Sweden’s Stockholm Mean Machines captured the 1st ever Scandinavian Cup

By Will Rini

This past weekend, two Swedish teams, the Stockholm Mean Machines and Tyresö Royal Crowns faced each other in the championship final of the multi-country Scandinavian Cup tournament.

After playing to a tie at the end of the first quarter, the Mean Machines shifted into another gear and exploded for 23 unanswered second quarter points to grab a 30-7 lead going into the half. Ultimately, Stockholm’s dynamic offense proved too much to handle for Tyresö with the team winning with a final score of 44-21.

Stockholm Mean Machines QB Mark Pappas #14 gets a pass off Photo: Stefan Akander

However, it was the Royal Crowns who struck first. Led by untested new quarterback Hunter Rodrigues, the Royal Crowns were quick to get the dual-threat playmaker comfortable behind center. Their opening drive of the game, which doubled as their longest drive of the day, saw them go 92 yards with star running back Emil Knutsson scoring their first points off an option play. The Mean Machines answered on the ensuing drive, as running back Oliwer Stedt turned a check-down pass into a 45-yard touchdown with an incredible juke and blistering speed down the sideline.

With the game tied at seven a piece to start the second quarter, the Mean Machines began to rally around American quarterback Mark Pappas. Pappas dropped a beautiful ball over the middle to a cutting Anton Blomgren to put them ahead 14-7. The following kickoff, paired with an illegal blindside block, pinned the Royal Crowns’ offense deep within their own territory. A botched snap on their first play of the drive allowed Stockholm’s defenders to swarm the end zone and cause a safety to increase their lead to 16-7.

Energized by his defense’s scoring play, Pappas continued his impressive performance with another quick score to extend their lead. With all of the momentum favoring Stockholm, the Royal Crowns’ offense fizzled out once again and forced their exhausted defensive unit back on the field. The Mean Machines, eager to take advantage of their struggling opponent, then drove 77 yards down the field in just over two minutes. Pappas earned his fourth passing touchdown of the day with a strong throw outside to a motioning Johan Hallgren to give the Stockholm a 30-7 lead at the half.

Tyresö Royal Crowns QB Hunter Rodrigues #1 finds running room Photo: Stefan Akander

The Mean Machines shifted their focus towards burning clock in the second half and trusted their run game to continue their offensive production. Oliwer Stedt continued his extraordinary outing with the third quarter’s only points as he patiently tightroped along the sideline before breaking inside for the score. Stockholm’s backup running back Victor Cimrell also got in on the action with a powerful run up the middle to give the Mean Machines a commanding 44-7 lead with just under six and a half minutes left in the game.

Hunter Rodrigues still had a lot left to prove in his first game for the Royal Crowns, and his team wasn’t ready to give up quite yet. A play-action pass off his back-foot found Emil Knutsson for a 22-yard touchdown to bring them up to 14 points for the day. Then, with only 25 seconds left in the game, Rodrigues and company would strike again to grab the last points of the contest.

In the end, the Stockholm Mean Machines proved themselves to be the best Sweden has to offer through a dominant performance that earned them the Scandinavian Cup title.

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