LIVESTREAM ROMANIA: Bucharest Rebels @ Resita Locomotives, October 16, 14:00 CET (2 pm, 8 am ET)

In a highly anticipated game in the Campionatul Național de Fotbal American (CNFA), the two best teams in Romania go at it this afternoon as the undefeated Resita Locomotives (3-0) play host to the unbeaten Bucharest Rebels (3-0).

The Rebels have been the class of the Romanian gridiron scene winning the title in 2019 behind the arm and coaching of hall of fame quarterback Stan Bedwell. This season, however, a younger gunslinger is under center, in former Stuttgart Surge (ELF) and Fredriksund Oaks (Denmark) quarterback Aaron Ellis. The Saint Francis University product (NAIA) threw for 535 yards and 10 touchdowns last week as the Rebels dominated the Cruj Crusaders 80-0. Behind Ellis, fellow ELF star and former Kansas Jayhawk (NCAA D1) running back Joc Crawford has also been a force in his first year in Romania.

Bucharest Rebels @ Resita Locomotives, October 16, 14:00 CET (2 pm, 8 am ET)

On the outside, general manager Dan Marcu pulls double duty as one of the team’s top wideouts. The 41-year-old is still one of the fastest players in the league. European football veteran Alpha Jalloh should also see some touches as the former Leipzig King (ELF) brings his talents to the Romanian Capital. The Rebels may have the advantage in the trenches today as linemen Rares Gheorghiu and Codrin Cuciurean are two massive offensive tackles listed at 6‘9 each.

Rebels quarterback Aaron Ellis on the matchup of undefeated teams:

“It’s gonna be a great matchup. They’re 3-0 for a reason. We are 3-0 for a reason. Their team plays disciplined football and they have some great playmakers on both sides of the ball.  I’m excited to play a game against that talented team and I think it’s gonna be a great one.”

Defensively, Bucharest also features size and strength at the line of scrimmage. Nose tackle Minhea Buduru has the quickness and force to be disruptive all day long. At the defensive end spots, the Rebels take the phrase “football is family“ to heart as Edi Baritz and his son Robert look to slow down a dangerous Locomotives offense. Former Finnish and Swedish league standout Alpha Jalloh should also see some snaps in the defensive backfield. However, linebacker Matt Barret is the key to the unit, as the 6’1″, 230-pound linebacker leads the league in tackles. The former St. Norbert College Green Knight (NCAA D3) has been flying to the ball week in and week out. Assistant coach Marianne Pahkala should help put Barret and the Rebels defense slow down a dangerous Locomotives offense averaging over 40 points a game.

Resita‘s offense is led by dual-threat quarterback Kevin Stringer. The Fort Hayes University (NCAA D2) product has put up seven total touchdowns in only three games this season.  Running back Ronald Tomasello is another dangerous import to watch in the physical Locomotives‘ run game. Tomasello is a former Ball State (NCAA D1) football and rugby player who loves to run through contact. Former Polish league star Devion Young and Romanian talents Vlad Rus and Neagru Codrut give Stringer plenty of sure-handed targets to look for.

Defensively, Devion Young and Bani Iovanut look to contain a Rebels passing attack that threw for over 500 yards last week. Defensive lineman Paul Mezin and linebacker Billy Hatten aim to slow down a Rebels offense stacked with talent for foreign and domestic.

Former Silesia Rebel (Poland) Devion Young stands out as the Locomotives X-factor. The versatile two-way Polish league star has racked up big hits and interceptions from the free safety position, as well as been one of the league’s best kick returners. Young commented on the matchup of undefeated teams:

“I feel as if this is the biggest test of the season, and I feel confident going into this game. As long as we do our jobs and play 4 quarters of football then things should go our way.”

For fans new to Romanian football today’s matchup could well be a preview of the Ro Bowl championship as both the Locomotives and Rebels appear to be on track to meet in the league’s title game this season.

Watch the game live here: Bucharest Rebels @ Resita Locomotives, October 16, 14:00 CET (2 pm, 8 am ET)

Alex is a former professional American football player who is now studying in London. His goal writing for AFI is to stay involved with the game that has given him so much. Alex enjoys covering leagues and players and sharing different football