LIVESTREAM: Scandic Bowl – Berlin Rebels @Carlstad Crusaders, Sat. April 27, 5p CEDT (11a EDT)

Germany’s Berlin Rebels, quarterfinalists in the German Football League in 2018, are headed to Sweden on April 27 to take on the eight-time champion and 2018 Swedish finalists, the Carlstad Crusaders in Scandic Bowl I, the first major international game of 2019 for both teams.

The last time the Crusaders faced a German opponent was in 2011 when they shocked the European American football community in EFAF Cup 2011 by defeating the reigning German champions at the time, the Kiel Baltic Hurricanes 22-20 in overtime. Carlstad went on to lose in the EFAF Cup quarterfinals that year to Austria’s Graz Giants, 41-24.

The Crusaders reached the Swedish final in 2018, losing to the Stockholm Mean Machines, their first loss in the championship game since 2010, a string of eight straight titles. Carlstad has opened the Swedish season with a surprising loss to Stockholm, 33-13 but followed that up last week with a resounding 46-0 win over the Orebro Black Knights. Quarterback Shazzon Mumphrey looked sharp in the win last week,  throwing for 275 yards and four touchdowns. He will be tested today though. Still, Mumphrey knows how Berlin plays as he played against the Rebels in 2018 while playing quarterback for the Hildesheim Invaders. Although Hildesheim lost the game 31-17, Mumphrey amassed 302 yards of total offense while throwing for one touchdown and scoring another himself.

This is the first trip to Sweden for the Rebels. The last time Berlin faced an international opponent was in 2017 in the Big6. They lost to Italy’s Milano Seamen and then edged the Frankfurt Universe that year.

The Rebels finished third in the GFL North with a record of 11-3 in 2018 and were eliminated in the GFL quarterfinals by German Bowl finalists, the Frankfurt Universe, losing 6-5 in a downpour. Under head coach Kim Kuci, the Rebels have been a title contender in the German Football League since he took over in 2016 with an overall regular season record of 29-12-1.

The core of the 2018 squad remains for Berlin. Quarterback Terrell Robinson enters his fourth season with the team and linebacker Rory Johnson is in his seventh season. Other American imports include  safety Paul Morant and receiver TJ Esekielu. In addition, the team also has imports from Belgium, Poland, the Netherlands, France, Cameroon, Ukraine, Austria and Australia.

The rules for the number of US imports are different in the German Football League which means that the Rebels will come to play with four Americans while the Crusaders have two on their roster, Mumphrey, and defensive lineman James King.

Although this is a preseason game for Berlin, it is an important test for the Crusaders.

Watch the game live here. Scandic Bowl – Berlin Rebels @Carlstad Crusaders, Sat. April 27, 5p CEDT (11a EDT)

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