PREVIEW: Denmark’s Championship – The Mermaid Bowl XXVI: Copenhagen Towers v. Aarhus Tigers

Tigers aim to play the spoilers of the Tower mission to repeat as Danish champions!

This Saturday, October 11th at 3 p.m. CET, the 2014 DAFF Danish American Football Championship Mermaid Bowl XXVI kicks off at AutoC Park Randers. The two teams who have qualified for this year’s Mermaid Bowl are the defending champion Copenhagen Towers and the Aarhus Tigers, who have not been in the Mermaid Bowl since 2000.

It has been an impressive year for both teams. This is the second consecutive year that Towers have made the finals and they are looking for a repeat of last year’s victory over the Triangle Razorbacks (28-21). The last time the Towers and Tigers met, late in the regular season, Aarhus won 22-0 in Gentofte But Copenhagen was missing quarterback  J.R. Artozqui, who was out with an injury.

2014 Mermaid Bowl

The Towers have had an outstanding season, but did not play nearly as convincing without Artozqui.  They have been dominant in most of their games this year and proven that they have Denmark’s strongest and deepest squad. Artozqui returned in the semi-finals against Søllerød Gold Diggers, which the Towers won convincingly 33-8.

The Aarhus Tigers season has been just as impressive, and in their last three games, they have proved that they belong in the top of the Dansk Amerikansk Fodbold Forbund’s  (DAFF) national league. First they beat the previously undefeated Towers 22-0, and then upset the Razorbacks 37-29 in the Danish semifinals.

The Matchups

We have looked at the various key individual match-ups in the game.

Aarhus Tigers wide receivers John Mathews, Frederick Oldenburg and Niclas Klixbüll vs. Copenhagen Towers defensive secondary

It will be interesting to see how the Towers will cover three very different wide receivers from the Tigers. Niclas Klixbüll a small, quick receiver who is good in the short passing game, but when the Tigers go deep they rely on speedster Frederik Oldenburg. The American import, John Matthews is used both as a wide receiver and tight end and it is he who Tigers QB Mathias Lilhauge often goes to when they need a key first down. It will be interesting to see what Towers Head Coach Peter Herbild dials up to shut down the Tigers talented  wide receiving corp. He will certainly use the Towers strong defensive backs, including  Christian Dinesen and Magnus Bitsch.

Copenhagen Towers Running Game vs. Aarhus Tigers Run Defense

The Towers running attack is powered by a great offensive line, who get great push off the line and make room for the former league MVP Casper Jensen and Mike Petersen Mønsted. This will be a challenge for the Tigers defense, led by Christopher Muurholm, Peter Kjær Nielsen and Ronni Andersen. 

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Copenhagen Towers celebrate their 2013 Mermaid Bowl title

 Aarhus Running Backs Marco Rysgaard & Sune Werner Johansen vs. Towers Defense

The Towers will need to work to shut down the Tigers running attack led by fullback Marco Rysgaard and Sune Johansen, who both have had good seasons behind the Tigers offensive line. If the Tigers get a lead, they are good with their running game. To stop the Tigers running attack, the Copenhagen will need Team Denmark linebackers Philip Hargett and Andreas Schneider to lead the way, and stop the Tigers double-threats in the backfield.

Towers WR Lasse Tor vs. Tigers CB Rupan Paramasivam

Last year’s Mermaid Bowl MVP Lasse Tor will try to follow up his performance against one of the DAFF’s best cornerbacks and national team corner Rupan Paramasivam.  Lasse Tor has a big physical advantage in the battle with Paramasivam, as there is an almost 20 cm height difference between the two players.

The Quarterback Battle: Mathias Lilhauge vs. J. R. Artozqui

The most crucial match-up is the two teams’ quarterbacks It will be interesting to see which of the signal callers, Tigers quarterback Mathias Lilhauge or Towers  quarterback J.R. Artozqui, has the best outing, makes the fewest mistakes and manages to use the arsenal of playmakers they both possess.

Mathias Lilhauge

Aarhus Tigers QB Mathias Lilhauge

The 2015 Mermaid Bowl

The two teams have met twice this season and twice in the 2013 season. The Tigers victory this past September was the first time the Tigers have won over Towers in the past two years

Even with the loss to the Tigers in September, the Towers are still a huge favorite in the game. It will be interesting to see if the underdog Tigers can keep up the level they played against the Razorbacks. They will need to, if they want a chance to stand with Mermaid Bowl trophy on Saturday.

Come to AutoC Park Randers and watch the game – kick off at. 3:00 p.m.. Tailgating begins at 11:30 a.m.

If you are unable to get to Randers, the game will be on Danish television, TV 3 Sport, with the pregame starting at 2:45 p.m., Saturday, October 11th, 2014.

Translated Source: http://gulklud.dk/optakt_mbxxvi

John McKeon
John McKeon is a former professional and collegiate American Football player and coach now living and working in New York. His goal is to spread news, information, and opinion on the global growth of the sport he loves.
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