Helvetic Guards beat Milano Seamen in overtime to claim third victory in a row

The Helvetic Guards have claimed their third win in a row in the European League of Football after beating the Milano Seamen 31–24 in overtime.

You would be fooled into thinking that the Guards’ offense had an excellent day at the office with their 31 points and an overtime victory, when in fact they totaled just 138 yards. If this wasn’t confusing enough, the Seamen managed 431 and still lost.

In reality, the key to the Guards’ victory was the opportunistic play of defensive back Ken Hike Jr. Trailing the Seamen 14–0 late in the first quarter, Hike Jr. first imposed himself with a 61-yard punt return for a touchdown.

But the connection between wide receiver Jean Constant and quarterback Luke Zahradka continued to prove fruitful for the Seamen in this game as well as the two combined for more chunk plays. This eventually led to another score that would take Milano up 21–7 midway through the second quarter. 

The Guards crept closer though as kicker Nils Jonkman booted a 33 yard field goal. And then Hike Jr. struck again. Zahradka had his team on the Helvetic goal line, and plunged forward, twisting and turning his way into the endzone. As he reached out for the endzone, Hike Jr. punched the ball out of his hands and returned it 100 yards for a touchdown.

The two sides went in at the half with Milano barely holding onto a 21–17 lead.

The third quarter consisted of some back and forth before Hike Jr. once again imposed himself on the game with a 40-yard punt return to get the Guards inside the redzone. From here, running back Silas Nacita tossed a 16 yard completion to Tristan Noble on an option play to take the ball to the two yard line. Noble punched the ball in on the next play to give Helvetic a 24-21 lead midway through the third quarter.

A stalemate ensued, but late in the fourth quarter the Seamen were able to put a 50-yard drive together and cap it with a field goal to bring the two sides even and push the game into overtime.

With the new overtime rules in force, all the Guards had to do was drive 25 yards for the score, and this is exactly what they did on their first possession with Noble and Nacita pounding the ball. The Seamen failed to do the same due to some excellent defense from the Guards, giving Helvetic their third win in a row and moving the team to 3–5 after a terrible start to the season. 

Daniel Mackenzie is a Press Association graduate who works in journalism and communications in the third sector. Daniel began playing football for the London Warriors and Team Great Britain and has since played across Europe.