Sweden’s Carlstad Crusaders Stay Unbeaten In Dominant Win Over Uppsala 86ers

The Carlstad Crusaders continue their march towards a seventh straight Swedish championship as they demolished the Uppsala 86ers 59-20 Saturday to move to 7-0 in Sweden’s Super Series this season.

The only blemish on the Crusaders record so far in 2016 has been a 6-0 loss to the Koc Rams from Turkey in IFAF Champions League play.

The last time these two teams met was in the 2015 Swedish semifinal when Carlstad blanked the 86ers 43-0.

Carlstad quarterback Philip Juhlin threw for 316 yards and four touchdowns, while Josh Hartigan scored three majors, receiver Jacob Dahre added two, André Holgård had a touchdown and kicked all Carlstads PATs. Defensive back Johan Magnusson picked off Uppsala quarterback Jared Stegman early in the contest for a pick 6 and Viktor Toresson added a final touchdown for good measure.

Sweden - Carlstad-Uppsala action 2016.2

Photo: Moses Sharifat

Although Carlstad running back Brett Koepp did not score he rushed for 110 yards keeping the Uppsala defense off balance.

This was the highest scoring game for the Crusaders in 2016 who have scored 296 points in seven games while giving up just over 11 points per game.

In a game between what may be opponents in the Swedish semifinals, Carlstad took charge from the opening whistle as Juhlin set the tone finding Hartigan to take a 7-0 lead. Magnusson picked off Stegman and rumbled 90 yards to give Carlstad an early 14-0 lead.

Uppsala responded though as Stegman connected with Ricardo Miller to close the gap to 14-7. However, Juhlin came back with a deep scoring pass to Holgård to extend the lead to 21-7. The 86ers were not done yet as Stegman found fellow Australian Chiam James to reduce the Carlstad lead to 21-14.

Then Jacob Dahre took over hauling in three touchdown passes from Juhlin in a stunning second quarter performance giving the Crusaders a seemingly insurmountable 35-14 halftime lead.

Despite an early Stegman touchdown pass in the third quarter to Jonathan Wahlgren, Carlstad did not miss a beat scoring three more times in the second half to win going away.

In other action in Sweden, the Limhamn Griffins defeeated the Stockholm Mean Machines 34-30 to keep their playoff hopes alive, while the Tyreso Royal Crowns edged the STU Northside Bulls 35-32.

Next week’s key matchup will see the 86ers face the Royal Crowns in a game which will likely decide third place.

Photos: Moses Sharifat

Roger Kelly is an editor and a writer for AFI. A former PR Director the B.C. Lions of the Canadian Football League for 7 years, he now lives in Sweden writing about and scouting American Football throughout the world.