European League of Football: Week One’s Top Five Performances

The European League of Football kicked off its second season in style this past weekend. From close games, nail-biting upsets, highlight plays, and amazing football atmospheres all contributed to a successful week one for the ELF.

A few players took advantage of the hype of kickoff weekend by putting on a show with thousands of fans watching around the world. Let’s take a look at the top five standouts of week one.

Honorable Mention

Tyrese Johnson-Fisher: RB Istanbul Rams

The former rugby star flashed some of the speed and physicality that made his highlights rack up millions of views back in 2018. Now, years later, the bruising Brit showed a good ability to find the hole, accelerate, and slip out of tackles. Johnson-Fisher was able to run low and pick up 82 yards and two scores on the ground against a stout Cologne defense. 

5) Flamur Simon LB Cologne Centurions

The young German defender showed up in a big way in week one helping his team eke out a 40-38 week one win. The NFL international combine invitee made seven tackles, half a sack, forced a fumble, made two pass break ups, and two interceptions, including a beautiful pick six. Simon could be a name to remember for the NFL IPP or CFL Global Draft next spring, as the young talent was clearly one of the best players on the field this week.

4) Kasim Edebali DE Hamburg Sea Devils

From a promising young defender to a savvy veteran, Edebali made his return to the ELF known early and often. Hamburg dominated the Berlin Thunder this past weekend as Edebali was part of a swarming defense. The six-year NFL veteran out of Boston College showed his elite quickness beating his offensive lineman with speed and power at will. The play of the game came as Edebali blasted Berlin’s quarterback forcing the ball loose, leading to a defensive touchdown. The German pass rusher nicknamed “Vollmaschine (Full Machine)” finished the day with six tackles, one sack, two and half tackles for a loss, and two forced fumbles. 

3) Florian Bierbaumer WR/TE Vienna Vikings

At 6’6″, 240 pounds, Bierbaumer is a big boy. Coach Calaycay used his new weapon well in the red zone as the young Austrian caught three touchdowns, helping Vienna pull off a road victory in the rain against their arch-rivals, the Raiders Tirol. Bierbaumer mentioned in the off-season he’d like to pursue the NFL IPP program. He is certainly giving Vienna Vikings fans Bernard Seikovits (now with the Arizona Cardinals) type of plays. 

2) Quinton Pounds WR Cologne Centurions

The former University of Washington pass catcher is back for his second season in Cologne. Pounds and German quarterback Jan Weinreich carried over their chemistry from last year as the two connected eight times for 110 yards and three scores. Pounds used his speed, jumping ability, and solid hands to help Cologne start 1-0.

 

1) William Lloyd Linebacker Wroclaw Panthers

Lloyd played well throughout the game, making nine tackles, one and half tackles for a loss, and one forced fumble through most of the game. However, he saved his play best for last. With only 17 seconds left in a tie ball game, Lloyd ripped the ball loose allowing safety Lars Steffen to score a walk-off defensive touchdown earning Wroclaw a dramatic comeback victory in week one. 

Alex is a former professional American football player who is now studying in London. His goal writing for AFI is to stay involved with the game that has given him so much. Alex enjoys covering leagues and players and sharing different football