American Football International

Around the Continent: Roger’s Corner – September 4th, 2014

Three championships coming up as finalists decided; Adler back in hunt!

The German Football League playoff race suddenly became very interesting this past weekend. The Berlin Adler (Europe #9), with a bend-but-don’t-break defense, turned back the powerful Dresden Monarchs (Europe #3)  28-17. A day earlier the Cologne Falcons (Europe #14) had beaten the Kiel Baltic Hurricanes 28-20. With those two upsets, Cologne leads the Adler by a game but Berlin has a game in hand and these two face each other for the final playoff spot this weekend. Read more in the Germany section.

The top three spots in the North are secure but the order of three and four is still not certain. Should Cologne beat the Adler, they finish third by virtue of their defeat of Kiel both times they met this year. In the South the Munich Cowboys are battling to stay alive but Saarland could overtake them and in the event of a tie the Hurricanes have the edge in the two meetings between the teams.

The Swedish semifinals saw one minor upset and another unexpected blowout as both Carlstad and Orebro advanced to the Swedish final. The Carlstad Crusaders had an easy time of it roaring past Kristianstad 64-7 while Orebro took an early 19-0 lead and hung on to win 19-13. The Swedish championships will be this Sunday televised live in Sweden and streamed live. The Finnish playoffs are scheduled for September 6-7. In Denmark the playoffs don’t start until late in September as is the case in Germany as well. And finally in Russia, the two Russian finalists were decided.

We have added a section on Russia.

The Top 20 will be delayed another week.

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

Austria

The Austrian final last month, Austrian Bowl XXX, was a thriller for the ages as the Vienna Vikings (Europe #2) and the Swarco Raiders (Europe #4) 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 #10) 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 #8) 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

In Denmark four games were on tap. In Group 1 action the Aarhus Tigers continued their winning ways, this week blanking the Esbjerg Hurricanes 48-0. Also in Group 1, the league-leading Copenhagen Towers (Europe #18) handed the Odense Swans a 50-0 thrashing.  In Group 2, the division leading Triangle Razorbacks  beat Herlev 46-14 and the Sollerod Gold Diggers dismantled the Holbaek Red Devils 46-6.

The Copenhagen Towers (Europe #18) still lead the league at 8-0 and have scored 349 points in eight games while allowing only 32 against (4 points/game!). Aarhus is second in Group 1 at 7-2 with Amager third (3-5). The Triangle Razorbacks  extended their lead to 8-1 in Group 2, followed by Sollerod in second (6-3) and Herlev third, at 5-4.

Finland

In Finland, in the final regular season round, the Helsinki Roosters (Europe #12), scored a first half touchdown to take the lead over the Turku Trojans 7-0 and then held on to win 21-10 and secure first place and home field advantage in the Finnish semi-finals this weekend. The Roosters defense played a great game limiting the Trojans offense to a less than 200 yards of total offense.  On offense, Roosters running back Jaycen Taylor has returned from injury and scored two touchdowns.

The Butchers also won their last game of regular season and with their 42-21 win over Vantaa TAFT, clinched the fourth playoff spot. Butchers running back RJ Jackson scored three touchdowns on the ground and rushed for 200 yards. The Helsinki 69ers handed the hapless Helsinki Wolverines a 54-12 drubbing after leading 46-12 at halftime. Then the Senaijoki Crocodiles finished off the Indians season with a 40-13 victory.

So the stage is set for this weekend’s semi-final action. On Saturday the Roosters will host the fourth place Butchers and on Sunday the Crocodiles travel to Turku to face the Trojans. The Roosters have beaten the Butchers twice this season handily (57-38 and 47-20). Earlier in August, Turku beat the Crocodiles 37-19 behind the running of Jocques Crawford who had 204 yards rushing and two touchdowns in that game. Read the full story elsewhere on AFI.

 

France

The Thonon Black Panthers (Europe #15) 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:

In the German North division, the playoff race tightened up. As mentioned, the Berlin Adler (Europe #9), with a bend but don’t break defense, turned back the powerful Dresden Monarchs (Europe #3)  28-17. A day earlier the Cologne Falcons (Europe #14) had beaten the Kiel Baltic Hurricanes 28-20. With those two upsets, Cologne leads the Adler by a game but Berlin has a game in hand and these two face each other for the final playoff spot this weekend. In the first game between these two this season, the Adler beat Cologne 38-27 behind the arm of quarterback Darius Outlaw who was 23 of 31 for 284 yards and one touchdown. If Cologne wins, not only will they secure a playoff spot but also overtake Kiel advancing to third place. On the other hand, an Adler victory would virtually assure them of a playoff spot and bump Cologne out of the playoffs. In their final game of the season, Berlin faces the winless Dusseldorf Panther. In other action, Braunschweig beat Dusseldorf 58-0.

