Romania: Cluj Crusaders win RoBowl VIII

The Cluj Crusaders captured the 2017 Romanian title for the first time in three years after defeating the Bucharest Warriors 17-12 in RoBowl VIII in Buftea, on the outskirts of the country’s capital city, Bucharest in +30 degree heat.

The Crusaders had defeated the Timisoara 89ers in one semifinal to reach the championship game while the Warriors downed the Bucharest Rebels in the other semi.

Crusaders running back Florin Oltean scored two touchdowns while Tamas Laszlo kicked a field goal and both extra points.

Running back Bogdan Topolescu and Moroccan linebacker Haytam Fadel  scored for Bucharest.

Bucharest took an 6-0 first quarter lead after Fadel recovered a Crusaders fumble and raced 40 yards to the end one for the touchdown. This had followed two Warriors turnovers which Cluj was unable to capitalize on.

Oltean then scored and Laszlo hit the extra point giving Cluj a 7-6. Then Laszlo hit a late second quarter field goal and the Crusaders went into the break leading 10-6.

Both offenses struggled in the third quarter in the heat, but the Crusaders special teams recovered their own punt deep in Bucharest territory after the ball was touched by the Warriors returner. Oltean scored his second touchdown of the game on the next play and Laszlo added the extra point, extending the Cluj lead to 17-6.

Then the game came alive.

Topolescu scored a touchdown with three minutes remaining to reduce the lead to 17-12. Then, when the onside kick went the Crusaders way, the Bucharest defense forced a stop and blocked a field goal attempt.

However, a last gasp drive by Bucharest ended in an interception by Cluj linebacker Trevor Lothrop and the Crusaders began to celebrate.

Watch a replay of the game here.

Source: Mihai-Tudor Grigoras

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