Lisbon Devils, Danube Dragons Triumph In Champions League Action

The Lisbon Devils from Portugal downed Turkey’s Istanbul Bogazici Sultans while the Danube Dragons from Austria edged Serbia’s Novi Sad GAT Dukes in early round IFAF Europe Champions League Conference South action.

Lisbon Devils 32 – Istanbul Bogazici Sultans 27

IFAF Europe - CL 2016 - Lisbon-Istanbul banner

Portugal’s Lisbon Devils jumped out to a 16-6 first quarter lead and then withstood a furious second half Istanbul Bogazici Sultans rally to win their first game in IFAF Europe Champions League 32-27.

Devils quarterback Joey Bradley threw three touchdown passes and ran another one in to account for all of Lisbon’s scoring. Former NFL receiver Collin Franklin caught all three touchdowns as the Bradley-Franklin combination was too much for the Sultans to handle.

Sultans quarterback Omar Kharroub was equally dangerous connecting with receiver Kubilay Ceylan for three touchdowns as well. Running back Utku Bor added the fourth touchdown for the Sultans.

The Sultans scored two third quarter touchdowns to take the lead 20-16 entering the fourth quarter. But the Lisbon defense held on in the final period while Bradley threw for one and ran for in to give the Devil’s a 32-20 lead. Boro ended with the scoring with two minutes remaining but that was as far as the Sultans came.

Portugal - Devils-Sultans - Joey Bradley

Devils QB Joey Bradley on the run

Danube Dragons 14 – Novi Sad GAT Dukes 8

IFAF Europe - CL 2016 - Novi Sad - Danube banner

Austria’s Danube Dragons battled a tough Novi Sad Dukes squad to an 8-8 regulation tie in Serbia and then scored in overtime on a six yard pass from quarterback Jamal Londry-Jackson to receiver Austin Coleman to win the very first Champions League game for a team from Austria.

The Dragons opened the scoring late in the on a seven yard pass from Londry-Jackson to receiver Felix Reisacher to take a 6-0 lead. Danube’s defense then forced the Dukes to concede a two-point safety on the ensuing drive for an 8-0 first quarter lead.

Defenses ruled the day as neither team allowed another point until midway through the third quarter when Dukes quarterback Drew Banks found receiver Davor Solda for a 13 yard touchdown. Kevin Eckel then scored the two-point conversion to even the game at 8-8.

In the fourth quarter, neither team could mount much offense leading to Coleman’s overtime heroics.

Upcoming Conference South games

Next game in the Conference South is May 8 when the Danube Dragons host the Lisbon Devils. On May 15, the Dukes travel to Turkey to take on the Sultans.

Photo credit: Alexandre de Sousa

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.