Scandinavian Cup kicks off this weekend

The Scandinavian Cup opens its 2022 season, the first since the mid 1990s, with three games, two involving teams from the same country.

One of the oldest rivalries in Sweden kicks off the season as the Stockholm Mean Machines play host to the Carlstad Crusaders, while Denmark’s Aalborg 89ers head to Stockholm to face the Tyresö Royal Crowns. Finally, on Sunday, another traditional rivalry takes place, this one in Norway, as the Oslo Vikings visit the Eidsvoll 1814s.

Saturday, April 30

Carlstad Crusaders (Sweden) @ Stockholm Mean Machines (Sweden)

The Stockholm Mean Machines have opened the season in the Swedish Superserien with two straight victories and have looked impressive. They downed the Örebro Black Knights 26-23 and then used a dominant second half to beat the Tyresö Royal Crowns 34-20. Quarterback Mark Pappas presides over a potent offense which includes deadly receiver Matt Retzlaff and exciting running back Oliwer Stedt. Meanwhile, perhaps their biggest rivals in Sweden, and now in the Scandinavian Cup, the Carlstad Crusaders dropped a heartbreaker to the Black Knights 22-19 after holding a 19-0 lead at halftime. Then they edged the Royal Crowns 10-7 on a last minute field goal. Quarterback Tim Morovick has his own weapons including wide receiver Kevin Borzei who caught a touchdown pass in last week’s loss.

The Mean Machines have added All Europe wide receiver and kick returner Alpha Jalloh to the lineup, and he could be the difference maker.

Aalborg 89ers (Denmark) @ Tyreseö Royal Crowns (Sweden)

The Royal Crowns have opened their season in Sweden with a surprising win over the Black Knights but then dropped two in a row, first to Stockholm and then to Carlstad. Quarterback Phil Juhlin has plenty of weapons at his disposal but has yet to find a rhythm to an offense that he also coaches as offensive coordinator.

The 89ers enter the new season with a brand-new head coach in Jakob Zinck Thellufsen and a new quarterback, DeAndre Clayton. Clayton has a pair of young, talented wide receivers to throw to in Magnus Urth and Jeppe Pedersen. Although Aalborg suffered a 54-24 defeat at the hands of the Sollerod Gold Diggers last week in Danish Nationlligaen play, they are still finding their footing with a bevy of new players. This could be a closer game than it appears on paper.

Sunday, May 1

Oslo Vikings (Norway) @ Eidsvoll 1814s (Norway)

The defending Norwegian champion Oslo Vikings head to Eidsvoll to face the 1814s in a very early game for both teams. Oslo beat the 1814s both times they played each other in 2021.

Eidsvoll enters the game with veteran Dustin Hawke Willingham at quarterback and also as offensive coordinator. Head coach Leif Lindvik has taken over a team that went 3-3 in 2021 but had an offense that could score. With wide receiver Arne August Søgaard, and running back Tor Erik Stensjøe, Eidsvoll could serve up a surprise.

The Vikings, under multi-title winning head coach Derek Mann, arrive in Eidsvoll with some preseason experience having played a scrimmage in Denmark against the Copenhagen Towers.  Running back Jesper Jørgensen will take handoffs from one of two quarterbacks as both Wilhelm Domaas and Jesber Johnsen are in the running. With 6’4″ Cameron Jordan (Syracuse) at wide out, whoever the quarterback is he will have a quality target.


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