LIVESTREAM PPV: Swedish Championship – Stockholm Mean Machines v. Carlstad Crusaders, Sat. July 6, 7p CEDT (1p EDT)

The Stockholm Mean Machines will attempt their first Swedish title defense in over a decade when they face the Carlstad Crusaders in the Swedish championship game, Saturday, July 6 in Borås, Sweden.

Stockholm defeated the Crusaders 42-41 in the 2018 title game preventing Carlstad from raising the trophy for the first time since 2010.

The storylines are many in this game. This is the 11th straight trip to the Swedish championship game for Carlstad while the Mean Machines are making their 18th trip to the final. Prior to losing the title to Stockholm last year, the Crusaders had won eight consecutive Swedish titles. The Mean Machines hold a record 11 Swedish championship titles stretching back to 1997.

These two teams have played each other twice during the regular season and the Mean Machines have won both games 33-13 and 37-14.

The Mean Machines knocked off the Orebro Black Knights in the semifinals last week 31-6. Meanwhile, Carlstad defeated the Uppsala 86ers 65-32 in a shootout.

In their six regular season games this year, the Mean Machines, as mentioned first stunned the eight-time champion Carlstad Crusaders 33-13 in the opening game of the Swedish season and then handed the Black Knights a 23-7 loss. They then downed Uppsala twice, 20-0 and 34-7. Following their 28-7 win over Orebro, they again surprised Carlstad, beating them by the almost identical score of 37-14.

Interview with Stockholm head coach Fredrik Pilbäck.

The Mean Machines have played and lost two international games as well as they lost a close game to Finland’s Helsinki Roosters 21-19 in the spring in Helsinki and then dropped a 28-25 decision to the Copenhagen Towers.

During the regular season, quarterback Alex Thury was the most consistent passer in Sweden throwing for a league-best 1,347 yards and 13 touchdowns. Last week in the win over the Black Knights, he threw three touchdown passes. His wide receivers make up maybe the best receiving corps in Sweden. Alpha Jalloh finished the year with 284 yards receiving with Hans Maximilian von Wachsmann not far behind with 282 yards.  Omar Fall (183) and Per Lindelöf (184) are also keys. Jalloh is a wild card.  He had three touchdown catches against Carlstad in the final regular season game and he can explode at any time as he did against the Roosters when he hauled in 13 passes for 222 yards (of Stockholm’s 242 total) and two touchdowns.

Interview with Carlstad head coach Billy BD Kennedy.

For the first time since 2009, Carlstad enters the Swedish final as the underdog.

Before winning the semifinal game against Uppsala, the Crusaders suffered a disappointing 37-14 loss to the Stockholm Mean Machines to finish the regular season.after surging since losing the opening game of the season to Stockholm. They beat Orebro 46-0 and 27-13 and Uppsala 33-7  and 50-6. Part of this is due to the rushing attack led by running back Emil Knutsson. In his last three games, against Stockholm, Uppsala and the Black Knights he rushed for 421 yards giving him a total of 561 in six games along with four touchdowns.

With the return of Phil Juhlin, head coach BD Kennedy has the luxury of having two excellent quarterbacks in Juhlin and Shazzon Mumphrey. The two rotated for the last two games of the regular season and both looked solid. Mumphrey has thrown for 873 yards and 12 TDs while Juhlin has 197 yards passing and two touchdowns. In the semifinal, Mumphrey (10 of 13/186/2 TDs) and Juhlin (9 of 15/164/2) combined for 350 yards passing and four touchdowns.

However, they are both dangerous as receivers as well and Stockholm may well see some unorthodox formations in today’s game. Carlstad’s leading receiver has been Kevin Borzsei who topped the list with 473  yards receiving. Last week, however, Mumphrey ran for 46 yards and a touchdown while catching three passes for 55 yards and a touchdown and Juhlin rushed for 16 yards and two touchdown. Meanwhile, RB Emil Knutsson rushed for 98 yards and one touchdown and wide receiver Robin Juhlin caught three passes for 81 yards and a touchdown. Rookie Mike Hell caught his very first touchdown pass as did Hugo Sahlberg.

The Crusaders have been guilty of giving up the big play against Stockholm in their two games this year and turned the ball over too often. In those two contests, Carlstad quarterbacks threw six interceptions. Stockholm’s Thury had none. This game could well come down to that.

Watch the game live here. 149 kr ($16). Stockholm Mean Machines v. Carlstad Crusaders, Sat. July 6, 7p CEDT (1p EDT)

 The broadcast is “semi geo-restricted”.  A Nordic (Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland) credit/bank card is necessary. Click on the button that says “Matchbiljett”. Then fill in your email address, name and password and click Skapa konto, Open account. Add your credit card number. The game costs 149 Swedish kronor, or about $16 while a subscription is 199 kronor per month.

AFI
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