LIVE STREAM: Swedish Semi-Final – Uppsala 86ers v. Carlstad Crusaders, July 1 @ 3p CET (9a EDT)

The undefeated and seven-time champion Carlstad Crusaders will play host to the Uppsala 86ers (4-6) at Tingvalla field in Carlstad Saturday afternoon in the first of two semifinals in the Swedish Superserien.

Carlstad (10-0)  is coming off another unblemished season and will be playing against their 2016 Swedish final opponents in the 86ers. The Crusaders dominated the league perhaps this year more than any other. They scored 483 points in 10 games while giving up 6.7 points a game. They defeated Uppsala twice during the regular season by scores of 55-20 and 43-0. They allowed the league’s leading rusher, Victor St. Pierre-Laviolette a mere 18 total rushing yards in those two contests.

However, Carlstad head coach Tracey Gere knows full well that his team will be facing a different 86ers squad. Uppsala quarterback Kieran McDonagh was injured partway through the first game against the Crusaders and it has taken until now for him to be healed to the point that he can throw again.

Carlstad RB Christian Forsman Photo: Moses Sh

Carlstad offensive coordinator Danny Mitchell:

“We’ve been pretty successful the last two games. I always throw in one or two wrinkles that they’ll see early but our offensive line can protect the quarterback and establish the run game then we’ll be really tough to stop. If Uppsala’s quarterback is healthy  though then it could be a battle. We are not as worried about the run but if he [McDonagh] can throw then it definitely makes them explosive.”

Carlstad quarterback Philip Juhlin dominated the passing stats this year finishing first overall in passing yardage with 2,550 yards and passing touchdowns with 36. His favorite receiver, Jacob Dahre, also topped the receiving yardage stats with 833 yards receiving. He also caught 17 touchdown passes, by far the best in Sweden. His teammate, Marcus Johnson, was not far behind with 818 yards receiving and nine touchdown passes. Uppsala’s leading receiver was Australian Blake Marklew who had 472 yards receiving and six touchdowns, catching passes from three different quarterbacks.

Uppsala QB Kieran McDonagh in action against Carlstad Photo: Moses Sh

The ground game favors the 86ers with Laviolette the league leader with 761 yards rushing. But against the Carlstad front seven he struggled. He is difficult to bring down once he gets to the second level, but the Crusaders never let that happen as they dominated Uppsala’s offensive line in both games. However, with a more mobile McDonagh who can throw, that may change. Carlstad’s running game relied on Christian Forsman who finished fifth in rushing with 438 yards, but teammate Viktor Toresson had 338 yards rushing and Carlstad as a team rushed for a league-best 1,374 yards during the regular season.

The joker for Carlstad is Alpha Jollah. He is just as dangerous on offense as defense. He had 324 yards receiving in five games, and forced teams to throw away from him on defense. Teammate Daniel Gunnarsson led the league with six interceptions.

Uppsala’s Joshua Akena led Sweden in tackles the entire season and finished with 49 and is always around the ball. Carlstad linebacker  Christian Kuylenstjerna finished third in overall tackles with 46.5 and leads a unit that is relentless.

To have any chance at all, Uppsala must get their passing game untracked again. McDonagh has proven he can be dangerous when healthy. If he is not, this will be a long afternoon for the 86ers.

Kickoff is 3p (9a EDT) and the game is being broadcast live on CMore in Sweden (PPV).

Watch the game live (Pay per View) by clicking here.

Click on the button that says “Prova 2 veckor gratis – Try it for 2 weeks for free” . Then fill in your email address, name and password and click Skapa konto, Open account. Add your credit card number. You have two weeks free viewing. After that, if you don’t cancel it costs 99 Swedish kronor, or about $11 per month.

Roger Kelly is an editor and a writer for AFI. A former PR Director the B.C. Lions of the Canadian Football League for 7 years, he now lives in Sweden writing about and scouting American Football throughout the world.