Carlstad Crusaders make history, capture 3rd straight Swedish women’s title

Generally, the team that controls the line of scrimmage, controls the game and ultimately comes out victorious.

Based on rushing yards alone, the Carlstad Crusaders definitely controlled the line of scrimmage against the Örebro Black Knights, outrushing them by 186 yards en route to a history-making 28-0 shutout in the Swedish Women’s Championship Game.

Anna Hedström (83 yds), Karen Ullen (79 yds) and Gaby Knops (57 yds) accounted for 219 of those 220 yards as Carlstad pounded out a decisive win against a Black Knights squad that did not have an answer for the powerful Crusaders running game.

With quarterback Sydney Green misfiring with her passes (she completed eight of 21 for only 49 yards) it was the ground game that paved the way. Although two of the Crusaders touchdowns came on passes, the foundation was laid by the offensive line and the trio of running backs.

Time and again, with the offense seemingly stalled as Green seemed to struggle throwing a wet football, Carlstad’s running backs bailed them out.

Crusaders WR Linda Johansson catching a TD pass from QB Sydney Green Photo: Jonas Domfors

Green threw two touchdown passes, one to lanky receiver Linda Johansson and the other to Hedström. Johansson only caught two passes for 11 yards while Knops had four receptions for 28 yards.

Örebro quarterback Julia Schlatow was not much better on this day, completing just seven of 29 passes for 117 yards with running back Luna Schytz  (3/54 yds) and wide receiver Christin Hecker (2/52 yds) as her main targets. Running back Izabel Burger battled all game long but rushed for only 47 yards on 16 carries.

Although the first quarter ended in a scoreless tie, Carlstad was in control the entire period, reaching all the way to Örebro’s seven and never starting a drive outside of Black Knights territory. Meanwhile, Örebro had a tough time getting out of their own zone and in fact only did that once in the first half, but only barely.

Meanwhile, although the Crusaders squandered a chance to go ahead early when Linda Johansson as the holder on a fake field goal try tossed a pass to Gaby Knops in the end zone that was barely out of her reach, they threatened the entire half. Finally, early in the second quarter, Carlstad marched from their own 35 down to the Black Knights three yard line, primarily with Ullen and Hedström carrying the load. Green capped the drive with a nine yard touchdown strike to Johansson and the two-point conversion made it 8-0.

On a cold and rainy day, Schlatow’s receivers were not giving her much help. It took Luna Schytz to carry the receiving load at times. Still, the closest the Black Knights advanced was to the Carlstad 47 yard line.

Carlstad made a statement to open the second half as Ullen, temporarily replacing Green at quarterback, marched the team from their own 48 handing off to Hedstrom once and carrying the ball into the end zone herself, scoring on a 25 yard run.

Carlstad QB Sydney Green getting tackled by Black Knights LB Isabella Pelonzi Photo: Jonas Domfors

The Crusaders increased the lead to 22-0 later in the third following an interception which gave them the ball on the Black Knights 20 yard line. Six plays later, Green hit Johansson from two yards out for the touchdown. Knops added the two-point conversion.

Orebro finally reached deep into the Crusaders zone when Burger broke for a 32 yard gain carrying the ball down to the 20. But early in the fourth the drive stalled.

Two possessions later, Green finished an 11 play, 54 yard drive by punching the ball in herself to boost the lead to 28-0.

The Black Knights then mounted their best drive of the game with Schlatow moving them from their own 40 down to Carlstad’s 23 but it ended with three incompletions.

With the win, Carlstad became historic, capturing their third straight Swedish women’s title and the club became historic as the only club in Sweden to capture both men’s and women’s gold the same year.


American Football International is your source for news and updates about American Football outside the United States!