Norway’s Top 4 American Football Clubs Prepare for Semifinals

Norwegian Semifinals this weekend

The Eidsvoll 1814s who finished first in Norway, will face the fourth place Nidaros Domers in one semifinal while the Lura Bulls, second place finishers, will host the third place Oslo Vikings in the other game.

Let’s take a quick look at the match ups.

Eidsvoll 1814s vs. NTNUI Nidaros Domers
Saturday 27 June at. 14:00, Bøn Stadium (Hobart)

Norway - Eidsvoll 1814's action - Aaron Harris

On paper this game would seem to be a foregone conclusion. The 1814s finished first in the regular season and led the Norwegian league with the best offense (222 points) and the stingiest defense (allowed only 76 points in seven games). They lost only one game, a  27-26 decision to the Lura Bulls. They wound up the regular season by trouncing the Domers 79-12.

Running back Aaron Harris has had an outstanding season and with his power running gives quarterback Eivind Brekke excellent options out of the play action. The 1814s rely on a 3-3 defense and it is the ideal match up against the Domers. A four to five man rush still leaves five to six defenders able to drop back into pass coverage, creating turnover possibilities all over the field.

The Domers will have to fall back on the old adage “that offense is the best defense”.  With quarterback Dustin Hawke spending more time coaching, running back Sondre Vik Furuseth will have to carry a heavy load if Nidaros plans to keep the ball out of the hands of Eidsvoll’s potent offense. Receivers Nicolai Nørstrud, who can stretch a defense, and Joakim Krabbe, who is an excellent possession receiver, will have to carry the day.

On defense, the Domers will have to rely on a gap defense with at times eight players in the box to stymie Harris’s running. And then keep him inside so those eight can smother him.

The Domers have had two weeks to rest, recuperate and plan while the 1814s battled and beat a tough Oslo Vikings squad 19-14. Although Nidaros struggled towards the end of the season, the playoffs are an entirely new season. Nevertheless the Domers second year head coach Øivind Viktor Jenssen  will have his hands full.

Highlights from the last match between the 1814s and Domers:

Lura Bulls vs. Oslo Vikings
Saturday 27 June at. 14:00, Lura Stadium (Lura)

Norway - Vikings v Bulls

The Lura Bulls opened the season with four straight wins before tailing off first losing to the Vikings 20-7 and then barely getting by the last place Trolls.

To rebound and beat the Vikings they have to get pressure on Oslo quarterback Derek Mann who is not as comfortable in the pocket if he is not given time. Linebackers Enrique Williams (the heart of the Bulls defense) and Dominic Gould have get off the edges fast and come from different angles.

Offensively quarterback Harry Peoples is playing at a very high level and with his legs as well as his arm he is always a threat.

Vikings coaches Jesse Aldefere and Petter Vogt, will look to Lorenzo Proctor, one of the best running backs in Norway to get the ground game rolling. Derek Mann is a gunslinger and one of his favorite targets is Nicolay Knutsen and they are a tough tandem to stop. The Bulls will have to get pressure on Mann to have any success.

The Vikings defensive line will dominate the line of scrimmage and give Harry Peoples some problems but with the Vikings probably still suffering the effects of their game last weekend against the 1814s and dealing with the eight hour long bus ride to Sandnes, the Bulls should have the advantage in this one.

Highlights of the last game between the Bulls and the Vikings:

Thanks to JM Henriksen from Norway’s outstanding American football website.

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.