Prague Black Panthers Out to Defend Their Title in Under Armour Czech Bowl XXII

For the second year in a row the defending Czech champion Prague Black Panthers will face the Příbram Bobcats in Under Armour Czech Bowl XXII, today July 20. The game will be televised nationally in the Czech Republic.

This is the third straight trip to the final for Prague who have captured the last two and won the title 14 times since its inception in 1994. The Bobcats, on the other hand, have never won the Czech league crown. This will be their second appearance in the championship game.

Czech league - Black Panthers - Newhall-Cabarello2

The Black Panthers finished the season 7-1, and had raced through the regular season without a loss until May 31 when they were suddenly and surprisingly demolished by the Bobcats 51-0. In all fairness, since Prague plays in both the Czech league and the Austrian league (they have played 18 games so far in 2015), they find themselves playing two games in one weekend many times and they had played and beaten the Graz Giants in Austria the day before. As a result they rested most of their starters including Jan Dundáček.

Dundáček is normally the top receiver in the Austrian league but plays quarterback when Prague plays in the Czech league. Former NFL quarterback Kyle Newhall-Cabarello (Oakland Raiders) starts in the Austrian games. In other words, after injuries (they were down to their 4th string quarterback in that game) the Bobcats were facing a hugely depleted Black Panthers squad. They are aware of this and realize this will be a far different team they will face.

Newhall-Cabarello has a healthy respect for the Bobcats:

“Pribram is a very good football team and Columbus Givens has been playing great. I certainly hope I can make a difference in this game. I have highly talented receivers to throw to. I am really looking forward to this game.”

In the first meeting between these two teams in the opening game of the season, Prague needed a perfectly run two minute drill at the end of the game to score enabling them to squeak by Pribram 10-9. Neither team had trouble making the final easily winning their semifinal games. The Bobcats beat the Prague Lions 49-21 while the Black Panthers trounced the fourth place Trnava Bulldogs 41-6.

Czech - Bobcats QB Givens2

The Bobcats enter the game with starting quarterback Columbus Givens healthy and rested (it has been three weeks since the semifinals). Givens is the second leading rusher in the league and the third leading passer and obviously is the key to the Příbram offense which led the league scoring 233 points in eight games.

The versatile Melvin Davis gives the Bobcats an edge as he was one of the top running backs in the league while also playing defense where he was among the top 20 tacklers in the Czech league.

The Prague Black Panthers will have their entire starting roster for this game including quarterback Kyle Newhall- Cabarello who threw for 297 yards and four touchdowns in the 2014 final against Pribram. With Dundáček back playing receiver, the Black Panthers will have a potent offense.

Dundáček is ready for a battle:

“We do not expect that the finals will be as easy as last year. We cannot underestimate Pribram. They have a very good team. We have to approach the game with humility. They have played us tough in every game this year. They are very dangerous.”

With Givens mobility and arm contrasting Newhall-Cabarello’s precision passing, this game is a total toss up.

Watch the Championship game promo.



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.