PREVIEW: Triangle Razorbacks Face Søllerød Gold Diggers in Denmark’s Mermaid Bowl

Denmark’s National League draws to a close Saturday as the undefeated Triangle Razorbacks take on the Søllerød Gold Diggers in Mermaid Bowl XXVII, Denmark’s championship game.

This will be the sixth time these two teams have met in the title game since 2008 with the Razorbacks having a 3-2 edge. The last time these two played each other in the championship (2012), Triangle prevailed 35-29 winning in dramatic fashion.

The Razorbacks enter the game undefeated although the Aarhus Tigers gave them a scare in the semifinal as Triangle came away with a 16-13 nail-biting win. However, they do have the leading rusher in the league Mathias Kragh who rushed for 1,098 yards this year scoring 14 touchdowns. Quarterback Steven Wilken is another key to the Triangle offense after taking over from Peter Linneman. Wilken threw for 824 yards and 17 touchdowns with a 60% completion rate in the last half of the regular season. Wide receiver Robert Bleiler had 39 receptions on the year scoring 14 touchdowns along the way.

Denmark - Triangle Razorbacks RB

Mathias Kragh

The Gold Diggers had an up and down year and only seemed to find a rhythm in the latter half of the season. In a late season meeting with the Razorbacks, Søllerød battled only losing 21-16 after outgaining Triangle by a wide margin in the air (167 yards passing versus 65 for Triangle). In fact, the difference in the game was Bleiler’s 74 yards punt return for a touchdown so special teams could make a difference in the title game.

Defensively, the Razorbacks need solid games from linebacker Dylan Reda and defensive end  Jacob Neckelmann in order to stop the Gold Digger’s running back duo of Frederik Knudsen and Søren Bakbøl.

Razorbacks head coach Thomas Linnemann knows that facing the Gold Diggers in a championship game is always a fight:

“We are aware that it will be a tough game, it always is when we meet Søllerød and especially when it’s a final. You have to play up to their level to have a chance of winning.”

As quarterback Morten Forsbøl goes, so go the Gold Diggers. He threw for 1,184 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2015 but against the Razorbacks three weeks ago, he threw for 187 yards and two touchdowns while also leading Søllerød with 47 yards rushing.

Denmark - Gold Diggers - Morten Forsbøl

Morten Forsbøl

Søllerød relied on their ground game though in their playoff victory over the Towers as Forsbøl was only three of five in passing for 14 yards. Running back Frederik Knudsen carried the load rushing for 141 yards on 22 carries.

Gold Diggers head coach Troels Vestergaard knows he is facing a tough challenge:

“For many years, Søllerød’s appearance in the Mermaid Bowl was more the rule than the exception, but we have had to watch from the stands for the last two years. We are facing a team we cannot underestimate. They rested a number of starters against us the last time we played so we have to be better prepared in order to win.”

Given the history between these two teams, this one will be hard to predict. The Razorbacks would love to complete an undefeated season while the underdog Gold Diggers will be looking to even the title game score. The game will be broadcast live in Denmark on Tv3 Sport 1 with the kickoff at 4 PM.

 

Roger Kelly
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.
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