Latvia’s Riga Lions Capture First Baltic Sea League Championship

The Riga Lions have won the very first Baltic Sea League championship by defeating the Tartu Titans of Estonia 44-12 delighting the enthusiastic home crowd in Riga, Latvia.

Paced by quarterback Niclas Carpelan’s (Riga game MVP) five touchdown passes the Lions spotted the Titans an early lead and then totally overwhelmed the Estonian team. Although the Titans had defeated Riga earlier in the year, this was not the same Lions team with the addition of several Finnish imports.

Baltic - championship action

The Titans scored first though on a touchdown dive by Ott Sellis. In fact the first half turned into a defensive struggle as the Lions evened the score at 6-6 and that was how the half ended.

Then Riga took over completely scoring three times in the third to extend the lead to 22-6. Tartu answered with another touchdown of their own as quarterback Ingemar Kuner connected with receiver and Titan game MVP Orm Gregori Joost on a touchdown pass.

Then the Lions aerial offense kicked into gear as receiver Jussi Kähönen was unstoppable scoring three straight touchdowns, putting the game away.

Jarno Uitto and Mika Kulmala added touchdowns of their own while Patrik Thesleff returned a fumble for a score.

Baltic - championship action-2

This was the first ever Baltic Sea League season and hopefully will not be the last.

 Watch the game highlights here.

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.