TGerman semi-finals took place this past weekend and as predicted the Braunschweig New Yorker Lions (AFI Europe #1) had a comfortable time of it giving the Cologne Falcons (AFI Europe #7) 52-3 trouncing. In the other semi-final game, the Schwabisch Hall Unicorns (AFI Europe #4) proved that they belong among the elite teams in Germany outlasting the Dresden Monarchs (AFI Europe #5) 33-28. Read the recap in the Germany section.
The Danish semi-finals produced a surprise as the Aarhus Tigers, who had lost to the Triangle Razorbacks during the regular season by a hefty margin, returned the favor, beating the Razorbacks 37-29. In the other semi-final, as expected the favorite Copenhagen Towers (AFI Europe #16) beat up on their arch rivals the Sollerod Gold Diggers 33-8.
Three weeks ago, the Helsinki Roosters (AFI Europe #8) defended their Finnish title beating the Turku Trojans 21-7 in Maple Bowl XXXV thus claiming two championships in 2014. They also won the IFAF Europe Champions League.
The Moscow Patriots took back their Russian title, downing the Astrakhan Gladiators 27-12 in Moscow two weeks ago.
We have added three more sections this week thanks to the enthusiasm and vigilance of Filippo Rostoni. We are now covering Portugal, Hungary, and the Ukraine. 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 (Europe #2) and the Swarco Raiders (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 (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 (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 two finalists for the 2014 Mermaid Bowl have been decided. The league number one Copenhagen Towers were not threatened by the Sollerod Gold Diggers and beat them handily 33-8. However, in the other semi, there was a surprising upset as the Aarhus Tigers beat the favorite Triangle Razorbacks 33-29. Earlier in the season the Razorbacks had crushed the Tigers 42-7.
So on October 11, the Copenhagen Towers will face the Aarhus Tigers in the Danish championship – the 25th Mermaid Bowl.
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 (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.
It was a tale of two games. As predicted the Europe’s #1 Braunschweig New Yorker Lions were too much for the feisty Cologne Falcons on this day handing them a 52-3 thrashing. This was the third time these two teams had met this season and the Lions dominated all three in intimidating fashion. Braunschweig amassed 437 yards in offense as compared to Cologne’s 176. Lions quarterback Casey Therriault had a field day rushing for 93 yards and a touchdown while throwing for 217 yards and two more touchdowns. He completed 14 of 20 passes (70%). The RAM trio – Rosemann, Andrew and McCants – combined for another 145 yards on the ground and three more touchdowns.
On the other side, Cologne quarterback Robert Demers was picked off on the Falcons’ first three series and the Lions converted all three times to take a 17-0 lead early in the second quarter. Playing catchup against Braunschweig is a daunting task. Especially when you are down 17-3 at the half and you kick off only to watch David McCants return it 85 yards for a touchdown extending the lead suddenly to 24-3. The rest of the game was a cakewalk as Lions coaches worked hard to get their starters off the field. Strangely though, Cologne did not turn to their subs until late in the game.
In Schwabisch Hall, the Unicorns and Dresden Monarchs truly entertained the capacity crowd on hand in brilliant sunshine at Hagenbach Stadium. Unfortunately for Dresden, it was the Marcus Sims show. Although the Monarch’s Trevar Deed had an outstanding game carrying for 127 yards and a touchdown, Sims had a game for the ages. He rushed for 225 yards on 24 carries (9.3 yards per carry) while scoring four touchdowns. This was against one of the top defenses in Germany. His first was a brilliant 79 yard run off the right tackle to open the scoring. Unicorn quarterback Marco Ehrenfried was his usual efficient self, completing 14 of 19 passes for 229 yards. Dresden quarterback Jeff Welsh threw for 373 yards and three touchdowns, the last one to close the gap to 33-27 with a minutes left in the game. Unfortunately, the onside kick on the kickoff did not work and Schwabisch Hall ran out the clock to advance to the German Bowl for the third time since 2010. For Braunschweig, this will be their 10th appearance in the final since 2000. They have won it five times since then.
German Bowl XXXV will be played on October 11th at Jahn Stadium in Berlin. Look for a preview with Kiel Baltic Hurricanes head coach Patrick Esume next week.
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 third week and the Budapest Hurricanes sit atop the standings with two straight wins. This weekend they will face the third place Ujbuda Rebels after beating them last week in a thriller 28-27. The Budapest Wolves who are in second will face the Györ Sharks who they defeated last week 44-19.
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 (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 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 (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.
With the final weekend of play coming up this weekend, the semifinal spots have already been decided. This weekend, the Kiev Bandits will finish the season against the Kiev Knights. On October 18, the league-best Bandits will face the Kiev Slavs. The Bandits have scored 268 points in five 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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