Sweden’s Carlstad Crusaders down London Warriors to advance to NEFL final

The Carlstad Crusaders used a strong final quarter to defeat Great Britain’s top team, the London Warriors, 32-12 at home at Tingvalla IP in Sweden Saturday in front of 1,100 fans.

With the win, Carlstad moved on to the Northern European Football League championship game against the Helsinki Roosters from Finland. Helsinki had beaten the Uppsala 86ers in a home and home series to qualify for the final.

Newly arrived Alpha Jollah wasted no time making his presence felt for the Crusaders scoring the first touchdown of the game on Carlstad’s opening drive, a 53 yard run. He finished the day with 193 all-purpose yards to lead the team. Crusaders quarterback Philip Juhlin completed 18 of 31 passes for 224 yards and two touchdowns while Jalloh led the team in rushing with 78 yards and a touchdown. Running back Christain Forsman had 65 yards rushing on 10 carries. Marcus Johnsson caught two touchdown passes while Jacob Dahre had seven receptions for 61 yards.

WR Marcus Johnsson hauling in a TD pass Photo: Tommy Andersson

Warriors quarterback Jerome Allen completed 19 of 38 passes for 226 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Wide receiver James Cherry led all receivers with 164 yards on nine catches and a touchdown. Running back Dwayne Watson had a quiet afternoon with 16 carries for 75 yards.

Carlstad took a 12-0 first quarter lead on touchdowns from Jollah and Johnsson as the Warriors were dangerous reaching Carlstad’s 25 yard line twice but unable to convert.

London was finally able to mount a sustained drive late in the second quarter with Allen finding Taylor Burke from 21 yards out to close the gap to 12-6.

The Crusaders increased the lead to 18-6 midway through the third quarter as Juhlin again connected with Johnsson but London answered two possessions later as Allen found Cherry from 31 yards out again narrowing the gap to one score, 18-12.

London Warrior WR J Cherry about to catch one of his nine passes Photo: Tommy Andersson

However the fourth quarter saw the Crusaders no huddle offense begin to takes its toll on the Warriors front seven.A nine play, almost three minute Crlrstad drive early in the fourth produced another touchdown, this time by Olov Flemstrom but London’s defensive line looked tired.

On Carlstad’s next possession, a four minute drive, Juhlin mixed up the run with short passing and Jamie Staniford capped it with three yard touchdown plunge to give Carlstad a 32-12 lead they would not relinquish. London’s last drive ended on their own 47 yard line.

This is the third time Carlstad has qualified for an international final. The Crusaders won the IFAF Champions League title in 2015 beating Serbia’s SBB Vukovi Belgrade, and lost the EFAF Cup final to the Calanda Broncos in xxxx.

Photos: Tommy Andersson



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.