Denmark: AaB 89ers surprise Triangle Razorbacks in Sunday thriller

Behind Breon Allen’s brilliant play and the poise of quarterback Alexander Kronborg, the Aab 89ers pulled off a 34-26 upset win over the defending Danish champion Triangle Razorbacks in Denmark`s National League Sunday.

The 89ers surprised the visitors jumping out to a 20-6 second quarter lead only to watch as the Razorbacks battled back to tie the game midway through the fourth quarter. A late touchdown by Allen decided the game for Aalborg, but not without some late-game dramatics.

Kronborg threw for 241 yards and three touchdowns while Allen had another phenomenal rushing day with 18 carries for 187 yards and two touchdowns. He also hauled in five passes for 48 yards and another score. Frederik Myrup Nielsen caught five passes for 42 yards and a touchdown while Kasper Kaufmann had four receptions and a 27 yard score. Rashad Green recorded two receptions late in the game for 37 yards while Thomas Thellufsen had two for 42.

For the Razorbacks, quarterback Reed Gottula was solid throwing for 232 yards and two touchdowns while rushing for 37 and another touchdown. Wide receiver Alesandro Mella was outstanding with five catches for 111 yards including a 43 yard touchdown reception. Jacob Callesen hauled in three passes for 114 yards also including a touchdown, this one a 50 yard score. Niko Lester kept Triangle in the game with his running, slipping, sliding and weaving, rushing for 115 yards. Linebacker Nicolas Knoblauch stepped into a running back role and made his presence known rushing for 47 yards on six carries including an 18 yard touchdown.

AaB 89ers QB Alexander Kronborg studying the defense Photo: SBC Photo

Aalborg got off to a dream start to the game, picking off an errant Gottula pass on the second play from scrimmage. Five plays later Allen took the ball in from the nine to give the 89ers a 6-0 lead.

The Razorbacks answered though with Gottula connecting with Callesen at the seven minute mark of the first quarter for a 50 yard touchdown to tie the game at 6-6.

Kronborg came right back, marching his team on an eight play, 60 yard drive, capping it with a 27 yard touchdown pass to Kaufmann who also scored on the two-point conversion to give the 89ers a 14-6 lead with just under four minutes remaining in the first period.

Early in the second, Kronborg found Nielsen for a nine-yard touchdown to increase the AaB lead to 20-6.

The Razorbacks came back with Gottula engineering a 69 yard, eight play drive, which culminated with a Knoblauch 18 yard touchdown run closing the gap to 20-13 going into the second half.

Allen opened the second half by breaking outside on a second down at midfield and racing down the sideline all the way to score and extend the lead to 26-13.

Gottula answered maneuvering his team from the 89ers 40 after a bad punt to the nine. Then he took the ball in himself. The PAT was good and the score was not 26-20 with just over five minutes left in the third.

Allen’s second fumble of the day gave Triangle the ball at their own 32 and Gottula marched them down to the 89ers 19 but the drive stalled and after that neither team could get any momentum.

Not until Gottula took his team from his own 20, moving them to just past midfield in nine plays, which included a key roughing the punter call on Breon Allen. Then on a second and nine from the 43 he found Mella in behind the defense for a touchdown, tying the score at 26-26.

Aalborg 89ers Kasper Kaufmann and Razorbacks Martin Jepsen battling for ball Photo: SBC Photo

Suddenly this was anyone’s game after the 89ers seemed to be in control.

However, Kronborg showed how much he has grown as, helped by an excellent kickoff return of 35 yards by Green, he methodically marched the 89ers down the field, wisely mixing up his plays, and then handing off to Allen for a one yard touchdown plunge to retake the lead. The two-point conversion pass to Kaufmann was good and with under two minutes to go, Aalborg was back in front, 34-26.

It took the Razorbacks just two plays to return deep into AaB territory as  Callesen took a pass down the sideline racing 47 yards before being pulled down at the 18. A horse collar tackle placed the ball at the eight yard line with just over a minute remaining.

Poised to score, the Razorbacks seemed to come unglued and the drive stalled caused in part by an unsportsmanlike penalty called on the Razorbacks head coach.

The game ended with Kronborg taking a knee and the hometown crowd began celebrating.

With the win, the 89ers have a 2-1 record and a chance to finish first if they defeat the Copenhagen Towers this coming Saturday. The Razorbacks fall to 1-2 and face the Sollerod Gold Diggers September 6.

All statistics stated in this story are preliminary and not official.

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