Denmark: Søllerød Gold Diggers stage come-from-behind victory to punch ticket to Mermaid Bowl

The first place Søllerød Gold Diggers found themselves in a deep hole early in the second half of their Danish semifinal game against the Triangle Razorbacks Saturday afternoon.

At that point, the Gold Diggers trailed 14-0 and looked dangerously close to being eliminated from title contention – again.

But a strong second half saw the 2010 champions surge past a much-improved Razorbacks squad behind running back Christian Vahl’s three-touchdown performance and hold on for a 21-20 victory and a berth in the Mermaid Bowl.

The Razorbacks struck first though, with quarterback Reed Gotula marching his team on their first possession on a 75-yard drive, capping it with a one-yard plunge to take a 7-0 lead.

Gold Diggers QB Andreas Sølling Photo: Ralf Deitrich

Neither team could gain any momentum after that opening scoring drive with turnovers being the order of the day. Søllerød reached the red zone twice and turned the ball over both times on downs. Quarterback Andreas Sølling also threw into double coverage for an easy Razorbacks interception. Triangle fared no better with Gottula throwing a pick of his own late in the half on the Søllerød goalline. The Gold Diggers had the best shot to score but came up a yard short on the Triangle seven-yard line with seconds to go in the half.

The Razorbacks opened the second half the same way they did the first with Gottula engineering another scoring drive. This time he marched his team on a 10 play, 55-yard drive, and capped it by pushing his way into the end zone from the two-yard line, giving his team a 14-0 lead.

The Gold Diggers responded though as Sølling led his team from his own 45-yard line, relying on the hard running of Christian Vahl and Eduard Molina. Vahl finished off the drive with a two-yard plunge into the end zone, reducing the lead to 14-7 with five minutes left in the third quarter.

The Gold Diggers defense came up with a huge play on the ensuing Triangle possession, blocking a punt, giving the offense the ball on the Razorbacks 30 yard line. Six plays later, Vahl scored his second touchdown of the game, weaving his way into the end zone from four yards out to narrow the gap to 14-13 after a partially blocked PAT attempt failed.

Razorbacks QB Reed Gottula scored 3 TDs Photo: Ralf Dietrich

The third quarter ended with the Razorbacks punting the ball down to the Søllerød 32 yard line and Sølling went back to work. Moving his team to the 45-yard line he then tossed a beautiful 49-yard completion to wide receiver Simon Føns and then handed off the Vahl on the next play who found a seam and raced through traffic to the end zone. Sølling then connected with Helson Jouffroy for the two-point conversion and Søllerød took the lead for the first time in the game, 21-14.

Just when it looked like the Gold Diggers had grabbed the entire momentum, Gottula and the Razorbacks answered moving from the 27-yard line down to Søllerød’s seven eating up almost five minutes. Gottula then found a gap and raced into the end zone for what should have been the tying score. But the Gold Diggers blocked the point after attempt and the score remained 21-20.

However, the Søllerød defense responded and kept the Razorbacks bottled up. A final fourth-down attempt by the Razorbacks from deep in their own zone came up short and with two minutes left the Gold Diggers simply ran the clock out and advanced to the Mermaid Bowl for the first time since 2017.

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