LIVE STREAM & PREVIEW: Critical Game for Playoffs in Sweden – Örebro Black Knights v STU Northside Bulls

The Örebro Black Knights play their final home game of the Swedish American football season today against the STU Northside Bulls and it is a crucial game to their playoff hopes. If they win this game they will qualify for the playoffs. If they lose fate is no longer in their hands as the Bulls would leapfrog them into fourth with one game remaining in the season.

For STU the game is just as important. If they beat the Black Knights and then defeat the Limhamn Griffins they will clinch a playoff spot. If they lose to the Griffins and Örebro beats the Stockholm Mean Machines then the Black Knights are in.

Sweden - Orebro - Sundstrom2

Alexander Sundstrom in old jersey number

Örebro enters the contest fairly healthy with all the starters back in the lineup. Finnish national team running back Veikka Lehtonen returned to the lineup last week against the Kristianstad Predators and exploded for almost 300 yards rushing in the 35-6 win. Quarterback Grant Welp was given freer rein to throw the ball and took advantage of the opportunity surprising Kristianstad’s defense time and again.

Head coach Randy Beverly’s defense continues to improve. Led by the linebacking corp of Mike Kafagas and Eric and Josh Murphy they are now ranked third in the league in overall defense and first against the pass. Defensive back Aexander Sundström has snagged three interceptions returning them for 119 yards and one touchdown. Johan Stål is also one of the top pass defenders in Sweden.

They will need this as they face the top rated quarterback in the league as Isaiah Kempf is averaging 430 yards passing per game.

Beverly is impressed with Kempf:

“He reads quickly and well and finds open areas in the zone and gets rid of the ball quicker than anyone I have seen. If you have weaknesses, he will exploit them.”

Sweden - STU action

Damien Scanella Photo: Maria Schedin

His favorite receivers Damien Scanella, Denny John, Sebastian Albinsson and Michael Sander also lead the league in reception yardage by a wide margin. So the number one passing offense is up against the number one passing defense.

STU head coach Johan Sedin:

“If we play well in all phases of the game, we have a good chance to beat the Black Knights.”

This will be a game to watch.

Kickoff: 4 PM (10 AM EDT)

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.