Swedish defending and seven-time champions the Carlstad Crusaders head to Uppsala Friday night to face the 86ers n a rematch of the 2016 title game which Carlstad won 34-21.
Apart from being a rematch of the championship contest, the game will mark the first time since 1997 that Carlstad will take the field for a regular season game without any Americans on the roster.
Since the departure of the two American players signed for 2017, the club has not yet signed any new imports. In last week’s opening game against the Limhamn Griffins, running back Brett Koepp started as a short-term solution but he has now returned stateside. Carlstad won the game handily 54-0.
This game has added importance for Carlstad. If the Crusaders win they will surpass the Stockholm Mean Machines as the winningest team in Super Series regular season history. Stockholm and Carlstad are tied with 152 wins apiece.
Crusaders quarterback Philip Juhlin has looked comfortable in his first two games of 2017, throwing six touchdowns in six quarters of football (he sat out the second half of the Limhamn game). The six year veteran from Kentucky who has both a Swedish and American passport has grown into the role as leader of the top team in Sweden.
With the return last week of injured receiver Jacob Dahre, Juhlin has his dynamic title winning pair of wide outs which includes André Holgård. The Carlstad offensive line may well be the best in Sweden and Uppsala’s front seven will be tested.
Uppsala seems intent on challenging for the Swedish title again in 2017. The team looked sharp in the opening game against the Tyreso Royal Crowns, cruising to a seemingly easy 33-7 after losing to Finland’s Helsinki Roosters in NEFL action the week before.
The 86ers have signed quarterback Kieran McDonagh and Canadian junior running back Victor St Pierre Laviolette who has rushed for 284 yards and four touchdowns in their two games against Tyreso and Helsinki. So far the pair has helped the Uppsala average over 800 yards of offense in two games.
Watch Laviolette in “Beast mode”
Crusaders highlights from win over Limhamn.
Kickoff is 6:30 pm (12:30 EDT) and the game is being broadcast live on TV4/CMore in Sweden (PPV).
Watch the game live (Pay per View) by clicking here. Click on the button that says “Prova 2 veckor gratis – Try it for 2 weeks for free” . Then fill in your email address, name and password and click Skapa konto, Open account. Add your credit card number. You have two weeks free viewing. After that, if you don’t cancel it costs 99 Swedish kronor, or about $11 per month.