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Poland’s PLFA TopLiga Finish Week 8; Wrocław, Gdynia Lead the Way

[tps_title]PLFA TopLiga Week 8[/tps_title]

The eighth weekend of Poland’s Topliga was not kind to the home fans, as all four visiting teams came away with wins over their rivals. Two of those teams, the Wrocław Panthers and the Gdynia Seahawks, clinched home games for the Topliga semifinals, while a third, the Primacol Białystok Lowlanders, virtually assured themselves of a spot in the postseason tournament.

At the top the PLFA (Polska Liga Futbolu Amerykańskiego), the Wrocław Panthers remain undefeated, and appear certain of taking the top seed by virtue of a 33-point win over the second-place Seahawks earlier in the year. The Lowlanders need only one win in their remaining two games to clinch a playoff berth and, with both of those games coming against opponents with just a single win apiece in 2015, Białystok should be on their way to a first-ever top-division postseason appearance.

All eyes in Week 9 will be on the winner-take-all matchup for fourth place between Husaria Szczecin and the Warsaw Eagles. The teams are tied for the final playoff spot at 4-4, and the Week 9 meeting will be their only one of the season, thereby assuring the winner of the tiebreaker. The Eagles have never missed the playoffs, starting with the PLFA’s inception in 2006.

At the bottom of the table, three teams are vying to avoid a cellar finish and the battle for relegation that goes with it. Kozły Poznań currently have a hold on last, with a 1-7 record, while the Warsaw Sharks and Zagłębie Steelers Interpromex each sit slightly ahead of them at 1-6. The Steelers and Sharks play each other twice within their final three games, and a split of those games could freeze out Kozły, who have only a pair of games against top-quality opponents remaining.

Upcoming Games (Week 9):

Saturday, June 6, Time TBA: Wrocław Panthers (8-0) vs. Gdynia Seahawks (7-1)
Saturday, June 6, 5:00 PM: Husaria Szczecin (4-4) vs. Warsaw Eagles (4-4)
Sunday, June 7, Time TBA: Zagłębie Steelers Interpromex (1-6) vs. Warsaw Sharks (1-6)
Sunday, June 7, 3:00 PM: Kozły Poznań (1-7) vs. Primacol Białystok Lowlanders (5-3)

Week 8 Recaps

Wrocław Panthers 45, Warsaw Eagles 14

The Panthers continued their dominance over the Topliga on Sunday in Warsaw, smothering the Eagles 45-14 for their 8th consecutive victory to open the 2015 season. Kyle Israel threw three first-half touchdowns for Wrocław, who have averaged nearly 48 points a game this season.

The Panthers, whose smallest margin of victory in 2015 came in a 23-point win over the Eagles in April, led 38-0 at halftime. Patryk Matkowski caught a pair of Israel’s scoring throws, while Grzegorz Mazur had the other on a play that went for 82 yards. Marcus Sims added two more touchdowns for Wrocław to give him 16 for the season, one behind Angelo Pease of the Gdynia Seahawks for the league lead.

[tps_footer]Next: Gdynia Seahawks v. Kozły Poznań[/tps_footer]

[tps_title]PLFA TopLiga Week 8[/tps_title]

Gdynia Seahawks 42, Kozły Poznań 13

Micah Brown took over a close game in the second quarter by throwing three quick touchdown passes on Sunday, leading the Seahawks to a 42-13 road victory over struggling Kozły. The Seahawks have now won 10 straight games and 13 out of 14 overall against Kozły, with their only loss in the series coming back in 2009. They opened the 2015 season with a 55-20 victory in Gdynia.

Kozły played the Seahawks close until the beginning of the second quarter. Jeremy Dixon tied the game at 7 with a 6-yard touchdown run after a short Sebastian Krzysztofek touchdown run had given Gdynia an early lead. Brown took the game by the horns at that point, finishing the first half with a touchdown pass to Tomasz Mechlewicz and two more to Jakub Mazan. He then opened the second half with a 10-yard touchdown run, which he followed up with his fourth scoring toss of the game.

[tps_footer]Next: Białystok v.Warsaw[/tps_footer]

[tps_title]PLFA TopLiga Week 8[/tps_title]

Primacol Białystok Lowlanders 46, Warsaw Sharks 33

The Lowlanders scored 20 straight points around the halftime break to take control of a game in which the lead changed hands four times in the first half, and they then held off a Sharks rally to come away with a 46-33 victory on Saturday in Warsaw. The Sharks closed to within a touchdown twice in the second half, only to see Białystok return the ensuing kickoff for a touchdown each time.

The Sharks led early on thanks to a pair of Antonio Roane touchdown runs, each coming in response to a Jabari Harris touchdown pass. A Harris touchdown run in the second quarter began the streak of 20 unanswered points for the Lowlanders, a tear that also included an electrifying 70-yard scoring run by the Lowlanders quarterback and the first of two Alexander Allen touchdown runs on the afternoon.

[tps_footer]Next: Husaria v. Zagłębie[/tps_footer]

[tps_title]PLFA TopLiga Week 8[/tps_title]

Husaria Szczecin 31, Zagłębie Steelers Interpromex 6

Husaria bounced back from their big defeat last weekend with a 31-6 victory over the Steelers in Będzin on Saturday, keeping their hopes of a Topliga postseason berth alive in the process. Husaria also completed a season sweep of the Steelers, who fell to 1-6 with the loss. Szczecin will now host the Warsaw Eagles on June 6, with the winner taking the final Topliga playoff spot.

Szczecin led 3-0 at the end of the first quarter on the strength of a 35-yard Przemysław Adamus field goal, but they would relinquish the lead early in the second when Kevin Marshall scored for the Steelers. Husaria quickly recovered, however, and Mateusz Dubicki and James Williams each scored on a short touchdown run before the half to make it 17-6 in favor of Husaria. Dubicki and Williams would each go on to score again in the second half.