The Potsdam Royals from Germany came from behind twice against Switzerland’s Calanda Broncos before taking the lead in the fourth quarter and withstanding a late-game surge to defeat the Broncos 33-31 in Potsdam, Germany in European Football League action.
Royals quarterback Austin Gahafer threw two touchdown passes to Danish wide receiver Frederik Myrup Nielsen and one each to Max Zimmermann and David Saul and ran one in himself for the win. Patrick Felber kicked three extra points.
For Calanda, Clark Evans was outstanding, throwing two touchdown passes to Adrian Suenderhauf and running one in himself. Running back Steffen Haenelt also scored from eight yards out.
Calanda opened the scoring on Haenelt’s first quarter touchdowns, but the Royals equalized with Gahafer finding Zimmermann late in the second quarter. Calanda kicked a field goal with time running out to take a 10-7 halftime lead.
The Broncos extended the lead to 17-7 as Evans capped a drive with his down touchdown early in the third quarter. Gahafer responded though, connecting with Saul for a 30 yard touchdown, to narrow the lead to 17-14, still in the third. The Royals defense got the stop they needed and Gahafer marched the Potsdam offense down the field capping the drive with a touchdown plunge, giving the Royals the lead for the first time in the game, 21-17.
The Swiss were not done as Evans opened the fourth quarter throwing a spectacular touchdown pass to Suenderhauf who shook off tacklers and raced 82 yards to give Calanda the lead again, 24-21.
Gahafer turned to Nielsen on the very next possession finding him alone in the end zone to give Potsdam the lead again, 27-24.
Then, with Evans taking his team down to the Potsdam two yard line, Calanda looked to score again to regain the lead. However, Evans fumbled the ball before crossing the goalline and the Royals recovered.
Starting from their own 20 yard line, Potsdam marched down the field and Gahafer finished the drive off with a 19 yard touchdown pass to Nielsen to extend the lead to 33-24.
Despite another outstanding touchdown by Suenderhauf, this time a 50 yard catch and run with a minute left, Calanda were unable to recover the onside kick and Potsdam held on for the win.
The Royals now get set to face Italy’s Milano Seamen on June 9 in Milano, Italy for the EFL championship.