LIVE: TV4 – Semifinals In Sweden Promise Fireworks

For the second year in a row the same four teams line up to battle for a berth in Sweden’s championship game.

The Carlstad Crusaders finished the regular season with a perfect 10-0 record and will welcome the Tyresö Royal Crowns who struggled some this season ending with five wins and five losses.

The other semifinal will see the Örebro Black Knights host a playoff game for the first time in 18 years as they will face the Uppsala 86ers who surprised many by knocking off the Royal Crowns three times to finish in third place. Örebro ended with a 7-3 record losing both their games to Carlstad although the last game of the season saw them almost pull it off as they missed a two point conversion on the last play of the game.

Carlstad Crusaders (10-0) – Tyresö Royal Crowns (5-5)

Sweden - Carlstad-Tyreso 2016 semis - Juhlin-Niznak

Carlstad’s offense was outstanding in 2016 leading all teams averaging 51 points per game scoring 65 touchdowns and amassing 4,445 total yards. Quarterback Philip Juhlin threw for 3,114 yards and 39 touchdowns against only eight interceptions. Running back Brett Koepp carried the ball 149 times for 1,027 yards and 22 touchdowns. Offensive coordinator Stephen Parker has the offense clicking at the right time.

A key factor could be Josh Hartigan who can be used in several different roles. As a receiver he caught 41 passes for 496 yards and nine touchdowns.

Meanwhile, Tyresö quarterback Alex Niznak was the second leading passer in Sweden behind Juhlin throwing for 2,047 yards and 18 touchdowns.

Although Carlstad receivers Jacob Dahre (997 yds, 15 TDs) and André Holgård (917 yds, 15 TDs) led the league in receiving yardage, Royal Crowns receiver Fredrik Isaksson was right behind in third with 853 yards and eight touchdowns and he could be a key to this contest.

The return of Philip Minja to the Tyresö secondary is big news and the hard-hitting Minja will force Dahre and Holgård to be on the lookout.

Kickoff is 12 Noon (6 AM EDT) and the game is being broadcast live on TV4 in Sweden (PPV). TV4 gives the first 30 days for free.

Instructions in English on how to access the TV4 broadcast.

Örebro Black Knights (7-3) – Uppsala 86ers (6-4)

Sweden - Orebro-Uppsala - semi - 2pic

Both the Black Knights and 86ers  improved as the season progressed. Örebro barely lost to the Crusaders in the final regular season game of the year while Uppsala battled the Royal Crowns beating them in a thriller 31-28.

Örebro quarterback Johnny Knox is a delight to watch and a nightmare for defenses. He leads the league in rushing averaging almost 104 yards a game. He also threw for 1,347 yards and 22 touchdowns. As Knox goes so goes the Black Knights offense.

The same could be said for Uppsala. Jared Stegman, Team Australia’s quarterback has had a superb season. He has thrown for 1,988 yards and 28 touchdowns while rushing for 393 yards and five scores.

The Black Knights defense led Sweden allowing just under 15 points a game and this will be crucial for this game. Uppsala had trouble with the Black Knights defense in their first game early in the season. They will have to find a way to outwit Örebro defensive coordinator Matt Hamme who has done an excellent job.

Kickoff is 3:30 PM (9:30 AM EDT) and the game is being broadcast live on TV4 in Sweden (PPV). TV4 gives the first 30 days for free.

Instructions in English on how to access the TV4 broadcast.


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.