LIVESTREAM: NEFL – Carlstad Crusaders (Sweden) @ Oslo Vikings (Norway), April 28, 3p (9a EST)

The eight-time and defending Swedish champion Carlstad Crusaders head north to Oslo, Norway to face the Oslo Vikings in Northern European Football League , NEFL, play Saturday.

The Crusaders, ranked #8 in Europe, are playing their first game of the 2018 NEFL season after reaching the NEFL final in 2017, losing narrowly in overtime to the Helsinki Roosters from Finland. The Vikings dropped their opening NEFL game two weeks ago, losing 21-10 to Danish titleholders, the Copenhagen Towers.

Oslo opened the Norwegian season last week with a 52-7 trouncing of the Åsane Seahawks. Under head coach Derek Mann, Oslo has returned 95% of their starters from the 2017 title-winning team, including 2017 Norwegian league quarterback all star Robert Mehmet Sezer . New additions to the roster include offensive tackles Dominic DeSouza (Baylor University) and Norwegian offensive tackles Jonas Hagerup, who just finished a two-year stint at San Francisco City College.

The entire receiving and running back corps has also returned.

On defense, defensive coordinator Nicolay Knutsen is happy with the return of standout linebackers Andreas Lid and Kim Schaanning along with the entire secondary.

The Crusaders have been dominant in the Swedish Super Serien racing out to a 3-0 record, although they were challenged in the opening game of the year by the Orebro Black Knights, finally beating them 39-32. Quarterback Philip Juhlin leads the league in passing averaging 264 yards a game. And he has weapons with receivers Jacob Dahre (84.5 yards/game) and Robin Juhlin (92.3) among the league leaders. With Marcu Johnson doubtful for this game, Julius Rucker (Southern Oregon) will see double duty, stepping in to start at wide receiver while also playing defensive back.

Carlstad’s defense has allowed 73 points in three games, the best average in the country. Led by linebackers Mattias Eriksson and Christian Kuylenstjerna, who lead the league in tackles the Crusaders front seven also includes defensive lineman Josh Hill from Merrimack College (NCAA Div. II). The secondary features defensive back Rucker along with Martin Ullbrandt.

Although Oslo is the underdog in this game, they are playing at home which will be a huge boost.

Watch the game live here. Carlstad Crusaders (Sweden) @Oslo Vikings (Norway), April 28, 3p (9a EST)

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