IFAF Junior EC: Vilgot Valeskog scores 5 TDs in Sweden’s rout of Denmark

Running back Vilgot Valeskog ran for 266 yards and five touchdowns and Leo Sundman picked up three interceptions as Sweden beat Denmark 38-7 in the opening game of the 2024/25 IFAF European Junior Football Championships.

Swedish head coach Sebastian Brinkenfeldt had described Valeskog as ‘probably the best running back I’ve ever seen from Sweden, hands down,’ and he lived up to that billing, opening the scoring on a 94-yard touchdown run down the left sideline.

Sweden led 21–0 at halftime in front of 560 spectators on the natural grass at Kristianstads IP on Easter Sunday, in contrast to the last meeting between the rivals when they trailed by ten points at the break before coming back to claim victory. The Danes might have still been in contention at halftime but threw two picks when inside the red zone and missed a field goal in the first half.

Valeskog added two more touchdowns in the second quarter, and scored again in the third before Oscar Hardarsson kicked a 28-yard field goal, and Valeskog struck again in the fourth period to complete his impressive haul.

Defensively, Sweden held Denmark to 11 yards on 20 rushes, while visiting quarterback Ager Jeppesen Riise completed 13 of 35 passes for 200 yards. Sundman dominated with his hat trick of interceptions and a fourth was claimed by linebacker Edgar Wallen.

Benjamin Kennedy Chaanhing again led a strong Swedish defense with seven tackles while fellow defensive captain Valdin Sone on the defensive line had two sacks, a fumble recovery and two tackles. Starting quarterback Hektor Hydén split time with backup Eric Alm under center for Sweden in the second half.

The IFAF European Championship Group B action continues on May 11 when Denmark plays host to Germany, while Sweden travels to Germany on the weekend of September 21/22. Italy hosts France when Group A gets underway on May 11/12 then travels to Vantaa where Finland awaits on September 21. France welcomes Finland on the November 9/10 weekend.

Reigning champions Austria will join the competition in 2025 with a number-one ranking and will be joined by the winners of Group A and Group B, which will be decided by games played in 2024. Austria will represent Europe at the IFAF U20 World Junior Championships in Canada in June, while their continental rivals face each other from March through November.

Michael Preston (@PRMikePreston) is currently working with IFAF in a PR capacity. He recently covered Super Bowl LVII as a member of the NFL PR team as he has done for 20+ years. He has held communications positions with NFL Europe, the North