Carlstad Crusaders headed to 9th straight Swedish championship game

Sweden’s Carlstad Crusaders took a huge early lead and then cruised to a 47-23 victory over their 2016 Swedish final opponents, the Uppsala 86ers in the semifinals on the weekend and advanced to the Swedish championship game for the ninth consecutive year.

The Crusaders are aiming for their eighth straight title.

Quarterback Philip Juhlin was an efficient 13 of 17 for 193 yards and a touchdown and threw for another while Alpha Jalloh scored three rushing touchdowns on just 13 yards rushing. Jalloh also caught three passes for 52 yards. Running back Christian Forsman also added a touchdown and receiver Marcus Johnson caught a touchdown pass.

Carlstad DL Olof Flemström harassed Uppsala ball carriers all game Photo: Hans Cullberg

For Uppsala, the return of quarterback Kieran McDonagh to throwing form was clearly a boost for the offense as he completed 12 of 17 passes for 169 yards and two touchdowns. League rushing leader Victor St. Pierre-Laviolette was held to 31 yards rushing but scored a touchdown. Linebacker Joshua Akena was pressed into service as a tight end and scored on a nine yard reception and wide receiver Jamal Hussein caught another touchdown pass.

Carlstad jumped out to a 23-0 lead in the first quarter, taking advantage of a couple of Uppsala miscues. and by the time the first half was over they led 44-7. The Crusaders eased up it seemed in the second half while Uppsala found some rhythm and scored twice more.

Carlstad will face the Orebro Black Knights for the fourth time in five years in the Swedish final. The Black Knights defeated the Stockholm Mean Machines in the other Swedish semifinal.

Roger Kelly is an editor and a writer for AFI. A former PR Director the B.C. Lions of the Canadian Football League for 7 years, he now lives in Sweden writing about and scouting American Football throughout the world.