Sweden: Stockholm Mean Machines continue perfect season with semifinal win over Tyresö Royal Crowns

The Stockholm Mean Machines advanced to the Swedish championship game this past weekend by defeating the Tyresö Royal Crowns 35-22 in the Swedish Superserien semifinals.

Stockholm had swept the Royal Crowns during the regular season and capped it off by eliminating them from the post season. Despite the slightly uneven score, Tyresö had a solid game plan that was ultimately shattered due to mistakes and turnovers. The Mean Machines’ electric first quarter and solid defense proved too much for the Royal Crowns to come back from.

A cloudy Zinkensdamms IP stadium was kicked off with an impressive drive for the Royal Crowns that was capped with a touchdown. That was about the only time the home fans were silent. From then on, the crowd was electric as the Mean Machines went on to score 21 unanswered points before the quarter’s end.

Stockholm WR Johan Hallgren #84 had 6 catches for 38 yards and 1 TD Photo: Stefan Akander

Thanks to this big lead, Stockholm just needed to play sound defense from there on out. In the second quarter, they did just that. Led by linebacker Viljo Lempinen, the defense held Tyresö to zero second-quarter points. On top of that, the Mean Machines broke the game wide open by scoring another touchdown in the final seconds, making it 28-7 going into halftime with the game looking pretty much sealed for Stockholm. 

However, coming out of the half, Royal Crowns made it clear they wouldn’t just lay down in defeat. Victor Benerius returned a Stockholm punt 70 yards to the house on one of the most exciting plays of the day. Unfortunately, Stockholm made sure the Royal Crowns didn’t gain any more momentum by scoring a touchdown of their own before the end of the quarter making it 35-14 and sending their home fans back into a frenzy.

The Royal Crowns got a garbage-time touchdown and two-point conversion in the fourth to make it respectable but overall, this game was in the books at halftime. 

If you’re a Crowns fan, this loss was hard to watch. Tyresö racked up 455 total offensive yards, well over 100 more than Stockholm. On top of that, former UC Davis (NCAA Div. 1) quarterback Hunter Rodrigues put up excellent numbers in just his second start for the team, throwing for 252 yards and a touchdown while rushing for another 105 yards. Tyresö also got a phenomenal game from wide receiver Edvin Tarborda who had eight catches for 138 yards and a score. Yet all of this couldn’t overcome the Crowns‘ biggest issue, turnovers. The offense had two lost fumbles and one interception. 

Tyreso QB Hunter Rodrigues #1 threw for 252 yards and 1 TD and rushed for 105 yards Photo: Stefan Akander

On Stockholm’s side of the field, quarterback Mark Pappas, who led the Superserien in passing, continued his incredible play this year by putting up 265 yards and three touchdowns Saturday. The Mean Machines also had a good game from Viljo Lempinin who finished with 6.5 tackles with a forced fumble and fumble recovery. 

Stockholm will continue their perfect season as they move onto the finals. Meanwhile Tyresö will look to put this year behind them after losing every game since their season opener. 


A current student at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Jordan grew up playing football. He began writing in high school after creating his own website and hopes to continue his pursuit for a career in sports media.