switzerland

The Basel Gladiators (Europe #15) won the Swiss Bowl in July for the first time in their history. We do our utmost to keep up with all the American football being played throughout Europe. In fact, nowhere else can you find more comprehensive information. But we are bound to miss something. Please let us know if we do and also give us ideas and comments on how to improve. We also are looking for contributions, whether you are a coach or player or a fan. Send your articles and we will print them. Send you articles or comments to: roger@eurosportsscouting.com or jtmckeon@americanfootballinternational.com

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