Poland’s Wroclaw Panthers roll past import-less Dresden Monarchs

The Wroclaw Panthers stunned the number three team in the German Football League in 2019, the Dresden Monarchs, beating them 48-14 Sunday in an international exhibition game held in Dresden.

The Monarchs were playing the game without any of their import players while Wroclaw had former University of Hawaii running back Ryan Tuiosoa along with two German standouts, defensive end Thiadric Hansen (Winnipeg Blue Bombers) and offensive lineman Sven Breidenbach (Cologne Crocodiles).

With Tuiasoa in the backfield, the Panthers roared out to a 28-0 second quarter lead while pounding the ball, giving up a late first half touchdown. The onslaught continued in the third quarter stretching to 35-7 before Tuiasoa rested and the Monarchs offense seemed to come to life adding another score. Wroclaw kicked two field goals while adding another touchdown with less than a minute left.

Tuiasoa rushed for 168 yards and four touchdowns while Damian Kwiatkowski added 46 and big Konrad Starczewski kicked in with five carries for 20 yards and the game’s final touchdown. Quarterback Bartosz Dziedzic threw for 244 yards and one touchdown with Wiktor Zieba his favorite target hauling in three passes for 99 yards and a touchdown. Tuiasoa also caught three passes for 43 yards and Jakub Mazan had two for 27.

For Dresden, beleaguered quarterback Eric Seidel threw for 173 yards and two touchdowns with Radim Kalous catching three for 51 yards and one touchdown and Robin Wilzeck two for 46 and another score. Lau Maximillian had one catch for 48 yards and Yazan Nasser one for 26. Nasser came out blazing in the first quarter rushing for 64 of his 69 yards but did not carry the ball much after that. Running back Runne Morten had a pair of carries for 16 yards and Seidel rushed for 11 yards total.

Wroclaw Panthers quarterback Bartosz Dziedzic getting set to throw Photo: BK-Foto Sportbilder

Wroclaw set the tone early with Tuiasoa carrying the ball eight times on a 14 play, 79 yard drive finishing it off with a three yard scamper into the end zone. The extra point was good and the Panthers took a 7-0 lead.

Dresden’s second possession saw Seidel march his team down to the Wroclaw 28 yard line but a field goal attempt sailed wide.

It took the Panthers three plays to find the end zone with Zieba getting in behind the Dresden secondary to pull down a 67 yard touchdown pass, upping the score to 14-0 late in the first quarter.

With Seidel still shaking the rust off (he hadn’t played a game since 2016) the Monarchs offense stalled and a bad punt and penalty gave Wroclaw the ball on the Monarchs 13 yard line. Tuiasoa made no mistake finding the end zone again and the score was 21-0 for the visitors with over eight minutes to go in the first half.

Two minutes later, Seidel was picked off by Daniel Piatkowski who returned the ball to the Dresden 23. It took Tuiasoa four plays this time to score making it 28-0 with three minutes to go in the half.

The Monarchs finally showed some life as Seidel moved them to the Wroclaw 33 yard line, helped by a 26 yard reception by Nasser. He then connected with Kalous for a 33 yard touchdown narrowing the lead to 28-7 to end the half.

Dresden Monarchs running back Yazan Nasser was exciting to watch Photo: BK-Foto Sportbilder

Tuiasoa punished Dresden to open the second half, finding a seam and racing 64 yards to the 18 yard line. He took the ball in on the next play to stretch the lead to 35-7 and then left the game.

The Wroclaw offense seemed to slow down after that while Seidel injected new life into the Monarchs. With just over six minutes remaining in the third quarter, he hit Maximilian for a 48 yard gain and then connected with Wilzeck for a 40 yard touchdown, igniting the crowd and seemingly giving new life to his team, closing the gap to 35-14.

However, that was as close as the Monarchs would come as Wroclaw began to grind out the clock using four different running backs. A field goal to end the third quarter and another at the seven minute mark increased the lead to 41-14.

With wide receiver Robert Sommer replacing Seidel at quarterback, Dresden could not move the ball and Wroclaw then consumed the final five minutes of the game on a nine play, 50 yard drive. Starczewski punched the ball in for the final time to extend Wroclaw’s lead to 48-14 with 30 seconds on the clock.

Ryan Tuiasoa was excited to play against a team like the Monarchs and happy with the way his club performed at all levels:

“It was a great experience to play a well respected GFL team. We saw playing against a top organization like Dresden as a big opportunity to represent ourselves and our club against them. We wanted to come out strong and fast from the beginning. Our Oline has been doing a great job and they’ve really allowed me to just run and do my thing. Bartek is a leader and our receivers make big plays week in and out, so we’ve been able to keep a balanced attack.

Everybody is very dedicated to the team here and it’s made it much easier for me to do my part on offense. From management down to coaching and players, it was a great effort all around for the win. And big thank you to the Dresden Monarchs for hosting us. This year has made a strange situation for football, so we’re all happy we could share an international game in a great environment with them”.

For the Panthers, this was an important test. Although it was a “friendly” and both teams were missing a number of key players, the game gave the defending Polish champions an indication that they can compete at a higher level.

Photos: BK-Foto Sportbilder 

 

AFI
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