Analyzing matchups in Poland as season passes midpoint

The Polish Liga Futbolu Amerykańskiego, LFA has all six teams in action this weekend.

The league leading Bialystok Lowlanders will take the almost six hour bus trip south to Tychy to face the Tychy Falcons. Meanwhile the Silesia Rebels also have a long journey , five and a half hours to Bydgoszcz to take on the Bydgoszcz Archers.  Finally, the Warsaw Mets will travel almost four hours to Wroclaw to play the Wroclaw Panthers.

Whew. That’s a lot of traveling this week for Poland’s teams.

Let’s dive into our condensed matchup analyses for this week.

Saturday, October 3, Warsaw Mets (0-3) @ Wroclaw Panthers (2-0)

The Warsaw Mets will still be looking for their first win of the season when they play the unbeaten Wroclaw Panthers. Warsaw dropped their third straight last week, losing 25-0 to the Bialystok Lowlanders. They opened the season losing to the Archers 17-7 and then were shut out by the Tychy Falcons 16-0.

For Warsaw, quarterback TJ Richardson and running back Witold Szpotanski are the bread and butter of the offense and combined last week for over 160 yards on the ground and in the air. Richardson can be elusive but playing without any of the starting receivers from 2019 has hobbled the offense and he has been trying to do it on his own. Defensively, Arkadiusz Cleslok anchors a front seven that actually gave the Lowlanders trouble last week. Nevertheless, in the three losses, Warsaw has managed to score just one touchdown, and that was a defensive touchdown on a fumble return against the Bydgoszcz Archers.

They will need to add another dimension to disrupt the Panthers, who put on a powerful show two weeks ago in manhandling Germany’s Dresden Monarchs 48-14. They have rolled over the Rebels 52-7 and opened the year with a 52-0 blanking of the Falcons. Running back Ryan Tuiasoa is having a banner season and against the Monarchs he rolled for 168 yards four touchdowns in just over two quarters of play. He has scored nine in the three games. Quarterback Bartosz Dziedzic has looked impressive as well throwing for 244 yards against Dresden. The defense features Canadian Football League rush end Thiadric Hansen who will give Richardson all kinds of problems.

It will be a long game for TJ Richardson and the Mets.

Saturday, October 3, Bialystok Lowlanders (3-0) @ Tychy Falcons (2-1)

The Tychy Falcons face their second toughest test of the year this week after the opening game 52-0 shellacking they suffered at the hand of the Panthers. They went on to beat the Mets 16-0 and then the Silesia Rebels 42-26. Bialystok beat the Rebels 38-14 and then the Bydgoszcz Archers 49-24. Last week they blanked the Mets 25-0.

Tychy quarterback Niklas Gorny and receiver Rashad Still are a constant threat. Add to that the running of Adrian Binek and Jan Szwej and they could give the Lowlanders some issues.

Meanwhile, Bialystok is coming off a 49-24 win over the Archers and new quarterback Brandon Gwinner looked impressive in the win. He threw for three touchdowns and ran for another three in the victory. Wide receiver Rafal Krowlewski hauled in two touchdown passes (85 yds, 37 yds) while Antoni Podgorski caught the other on a 44 yard play. Running back Glen Toonga added a 27 yard touchdown.

On defense, newly added defensive back Tommy Kaczocha made his presence known with an interception which led to the game’s final touchdown by Toonga.

The Lowlanders should notch their fourth win in this one.

Saturday, October 3, Silesia Rebels (0-3) @ Bydgoszcz Archers (1-1)

Bydgoszcz (pronounced Bid-goshtz) started the season by beating the Warsaw Mets 17-7 and then dropped a 49-24 decision to the Lowlanders.  The Rebels have struggled losing all three games. They opened with a 38-14 loss to the Lowlanders and followed that up with a 52-7 whipping at the hands of the Wroclaw Panthers. Two weeks ago they were beaten 46-24 by the Falcons.

The Archers enter this game with quarterback Dustin Hawke Willingham now firmly in charge of the offense. He took over suddenly a week after the team’s opening game win and the former Oslo Vikings (Norway), Bolzano Giants (Italy) and Team USA quarterback did not have much time to get acclimatized before facing the powerful Lowlanders. He has had a couple of weeks now.

French running back Meril Zero gives the Archers an added dimension along with wide receivers Paweł Fabich and Mikołaj Obrebski. Defensively, the Archers have Finnish championship winning linebacker Kadel King of the Kuopio Steelers and he can make life miserable for opposing offenses.

Silesia Rebels British quarterback Ashley Bailey has looked solid despite the three losses. He has Devion Young  and running back Courtney Ettiene and could give the Archers problems. In the team’s opening game loss, Bailey threw for 206 yards and ran for another 101 so he can make things happen.

This could be the game that everything comes together for the Rebels.

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