Denmark’s Copenhagen Towers upset Carlstad Crusaders in thriller, win NEFL title

The Copenhagen Towers from Denmark stunned the Carlstad Crusaders in Karlstad, Sweden, edging them 44-43 in the Northern European Football League title game.

Copenhagen’s new quarterback Randy Schroeder threw for 286 yards and four touchdowns in an outstanding performance, throwing the final, game-winning touchdown pass to Jakob Green with just 24 seconds left in the game. Running back Dayton Winn was unstoppable at times, scoring three touchdowns. He rushed for 117 yards and two touchdowns and caught two passes for 27 yards and another touchdown. Green caught six passes for 116 yards and that touchdown while Lasse Tor Hansen caught three passes for 31 yards and a touchdown. Aske Troen Klixbüll caught two passes for 46 yards and a touchdown .

Philip Juhlin put on another great show for the Carlstad Crusaders, rallying his team back from a 30-16 halftime deficit, engineering four second half touchdowns. He threw for 394 yards and one touchdown and ran another one in himself. Running back Christian Forsman rushed for 42 yards and two touchdowns while Victor Toresson, Julius Rucker and Natal Melero all scored rushing touchdowns, with Melero escaping for a 59 yarder.

Copenhagen RB Dayton Winn hauling in a TD pass Photo: Palle N. Christensen

Entering the game as the favorites, Carlstad were surprised when the Towers took a 10-0 lead early one as Klixbüll kicked a field goal and then caught a 23 yard touchdown pass adding the point after for good measure.

When Juhlin was finally able to get the Crusaders offense into gear, it stalled on the Copenhagen 10 yard line and Carlstad had to settle for a field goal.

The Towers increased the lead t 16-3 on a Winn touchdown early in the second quarter but on the next series, Melero found a seam and raced 59 yards to edge closer, 16-10. Copenhagen replied two series later with Schroeder finding Winn from 16 yards out to make it 23-10.

Juhlin then mounted a 10 play, 80 yard drive, and Forsman finished it off punching the ball in from the one to close the gap again, 23-16.

But on this day, the Towers offense was clicking as Schroeder took only four plays to restore the two touchdown lead, hitting Hansen with a 15 yard touchdown pass with 40 seconds left in the half.

In the second half, the Carlstad defense tightened up while the offense scored twice, with the second and tying touchdown coming on the first play of the fourth quarter.

With the momentum clearly having swung in Carlstad’s favor, Schroeder took charge, marching his team from the own 41 and handing off to Winn for a three yard touchdown to go back out in front, 37-30.

This time, Juhlin responded, engineering another long drive finishing it off by running in himself from four yards out and tying the game at 37-37.

Then, on the ensuing kickoff return, Carlstad linebacker Christian Kuylenstjerna forced a fumble at Copenhagen’s 24 yard line and the Crusaders recovered the ball. Juhlin wasted no time, connecting with Rucker for the go ahead touchdown. the Crusaders now led 43-37 with jsut over three minutes left in the game.

On this day, Schroeder and the Towers offense were magnificent at the right time. Taking up three minutes they moved from their own 36 yard line down to the Crusaders seven. Schroeder hit Green for the touchdown and the defense did the rest.

This is the second year in a row, that Carlstad has lost the NEFL title game at home  late in the game. Last year, they were beaten by Finland’s Helsinki Roosters in overtime 21-15.


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