Stockholm Mean Machines are for real; knock off Carlstad Crusaders again

Behind a three touchdown performance from Alpha Jalloh, the Stockholm Mean Machines proved Sunday that they are legitimate as they defeated the Carlstad Crusaders 37-14 in Karlstad in the last regular season game of the Swedish Superserien.

This was Stockholm’s third straight win over the Crusaders, stretching back to the 2018 championship final and almost identical to the opening game of the year when the Mean Machines beat Carlstad 33-13. It was also the first time Stockholm had beaten Carlstad in Karlstad since 2005.

Alpha Jalloh inflicted much of the damage scoring three touchdowns on passes from Alexander Thury.

Thury completed 22 of 38 passes for 262 yards and four touchdowns with Jalloh catching six for 68 yards and the three majors. Per Lindelof caught the fourth touchdown pass hauling in three passes for 33 yards while Hans Von Wachsman caught three for 70 yards. Running back Joshua Akena had a field day rushing for 122 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries.

For Carlstad, the rotating quarterback system did not really work. Shazzon Mumphrey started and completed seven of 11 passes for 142 yards and a touchdown but was picked off twice while Philip Juhlin threw for 71 yards and a touchdown on 9 of 17 passing but was also intercepted. Robin Juhlin was the main target with eight receptions for 109 yards.  Jacob Bergwall caught one of the touchdown passes while defensive end turned tight end, Olof Flemstrom, hauled in the other. Emil Knutsson led the Crusaders with 96 yards rushing on 17 carries.

Stockholm QB Alex Thury was impressive tossing 4 TD passes Photo: Stefan Akander

 

However, it was Carlstad that took charge on the opening possession, as Mumphrey engineered a nine play, 58 yard drive, capping it with a 29 yard touchdown pass to Bergwall, delighting the home crowd. It looked like the good old days in Karlstad.

Stockholm silenced that crowd on the next series though, as Thury marched his team from the 30 all the way down to Carlstad’s nine yard line and then hit Jalloh for the first of his three touchdown receptions to tie the game at 7-7.

The game was on.

With Carlstad threatening again, deep in Mean Machines territory, Philip Minja picked off a Mumphrey pass at the Stockholm 14 yard line and Thury went back to work.

This time, Akena was the architect, carrying the ball four times in a nine-play, 80 yard drive, ripping off a 47 yard touchdown run to give Stockholm a 14-7 lead early in the second quarter.

Again Carlstad seemed to move the ball with ease as Mumphrey took the Crusaders down to the Mean Machines five yard line. But the Stockholm defense stiffened and he got stuffed on a fourth down and Thury & Co. took over.

Starting from his own five yard line, Thury was masterful, mixing up his playcalling and maneuvering Stockholm down to the Crusaders nine yard line. And Jalloh obliged for a second time scoring to increase the lead to 21-7.

A second interception spelled the end of the day for Mumphrey as Juhlin came in late in the second quarter with Stockholm now in front 21-7. However, he did not fare any better and Stockholm managed to block a punt forcing a safety upping the lead to 23-7 at the half.

Stockholm RB Josh Akena rushed for 122 yards and 1 TD Photo: Stefan Akander

The Mean Machines wasted no time in the second half as Thury moved them down to the Carlstad 16 yard line and then connected with Lindelof to extend the lead to 30-7 three minutes into the third quarter.

Juhlin seemed to shake off the rust (he hadn’t play a down of football since April in Poland) and took the Crusaders 86 yards in 13 plays finding Flemstrom to narrow the lead to 30-14.

Thury responded, engineering another scoring drive, hitting Jalloh from 20 yards out with three minutes gone in the fourth quarter to move out to a 37-14 lead.

Carlstad could not answer as they could not get past midfield on three separate possessions and Juhlin was picked off to end the game.

With the win, Stockholm finishes the season in first place for the first time since 2008. They will face the Örebro Black Knights in the semifinals while Carlstad will take on the Uppsala 86ers in the other semifinal.

 

 

 

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