CEFL: 1st round highlighted by an incredible comeback in Denmark, a dominant performance in Spain and a battle in Serbia

The Central European Football League, CEFL, wound up its first full weekend of action with a surprising new favorite emerging while a comeback for the ages took place in Scandinavia and an Austrian dark horse appeared.

La Courneuve Flash 49 – Badalona Dracs 7

La Courneuve Flash QB Conor Miller set to throw Photo: Joan Sancho, fotoart.estudifotografic

In Barcelona, the La Courneuve Flash proved that their dominance in the French top league was no coincidence as the visitors trampled the home team Badalona Dracs in Barcelona, Spain. Starting from the opening play from scrimmage, the French squad seemed one step ahead as quarterback Conor Miller stunned the Dracs seconds into the game with a 60-yard strike to a wide-open Steve Delaval giving La Courneuve a 7-0 lead. On the very next Flash possession, running back Guillaume Buquet #41 took a handoff, cut back to the right and raced 54 yards for a touchdown extending the lead to 14-0. Early in the second quarter, running back Jason Bofunda knifed his way into the endzone from the two-yard line to boost the lead to 21-0.

La Courneuve Flash TE Ryan Smith #87 battling defenders Photo: Joan Sancho, fotoart.estudifotografic

Midway through the third period, the Flash capitalized on a pick by Junior Smith and four plays later Buquet scored his second of the game to boost the lead to 28-0. Badalona finally found the scoreboard early in the fourth when quarterback Sergi Gonzalo, with the ball on the Courneuve 23-yard line, tossed a pass to running back Eduard Morlans in the flat and Morlans did the rest weaving his way into the end zone to cut the lead to 28-7. The Paris squad wasted no time responding as Miller threw a 43-yard strike to Sofiane Mahmoudi on the very next drive, upping the lead to 35-7. The floodgates opened as backup quaterback Léo Crémades punched the ball in from the two-yard line following a Dracs fumble to make it 42-7. Another interception gave La Courneuve the ball at the Dracs 35 and three plays later Francois Pion scored from two yards out to round out the scoring.

With the win, the Flash will now face their chief rivals in France, the Thonon Black Panthers on May 14.

Örebro Black Knights 56 – Copenhagen Towers 25

Orebro RB Timmy Göransson scoring Photo: Mikkel Bo Rasmussen/1st Down Photo

In one of the most stunning turnarounds in recent memory, Swedish defending champs, the Örebro Black Knights spotted the Copenhagen Towers a 20-0 lead early in the second quarter and then exploded for 56 points in the space of 18 minutes to demolish the home team in Copenhagen.

The Towers opened the scoring with quarterback Joshue Greaves finding Martin Due Møller on two straight drives with the Danish receiver splitting the secondary both times for a 14-0 lead. Still in the first quarter, Oliver Tribler got free for a 19-yard touchdown catch and the Towers took a stunning 20-0.

Towers WR Martin Due Møller scoring Photo: Mikkel Bo Rasmussen/1st Down Photo

That’s when the Black Knights came alive. First running back Timmy Göransson pounded the ball in from the 11-yard line to make it 20-6 and then the defense went to work, forcing a Towers fumble. Örebro quarterback Trevor Vasey threw a 37-yard scoring pass to Johannes Lindeus and Göransson made the two-point conversion closing the gap to 20-14. The Towers offense struggled, and Vasey finished off the ensuing Black Knights drive with a three-yard touchdown run to tie the score at 20-20. Copenhagen managed to retake the lead by squeezing in a field goal to end the first half 23-20. However, the second half saw a Black Knights team on a mission as Vasey hit Lindeus with an 80-yard scoring strike right off the bat to give Örebro a lead they would never relinquish. Then the defense forced a safety to make it 29-23. On the kickoff following the safety, Jesper Lindeus returned the ball to the Towers 35-yard line and three plays later, Göransson scored to extend the lead to 36-23, still in the third quarter. With a Copenhagen defense seemingly unable to stem the tide, the Black Knights added three more touchdowns in the third quarter from Vasey, running back Kasper Wedberg and Jesper Lindeus. Örebro scored six touchdowns in the third quarter and outscored Copenhagen 56-3 in quarters two and three. The Towers added a safety but it didn’t do much to ease the pain.

The Black Knights now move one to face the defending tournament champions, German powerhouse, the Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns, on May 14.

Danube Dragons 35 – Vukovi Belgrade 21

Photo Dragan Zabunović

The hometown Vukovi Belgrade opened the game on a roll marching deep into Danube territory. Quarterback Ryan Barabe then hit Petar Bajalica in the right corner of the end zone to give his team a 7-0 lead. The Dragons wasted no time as two plays later, quarterback Chad Jeffries hits a streaking Camron Lewis in behind the Belgrade secondary for a 55-yard touchdown to tie it up at 7-7. The Vukovi regained the lead early in the second quarter as Barabe connected with Petar Bajalica for a 40-yard touchdown to make it 14-7. The Dragons answered on the next possession with Jeffries hitting Lewis in the deep left corner of the end zone for a 15-yard touchdown pass to tie it up again, 14-14.

With just over a minute to go in the first half. Jeffries scrambles and then finds a wide-open Leon Steiner downfield who rambles to the end zone for a 65-yard score giving Danube the lead, 21-7.  It wasn’t until midway through the third that the Dragons began to take control after Jeffries found Lewis over the middle and the athletic wideout broke six tackles to reach the end zone for a 29-yard touchdown to extend the lead for Danube, 28-14. Vukovi responded on the next series with running back Aleksandar Bogdanović scoring on a three-yard plunge to narrow the lead to 28-21.

That was as close as the Serbian team reached as the Dragons took charge with Jeffries marching his team down to the 12-yard line and then finding Lewis again who juked out two defenders to score.

With the win, Danube advances to play Italy’s Parma Panthers on May 14.

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