This past Sunday, whatever the Søllerød Gold Diggers asked of starting running back Rasmus Carøe he did and more in leading his team to a 40-26 win over the Triangle Razorbacks in the final game of the Danish National League regular season for both teams.
He rushed for 97 yards and two touchdowns, stepped in at quarterback for the final third of the game throwing a crucial touchdown pass and he kicked a huge 67 punt at another critical point in the game. He also caught four passes for 36 yards making him the team’s second leading rusher, receiver and passer on this day.
In short, he was a key to the win for Søllerød.
That’s not to say his teammates weren’t also playing excellent football. Quarterback Tanner Gueller had looked sharp and thrown a touchdown pass with just under eight minutes left in the third quarter when he suddenly limped off the field and did not return with his team leading 28-13. Gueller had 120 yards passing before leaving the game and two touchdown passes while rushing for 73 and another score. Running back Christian Vahl rumbled for 106 yards while Thomas Ashworth caught two touchdown passes and Adria Botella hauled in three passes for 17 yards and a touchdown.
Still, late in the third period, with Gueller suddenly out of the game, and Carøe trying to find his rhythm in his first ever stint as quarterback, the Razorbacks closed the gap to within two points and were growing confident.
That’s when Carøe took his game up another level.
First he opened the fourth quarter engineering a 12 play, 80 yard drive that ate up over five minutes, capping it with a three yard touchdown plunge to boost the lead to 34-26. More importantly though, it halted the momentum of a surging Razorbacks team.
It also energized the Søllerød defense led by Swedish defensive lineman David Strobel who kept the pressure on throughout the game. They held the Razorbacks to a three and out and forced a poor punt, giving Carøe and the offense the ball on the Triangle 30 yard line. Again, Carøe marched the team on a clock-eating drive, this time down to the six finishing it with his first-ever touchdown pass, a six yarder to Adria Botella. With just over a minute left in the game, the Gold Diggers had taken a commanding 40-26 lead which they kept to earn a huge win on the road with the playoffs looming.
The game had been a see saw battle before Gueller’s injury with the Razorback’s scoring first on quarterback Reed Gottula’s one yard plunge to give his team a 7-0 lead. Gueller narrowed the lead to 7-6 with his own one yard score and then gave his team the lead for good with a short touchdown pass to Ashworth at the eight minute mark of the second quarter. The Razorbacks always-dangerous running back Niko Lester made his presence known on the ensuing kickoff taking it 80 yards for a go ahead touchdown giving Triangle a short-lived 13-12 lead.
The Gold Diggers went back out in front on the very next possession when Gueller led them on a brilliant 6 minute and 38 second, 17 play, 85 yard march, handing the ball off to Carøe for the touchdown. The successful two-point conversion made it 20-13 for Søllerød at the half.
Another well executed, clock eating drive to open the third quarter gave the Gold Diggers a 28-13 lead before the game took its even more dramatic turn.
Gottula threw for 137 yards and a touchdown with Niko Lester his leading receiver with two catches for 54 yards. Alesandro Mella caught a 46 yard touchdown pass while Adrian Jimenez rushed for 61 yards. Gottula scored two touchdowns on the ground himself and Lester added the brilliant 85 yard kickoff return for a touchdown.
With the win, Søllerød moves into sole possession of second place with a 3-1 record and will face the AaB 89ers in the semifinals in two weeks. The Razorbacks wind up fourth and will play the Copenhagen Towers in the other semifinal.
Photos: SBC Photo