Poland: Bialystok Lowlanders blank Warsaw Mets for win #3

Behind another outstanding rushing day by Glen Toonga, the Bialystok Lowlanders battled through tough weather and field conditions and a stubborn Warsaw Mets team to earn their third straight win without a defeat, beating the Mets 25-0 as Poland’s Liga Futbolu Amerykańskiego (LFA) moved past the midpoint of the season.

Toonga found the going rough at time but ended up rushing for 180 yards and two touchdowns on a field that was treacherously muddy and slippery.

Although the Lowlanders entered the game as heavy favorites against a winless Warsaw squad, the Mets defense kept them bottled up with some inspired play until early in the second quarter. With the game tied at 0-0 and the ball on the Bialystok 38 in terrible field conditions, Toonga suddenly found a seam, slithering through the Warsaw front seven and then racing 60 yards, getting tripped up on the two yard line. Two plays later he pounded the ball in from the one giving the Lowlanders a 6-0 lead.

Mets quarterback TJ Richardson and running back Witold Szpotanski carried the bulk of the load for the home team and on the game’s opening drive they combined to march Warsaw down to the Lowlanders 16 yard line before stalling.

That was as close as the Mets got.

Warsaw Mets QB TJ Richardson – Photo Dariusz Jacek/Interception

From then on Warsaw was unable to advance past midfield until their final possession of the game, when they reached the 34 yard line.

Meanwhile, the Lowlanders slowly began asserting themselves and on the final drive of the first half, quarterback Brandon Gwinner connected with Tommy Kaczocha for a 47 yard gain, bringing the ball to the Mets 14 yard line. After a penalty took Bialystok out of field goal range, Gwinner then found wide receiver Konrad Marianski for a 19 yard touchdown and the Lowlanders went into the break leading 12-0.

Toonga broke the game open on the second play of the third quarter, first fumbling the ball, scooping it up from the muddy turf and then roaring down the sideline 73 yards. This time the extra point was good and suddenly Bialystok held a 19-0 lead. Two possessions later, Gwinner drove the Lowlanders down to the Mets 13 yard line thanks to a 40 yard connection with Eryk Makowski but a series of penalties brought them back out to the 27. Finally, on a 4th and 23, he found Marianski again for a 27 yard score and Bialystok took a 25-0 lead into the final quarter.

In the boggy conditions, both teams seemed content to run the ball and the clock as well through the last stanza. In fact, they combined for two first downs in the fourth quarter, one apiece and Warsaw stalled on their own 40 as time ran out.

To go along with his 180 yard rushing, Toonga caught two passes for 19 yards while Marianski caught both touchdown passes. Gwinner completed nine passes for 185 yards with Makowski catching two for 60 yards and Marianski two for 46 yards, both for touchdowns. Kaczocha  had one catch for 47 yards while Rafal Krolewski struggled, catching just one football for five yards.

For Warsaw it was the Richardson (61 yds) and Szpotanski (34 yds) show as the pair combined for 99 yards rushing while Richardson completed 10 passes for 62 yards.

Next up for the Lowlanders is a road game against the Tychy Falcons October 3 while Warsaw is also on the road, heading to Wroclaw and a date with the Wroclaw Panthers October 4.

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