PREVIEW: Norwegian Championship – Eidsvoll 1814s v. Lura Bulls – July 5

The Norwegian Championship will feature a nine time winner facing first time contender.

The Eidsvoll 1814s, nine time Norwegian champions, enter today’s Norwegian title game as slight favorites to defeat the Lura Bulls who are appearing in the game for the first time.

However, the Bulls handed the 1814s their only loss of the season late in the year, 27-26. Nevertheless, the 1814s will have to earn a slight advantage owing to the number of times they have been in and won the title game.

Otherwise on paper, these two teams are as close as possible. The Bulls had a tougher game reaching the final, beating the Oslo Vikings, 28-13. Eidsvoll had a much easier time of it manhandling the Nidaros Domers 59-16.

Lura Bulls

Bulls head coach Kamran Fatehi has seen his team improve from barely making the playoffs last year to finishing with a 6-1 record and ready to challenge for the championship this year.

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Enrique Williams and Aaron Harris will be key factors in the championship game

Lura is led by quarterback Harry Peoples who has enjoyed a spectacular season. His athleticism coupled with a strong arm makes him dangerous at all times. He has scored as many touchdowns with his legs as his arm. His backfield is not too shabby either with Simon Sommerfeld and Enrique Williams carrying the ball. Sommerfeld may be doubtful for this game however, so more of the running load may be placed on Williams’ shoulders. The two-way Williams, who is also playing linebacker and is considered one of the best in Norway, may well be tested late in the game as his legs start to tire.

Peoples will rely on receivers Magnus Vadla and Ian Barkovitch, who has turned into his favorite target. The offensive line can struggle at times but veteran Frank Kolden who is also on the national team, does a solid job at tackle while Hungarian center Gabor Kispal has developed well during the season.

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Ole Petter Ølberg plays both ways

On defense, the Bulls Ole Petter Ølberg may be the finest defensive tackle in Norway. Linebackers Enrique Williams and Eric Baden are outstanding duo with Williams perhaps the best in the country. The secondary is anchored by Simon Bruset who is extremely fast and athletic and strong safety Dominic Gould from Great Britain who is not only physical but has a high football IQ.

Eidsvoll 1814s

Eidsvoll head coach John Pate is new to the Norwegian league this year but has faced the pressure of taking over a successful and talented team. They were beaten in last year’s championship game by the now defunct Kristiansand Gladiators on the final play of the game. He does not want to see that happen this year.

Pate’s offense revolves around Eivind Brekke, who while not quite as mobile as Peoples, has developed excellent chemistry with his receivers, particularly Arne August Skovseth Søgaard. He has the finest offensive line protecting him though with Torgrim Nyland (arguably the best left tackle in Norway) and Jan-Henrik Bogenand leading the group.

The running back tandem of  Aaron Harris and Kristian Hoel has been deadly over the season. Harris has truly developed and in the last three games alone he has scored a total of 14 touchdowns. He is a big physical back and tough to bring down.

Defensively, Leo Krafft and Jørgen Alnæs lead a defensive line that loves to hunt the ball. Krafft is a physical force although raw still but learning with every game. Alnæs is a typical off-the-edge type of defensive end so Peoples has to keep an eye on him.

The 1814s linebacking corps rely on Riley Bowen and Kris Ceballos with defensive captain Bowen described as the heart and soul of the team. He is very quick and experienced which makes the more cerebral Ceballos the perfect complement.

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Hard hitting Brian Moro

Defensive back Brian Moro is small but athletic and very physical who has a nose for the football. Cornerback Thomas Jansrud may be the closest thing to a shutdown corner in Norway. The secondary is a little thin after that but receiver Arne August Skovseth Søgaard can also jump in at defensive back and adds solid skills to the secondary.

The Bulls won the only encounter between these two teams this year by the narrowest of margins 27-26 so this one will definitely not be a lopsided victory by either team.

When and where: Sunday July 5 at. 15:00, Frogner Stadion (Oslo)



Our thanks go out to Amerikansk Fotball and Bård Strøm for the information in this article.

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.