The IFAF Europe Champions League heads into the third weekend of play this Saturday as the Triangle Razorbacks from Denmark take on Poland’s Wroclaw Panthers in Poland. Then the defending CL champion the Carlstad Crusaders from Sweden play host to Turkey’s Istanbul Koç Rams.
Wroclaw Panthers (Poland) (0-0) – Triangle Razorbacks (Denmark) (1-0)
Poland’s Wroclaw Panthers are playing in the Champions League tournament for the first time. Perennial Polish finalists the Panthers have looked impressive in Polish play so far this season, and defeated Swiss champions the Calanda Broncos in an international friendly. Although they have dropped a close game to their Polish nemesis, the Gdynia Seahawks, quarterback EJ White leads a potent attack with running back Ricky Stevens running behind one of the biggest offensive lines in Europe.
The Triangle Razorbacks from Denmark won their first game of the CL tournament defeating the visiting Prague Lions from the Czech Republic 20-7 in dismal, wet conditions. The reigning Danish champions beat their 2015 Danish finalist opponents in their opening game of the 2016 regular season in impressive fashion. Quarterback Duke Delanncellotti leads a balanced attack and running back Mathias Krage who dominated the Danish league in 2015 is dangerous.
Carlstad Crusaders (Sweden) (0-0) – Istanbul Koç Rams (Turkey) (1-0)
The Carlstad Crusaders who won the 2015 Champions League tournament in a rout, enter this game as heavy favorites. In their four games last season the Crusaders averaged 53 points per game while giving up 18. They dispatched the Danish, Finnish and Serbian champions and the French runner ups along the way.
The 2016 Crusaders have won three games in the Swedish league in dominant style with new quarterback Philip Juhlin leading a potent offense. In three games, Carlstad has scored 141 points. Running back Brett Koepp scored six touchdowns in the last game alone.
The Rams are no slouches though. In defeating Russia’s reigning champions, the St. Petersburg Griffins 47-17, Rams quarterback Palmer Wilsie threw four touchdown passes, two of them them to Serbian receiver Strahina Stepovic, who is well known to Carlstad having played in Sweden against the Crusaders. Rams running back Steven Strother may be one of the best best tailbacks the Crusaders face this year.
Even though the Rams lead the league in Turkey with an undefeated 4-0 record, this will be their first great test.