The Wroclaw Panthers with their spectacular new quarterback, Tony Dawson, definitely underwent a transformation this past weekend, totally destroying the Turkish champion Koc Rams, rolling over them 55-7 in Central European Football League play.
The Panthers had lost to the Calanda Broncos from Switzerland two weeks ago when their original starting quarterback suffered a season-ending injury and their CEFL season looked dismal.
Dawson changed all that. He was simply a one man wrecking crew.
The new signal caller for Wroclaw completed 17 of 22 passes for 261 yards and four touchdowns and rushed for another 133 and four touchdowns. In other words, Dawson accounted for all eight touchdowns and 80% of the 481 yards of offense produced by the Panthers. Receivers Radim Kalous (2 TDS), Wictor Zieba (1 TD) and Phillip Blechinger (1 TD) had a field day with the Rams secondary. Running back Konrad Starczewski rushed 12 times for 78 yards.
The Rams were held to 197 yards of offense by a Wroclaw defense that also grabbed two interceptions and forced a fumble.
Rams quarterback David Whipple had a game he would like to forget. He could get nothing to work.
At times it seemed like Dawson was playing hide and seek with a Rams defense that came into the game blindfolded.
Wroclaw jumped out to a 34-0 halftime lead and continued to pour it on in the final two quarters.
Dawson opened the scoring with a 64 yard touchdown pass to Zieba to give the Panthers a 7-0 lead. Then, with the Wroclaw defense neutralizing the potent Rams offense, Dawson went back to work, marching his team down to the six yard line and punching the ball in himself to increase the lead to 13-0.
The Panthers defense forced Rams running back Darius Lewis to fumble and Dawson capitalized, moving the ball down to the 15 yard line and then scoring his second touchdown of the game to move out to 20-0 early in the second quarter.
On the next possession, Wroclaw got the ball back at the Rams 35 yard line and Dawson connected with Kalous to up the score to 27-0.
Wroclaw defensive back Kamil Ruta picked off a Whipple pass on the next series and Dawson took advantage, finding Kalous again to extend the lead to 34-0.
The turnover woes continued for Whipple and the Rams in the third quarter as Panthers defensive back Daniel Piątkowski picked off an errant Whipple pass right away returning the ball to the five yard line. Dawson scored and the lead was now 41-0.
Dawson scored again to increase the lead to 48-0, still in the third quarter.
In the fourth quarter, the Rams finally found the scoreboard as Whipple connected with Kris Wedderburn for a 67 yard touchdown but the ensuing onside kick attempt failed giving Wroclaw excellent field position again. Dawson made no mistake finding Blechinger twice in a row, the second time for a touchdown.
Dawson’s performance earned him the game MVP award and gave Wroclaw hope. The Panthers face Serbia’s Kragujevac Wild Boars on May 11 in a game they need to win to stay alive. Meanwhile they need the Rams to beat Switzerland’s Calanda Broncos.