Kristiansand Gladiators Upset Eidsvoll 1814s, Win Norwegian Title

First championship win ever for the Gladiators in their 21 year existence.

Photo by: Mattis Holt

With eight seconds left on the clock, the Kristiansand Gladiators spoiled the chances of the Eidsvoll 1814s back-to-back title hopes in  the Norwegian championship game, beating them 24-21 on a last-second  fourth-down touchdown toss into the corner of the end zone to Marcial Williamson.

The Gladiators took the lead first scoring an early touchdown to make it 6-0. Eidsvoll wasted no time after that, scoring a touchdown on the very next drive and making the PAT. Another touchdown in the first half though gave the Gladiators a 12-7 lead at the break.

Then the 1814s picked up the pace as import running back Kristin James took a hand-off from the six yard line, scampering in to the end zone on the first drive of the second half.   A few minutes later, he scored again, this time from the eight, giving Eidsvoll a 21-12 lead with only with eight minutes left in the game. Kristiansand reduced the lead to 21-18 and also recovered the short kickoff giving them the ball with very little time remaining.  With a mere eight seconds to go, quarterback Dimitar Sevdin , on fourth and 10, tossed a 20 yard Hail Mary into the corner of the end zone and Marcial Williamson somehow managed to hang on to the ball and the Gladiators began celebrating.

See the replay below!

Kristiansand head coach Brad Smith was elated.

“I have been coaching football for 36 years, at home in the States and this year in Norway, and this was one of the finest wins I can ever remember. We were down in the fourth quarter 21-12, but the players had no quit in them.  I am so proud of them.”

Head coach of the 1814s, Geoff Buffum was proud of his team’s effort.

“It was a great game, hard-fought and physical. In the end, they made a great play in the closing seconds and they deserve to be champions. I was incredibly proud of my players and how they competed throughout the entire season.”

This was the third year in a row that Kristiansand played in the final, and the first championship win ever for the team in their 21 year existence. And with this, they avenged last year’s loss to Eidsvoll.

Roger Kelly is an editor and a writer for AFI. A former PR Director the B.C. Lions of the Canadian Football League for 7 years, he now lives in Sweden writing about and scouting American Football throughout the world.