Sweden’s top team and Europe #6, the Carlstad Crusaders (4-0), head to Stockholm’s Zinkendamms IP field Friday night to face the Stockholm Mean Machines (2-2) at the midpoint of the season in the Swedish Supererien.
This is the second meeting between these two teams this year. Carlstad won the first game 41-20. In that game, the Crusaders rolled to a 33-6 first half lead before the Mean Machines came alive briefly in the third quarter. Quarterback Philip Juhlin completed 17 of 26 passes for 263 yards and four touchdowns and rushed for another 71 yards. Wide receiver Jacob Dahre caught six passes for 100 yards and two touchdowns while Marcus Johnson had four catches for 68 yards and a touchdown and Robin Juhlin (no relation to Philip) had four receptions for 57 yards and a touchdown as well. Running back Viktor Toresson scored a touchdown while Julius Rucker Jr. returned an interception 70 yards for another touchdown.
For the Mean Machines, Anders Hermodsson threw for 142 yards and one touchdown and rushed for another touchdown. Matthew Retzlaff hauled in a 10 yard touchdown pass from Hermodsson and running back Emil Knutsson scored another.
The Mean Machines have not seen action since April 27 when they lost a heart breaker to the Orebro Black Knights, 29-26.
Carlstad has the best offense in Sweden averaging 44.5 points a game, and the best defense, allowing 18.2. Stockholm has scored 113 points in four games while giving up 109.
So far this season, Juhlin and Hermodsson, Swedish national team quarterbacks, lead the league in passing yardage and touchdowns. Juhlin has thrown for 960 yards and 10 touchdowns in four games while Hermodsson is right behind having thrown for 924 yards and eight touchdowns.
Stockholm’s Matt Retzlaff is the top receiver in Sweden by a wide margin averaging 129.5 yards receiving a game. Juhlin, on the other hand relies on a couple of receivers as the 6’6″ Dahre and the other Juhlin have caught 549 yards in receptions between them.
Emil Knutsson of the Mean Machines is the leading rusher in Sweden averaging 95.8 yards a game. Carlstad’s Viktor Toresson sits fifth with 49.5.
Defensively, the game features the country’s two top tacklers. Carlstad linebacker Christian Kuylenstjerna leads the league with 38 total tackles but Stockholm’s Pontus Westman is not far behind with 35.
The Mean Machines front seven has fared slightly better against the run though giving up 105.5 yards a game while Carlstad gives up 110.2. The biggest difference on defense is in the secondary. Carlstad allows 155.8 yards a game while the Mean Machines defense surrenders a league-worst 245.5. The wild card in the defensive backfield for Carlstad is safety Julius Rucker. He leads the league in interceptions with three and teammate Isak Brander is second with two. Hermodsson will have to keep an eye out for him.
If the Mean Machines intend to
Kickoff is 6:00 pm (12p EST) and the game is being broadcast live on CMore in Sweden (PPV) and shown in a tape delay at 10:20 pm on TV4.
Watch the game live (Pay per View) by clicking here. The broadcast is “semi geo-restricted”. A Swedish credit/bank card is necessary. Click on the button that says “Standard Sport”. Then fill in your email address, name and password and click Skapa konto, Open account. Add your credit card number. You can choose two weeks for free “Prova 2 veckor gratis” or you can choose to watch a single game. The game costs 99 Swedish kronor, or about $11 while a subscription is 199 kronor per month.