Ostrava Steelers reach Czech final for first time in 20 years

The Ostrava Steelers defeated the Prague Lions 27-19 in the Czech league semifinals this past weekend and will move on to the Czech Bowl, the championship game in the Czech Republic, for the first time in 20 years.

The last time the Steelers reached the final was 1997 when they won the title by beating the Prague Panthers 35-21.

The Steelers rolled up 198 yards rushing to overpower Prague.

Ostrava running back Dominik Dvorský paced the Steelers rushing for 131 yards and two touchdowns. Jan Musil added another rushing touchdown while Luke Wildung added another 51 yards rushing. Quarterback Oskar Drockila threw for only 64 yards but one key touchdown and Garrett Griffeth caught a three yard touchdown pass. Jiří Šimečka kicked three extra points.

For the Lions, Kurtis Walls was outstanding throwing for 159 yards and three touchdowns. Adam Česlík, Kamil Roba and David Růžek all caught touchdown passes.

Prague opened the scoring when Walls connected with Ceslik for a beautiful 54 yard touchdown. The Steelers equalized on the next drive with Musil carrying the ball in from a yard out. Then, Dvorský struck for his first score, finding a seam and racing 68 yards to give Ostrava a 14-7 lead early in the second quarter.

Steelers RB Luke Wildung Photo: KARIN TYLOVÁ

That was how the half would end.

Drockila mounted an 11 play 44 yard, five minute drive on Ostrava’s first possession of the second half, capping it with a three yard pass to Griffeth extending the Steelers lead to 21-7.

Prague responded on the very next series, with Walls throwing a 23 yard strike to Roba to narrow the lead again to 21-13.

The Steelers clock-eating ground game was impressive though as Drockila again led a drive which consumed almost five minutes with Dvorský  finishing it with a one yard plunge and the lead was again two touchdowns, 27-13.

Walls was not done though as he struck right back connecting with Ruzek for an 11 yard score capping an eight play drive, closing the gap to 27-19. However, the Ostrava defense stiffened and Walls could not get the Lions offense in gear again and they stalled on their own 40 yard line.

The Steelers now await the Prague Black Panthers in the Czech Bowl on July 24.

Check out the game highlights here.

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.