Two Major Championships Decided!
TGerman championship – German Bowl XXXVI – was an exciting game – for one quarter – but after that, the defending champion Braunschweig New Yorker Lions, methodically dismantled the Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns, overwhelming them 47-9 at L.-Jahn-Sportpark Stadium in Berlin. A crowd of almost 13,000 looked on, along with a European wide television audience, to witness the efficiency and power of the Lions.
David McCants scored three touchdowns while his RAM trio colleague Michael Andrew added two more rushing touchdowns. Quarterback Casey Therriault scored a sixth touchdown on the ground and threw for touchdown number seven to Anthony Dable. Therriault, who was named game MVP, was devastating shredding the Unicorn defense sometimes at will.
In Denmark, the Copenhagen Towers defended their title by beating the Aarhus Tigers 26-9. This was Towers long-time quarterback JR Artozqui’s final game so it was fitting he was named Mermaid Bowl MVP.
These were the last two major championships of 2014 although both Hungary and the Ukraine are still playing and we will try to keep track of the games there as well as we can. Also, the Balkan League with teams from Romania, Bulgaria and Serbia kicks off in October. We will do our utmost to cover those as well.
Here then is a brief summary of what has happened around the continent in 2014.
The Austrian final in July, Austrian Bowl XXX, was a thriller for the ages as the Vienna Vikings (AFI Europe #2) and the Swarco Raiders (AFI Europe #3) 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.
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 (AFI Europe #12) capped a grueling yet highly successful season 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.
The Czech championship ended, as expected last month, with the Prague Black Panthers (AFI Europe #11) 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.
In Denmark, the league number one Copenhagen Towers (AFI Europe #16) faced the only opponent to have beaten them this season, the Aarhus Tigers in the 25th Mermaid Bowl and beat them 26-9. JR Artozqui threw for three touchdowns, two to Oliver Wenzel and was named Game MVP. Read the recap here.
In Finland, the Helsinki Roosters took a 7-0 lead behind the running of Jaycen Taylor (championship MVP) and then cruised to a 21-7 victory over the number two team in Finland , the Turku Trojans to win Maple Bowl XXXV for the third year in a row.
See the complete recap here!
The Thonon Black Panthers (AFI Europe #13) won the French league in thrilling fashion two months ago. But they lost lost in the semi-finals of the inaugural IFAF Europe Champions League tournament to Vukovi Belgrade 19-7.
In German Bowl XXXVI, the Braunschweig New Yorker Lions (AFI Europe #1) conducted a football clinic in all phases of the game in annihilating the number two team in Germany, the Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns (AFI Europe #4), 47-9 in Berlin. Lions quarterback Casey Therriault guided the most efficient offense in the country, and possibly Europe, to 434 yards and seven touchdowns. They scored on every drive but one during the game. Read the full recap here.
The London Warriors (AFI Europe #20) captured their second straight BritBowl title by downing arch rivals the London Blitz 10-8. Had the Blitz been successful with their two point conversion the game would have gone into overtime. With virtually no time left, the Blitz got behind the Warriors secondary and scored on a 67 yard pass and run. BritBowl MVP was Warrior defensive back Samuel Obi who reeled in two interceptions, as well as defending a number of passes and making two tackles, indicating how defensive this game was.
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.
The Hungarian league is entering its fifth week and the Budapest Hurricanes sit atop the standings with a 3-1 record. Last weekend they played the third place Ujbuda Rebels and suffered a second half collapse to lose 44-27. The teams were tied 14-14 at halftime. The Hurricanes will face the last place Gyor Sharks this week. The Sharks were beaten up badly by the Budapest Wolves 58-19. In the other game this weekend, the Rebels will host the Wolves. The last time they met the Wolves blanked Ujbuda 24-0.
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.
The Milano Seamen (AFI Europe #19) won their first-ever Italian championship – Super Bowl XXXIV in July beating four-time champion the Parma Panthers handily 33-3.
The Norwegian championship was decided in July as the Kristiansand Gladiators beat heavy favorite the Eidsvoll 1814s 22-21 on a last second hail mary pass.
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.
The Lisboa Navigators capped an undefeated season by winning the Portuguese championship in the last week of May, beating the upstart Braga Warriors 34-7.
The Bucharest Rebels completed an undefeated season by defeating the Timisoara 89ers 18-12 in the 2014 Romanian Bowl.
The Moscow Patriots overcame a stubborn Astrakhan Gladiators team 27-12. The Gladiators, who had to travel 1,400 kilometers to Moscow overnight, started slow and the Patriots looked impressive in the early going. But Astrakhan gave Moscow all they could handle before succumbing to a very tough Patriots defense.
Read the recap above.
Earlier this month, Vukovi Belgrade (AFI Europe #12) 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.
The season in June with the Badalona Dracs as new champions.
In the Swedish nationally televised championship final, the Carlstad Crusaders (Europe #6) proved why they are one of the elite teams of Europe with a thorough trouncing of the Orebro Black Knights 49-9. In fact in all three meetings between these clubs this season the Crusaders have outscored the Black Knights 139-38. Read the game story here on AFI.
The Basel Gladiators (Europe #17) won the Swiss Bowl in July for the first time in their history.
This past weekend, the Kiev Bandits finished the regular season against the Kiev Knights demolishing the hapless Knights 87-0. On Saturday, October 18, the league-best Bandits will face the Kiev Slavs. The Bandits have scored 355 points in six games while only allowing 38. In the other semi, the Kharkov Atlantes who won Group B will take on the Odessa Pirates.
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