The top three spots in the North are settled but the order of three and four is still not certain. Should Cologne beat the Adler, they finish third by virtue of the fact that they defeated Kiel both times they met this year.  In the South the Munich Cowboys are battling to stay alive but Saarland could overtake them and in the event of a tie the Hurricanes have the edge in the two meetings between the teams.

Braunschweig leads the North still with an 11-0 record. Dresden (Europe #3) is second at 7-4 while Kiel (Europe #6) remains in third at 7-5 and Cologne (Europe #14) in fourth at 6-5. But the Adler, who are in fifth at 5-5, have two games remaining, one against Cologne and the other Dusseldorf.

South:  The Saarland Hurricanes beat the  Franken Knights 48-26, scoring 20 unanswered points in the fourth quarter. The Munich cowboys beat the Rhein-Neckar Bandits 44-40 in the second leg of a home and home series. This keeps them ahead of Saarland in the race for the fourth and last playoff spot. The  sixth place Allgäu Comets still have a mathematical chance to make the playoffs after edging Marburg 36-35.

Stuttgart (Europe #7) still leads the South at 11-1, with the Schwabisch Hall  Unicorns (Europe #5) breathing right down their necks in second at 11-2. The Marburg Mercenaries (Europe #16) remain third at 9-4 while Munich is fourth with a 7-6 record. Saarland is fifth at 6-7. Should Munich win their final game at home against Marburg, they will secure fourth. However, if Munich loses and Saarland beats the Comets, they will overtake Munich as in a tie their scoring differential in their two games against Munich this year give them the edge. At the top, changes could take place too. Stuttgart has two games remaining, the first one against Schwabisch Hall. If they win they will finish first and the last game of the year for them will be meaningless against Allgäu. However if they lose to the Unicorns they will finish in second. First place earns that team a first round playoff bye.

The Schwabisch Hall Unicorns boast the highest scoring offense in the league with 604 points total while Braunschweig has the stingiest defense allowing only 116 points against in 11 games.  Saarland Hurricane running back Giovannie Dixon is averaging 172 yards per game to lead the entire German league.

GFL TV Highlights

Great Britain

It was not unexpected. The BritBowl this year will feature last year’s finalists as the defending champion London Warriors will take on their cross town rivals the London Blitz . Last weekend, the Warriors had no trouble handling the Tamworth Phoenix who had finished second in the Northern division, beating them 41-14. In the other semi-final the London Blitz (second in the South) had to take the train up to Scotland to face the first place team from the North, the East Kilbride Pirates. The train ride did not seem to affect the Blitz as they dominated the Pirates 44-0.

Last year the Warriors beat the Blitz in a thriller 26-23 for their first championship. This will be the fifth year in a row that these two teams face each other in BritBowl. In fact, since 2005, the Blitz have appeared in every single British American Football championship game, winning five times.

Earlier this year, the Warriors beat the Blitz 33-13 but the game was much closer than the score indicates. Watch for previews and a live stream link next week. BritBowl XXV is Saturday September 24.

 

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

In a Shamrock Bowl that will be remembered as much for the rain as for the defenses, the Belfast Trojans outlasted Trinity College Dublin 7-0 to win their third Irish championship in a row. Read the recap HERE.

Italy

The Milano Seamen (Europe #19) 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 a 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.

Russia

The Moscow Patriots were pushed to the limit by the St. Petersburg Griffins but found a way to win 27-26 in the first Russian semi-final matchup. The Griffins took the lead early and it was not until the fourth quarter that the Patriots made a comeback. . In the other semifinal, the host Astrakhan Gladiators took control early and never let up in demolishing the Nizhny Novgorod Raiders 52 58-8. Read the full recap on AFI

 

 Serbia

Earlier this month, Vukovi Belgrade (Europe #10) 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 in June with the Badalona Dracs as new champions.

Sweden

In the Swedish semi-finals, the Carlstad Crusaders proved why they are heavy favorites to win the 2014 title in Sweden. They jumped out to a 31-0 lead in the first quarter and thrashed the Kristianstad Predators 64-7. Although no one expected that kind of a lopsided score, there was no surprise in the outcome. In the other semi-final, the Orebro Black Knights, finalists last year, also jumped out to an early lead , 19-0, but then had to battle the Tyreso Royal Crowns to the very end, winning the game 19-13 with the Royal Crowns threatening.

 

 

Switzerland

The Basel Gladiators (Europe #17) won the Swiss Bowl in July for the first time in their history.

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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 your articles or comments to: roger@eurosportsscouting.com or jtmckeon@americanfootballinternational.com

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