St. Petersburg, Ural, Sevastopol Make Statements in Week 2 of the Russian Championship

[tps_title]Russian Championship Week 2[/tps_title]

Week 2 of the Russian Championship might have been too early for the games to have any playoff implications, but it nevertheless featured several important statements by teams trying to prove that they were a force to be reckoned with, that they belong among the best or even lay a claim on the title.

Let’s review the full slate of games from this past weekend in Russia.

Moscow Patriots 7 v. St. Petersburg Griffins 10

TE Andrey Ivanov fighting for some tough yards on the ground

The most anticipated game of the week saw some rough weather conditions and was played in rain and heavy wind that limited the capability of both offenses; but nevertheless, a hard-nosed football that was played in Moscow didn’t disappointed.

As the team considered by many to be the most legitimate contender to dethrone the 10-time Russian Champions, the Griffins looked to prove that these claims were not baseless in the first matchup of the season against the Patriots. But the game didn’t start well for them, as the hosts came up with an interception in their red-zone that they converted to 7 points as early as in the first quarter. However, the St. Petersburg defense, lead by their wrecking defensive line, has managed to shut down the Moscow offense for most of the game after that. They were limited to only a few first downs on the ground, and their passing game just never clicked in the rough weather.

In the meantime, the guests managed to move the ball with some consistency with their hard-nosed running attack that was assisted by their trust in their long pass – which didn’t result in many yards, but kept the Patriots defense on their heels. At first, it resulted in a field goal, which was followed by 7 in the last minute of the regulation. A strip-sack on ensuing Patriots possession ended the game shortly.

With the first ever win against the most established team in Russia, the Griffins have a lot to look forward to this season. But everyone realizes that both teams played a game full of mistakes (especially the Patriots, for whom it was the first game of the season), and have a lot left in the tank; without a doubt, we’re still to see a lot of progress by both towards the end of the season and their next game will be an entirely different matchup.

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After being involved in bringing American football to his hometown of St. Petersburg, Russia, Ilya would go on to play in the Japanese X-League, helping his side Tokyo Bullseyes advance all the way to the top tier of the league and become the only