LIVESTREAM: Czech Bowl XXV – Prague Black Panthers v. Ostrava Steelers, July 14, 7p (1p EST)

The 11-0 Prague Black Panthers and 8-3 Ostrava Steelers will square off in Czech Bowl XXV Saturday, July 14 at Municipal Stadium in Ostrava.

This is the second year in a row these two teams have faced each other in the championship final.  Prague won Czech Bowl XXIV in 2017 beating Ostrava 28-0.

The Ostrava Steelers defeated the Prague Lions 31-24 in the Czech league semifinals to reach the Czech Bowl, for the second straight year but only second time in 21 years. The Black Panthers rolled over the Brno Sigrs 63-0 in the other semifinal.

The last time the Steelers reached the final  before last year was 1997 when they won the title by beating the Prague Panthers 35-21. The Steelers are the most improved team in the league over the past two seasons. Ostrava finished the 2016 campaign dead last with a 1-9 record and improved to 7-2-1 last season.

The Black Panthers have won the Czech league title for the past five years and marched through the 2018 season without a loss.

The two teams played each other twice during the regular season. The first game ended with an easy Prague 42-3 win while the second was much closer as the Black Panthers came away with a 20-16 win in by far their toughest game in the Czech Republic this year.

In other words, these two teams are evenly matched.

Prague had the best offense in the league this season racking up 456 points in 10 games while giving up only 5.4 points a game. Ostrava’s numbers were far more modest as they scored an average of 25 points a game while allowing 17.6.

Prague quarterback Jan Dundáček is the key to the Black Panthers offense. He was the fifth leading passer after throwing for 1,244 yards and 20 touchdowns in nine games and fourth leading rusher with 542 yards and six touchdowns on the ground. His favorite target is Jan Štiegler , who finished third in overall yards with 535 yards. Black Panthers running back William Young has really provided an outstanding rushing attack. He ran for 978 yards and 15 touchdowns during the 10 games regular season.

Steve Wilken, quarterback for Ostrava, averaged 146.8 yards passing per game in the six games he played while throwing 11 touchdown passes. He also rushed for 346 yard, second best on the Steelers behind Jan Musil who had 395.

In the only head to head matchup between the two quarterbacks, the Prague 20-16 win over the Steelers, Dundáček had the edge over Wilken. he rushed for 101 yards and one touchdown in that game while throwing for 112 yards and another touchdown. Wilken rushed for 57 yards and a touchdown and threw for 110 and no touchdowns.

The Black Panthers have dominated the league this year, but Ostrava was the only team to give them problems. The game is being played in Ostrava which should give the Steelers an advantage although this is where Prague beat them earlier. However, that loss was only the second game of the year for Wilken. With another four games under his belt, how much more of a difference can he make?

Prague Black Panthers Daniel Levy:

It’s going to be a tough game. Ostrava is a really physical team and play with a lot of energy. They brought their quarterback in close to midseason and really rallied around him when they played us. And with them playing this final at home, they have all the motivation they need for the upset. So we have to be focused and overcome these things if we expect to walk away as champions.

Watch the game live here. Czech Bowl XXV – Prague Black Panthers v. Ostrava Steelers, July 14, 7p (1p EST)


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