The Swedish Championship Game is set for Saturday, October 24, pitting the defending champions Stockholm Mean Machines against the Carlstad Crusaders.
Both teams have excellent offenses although Stockholm could at times perform at another level. They scored 215 points in the seven games (six regular season and one playoff) although they were blanked in the final regular season game against Carlstad. Still, they could score in a hurry and with so many weapons including Alpha Jalloh to go along with Ben von Jagow, Edvin Almeida and Pär Lindelöf they are always dangerous.
Carlstad, while not as prolific a scoring machine (they scored 134 points in seven games), got the job done. The addition of Niko Lester gives them big play ability and combined with the catching skills of Kevin Borzsei, Robin Juhlin and Jacob Bergwall to go along with a solid ground game provided by the league’s leading rusher Emil Knutsson, Carlstad has a potent offense.
Both offensive lines have performed extremely well throughout the season. Carlstad’s Oline allowed just four sacks all season (although two in the playoff game) while Mean Machines quarterbacks were sacked 13 times.
Let’s take a look at three keys.
Carlstad QB Danny Farley played in five of the Crusaders six regular season games plus the playoff game throwing for 899 yards and eight touchdowns. Meanwhile, his counterpart in the final, Timothy Morovick threw for 1,150 yards and 13 TDs in his five games while also rushing for 269. Morovick rushed for 269 yards though and scored 4 rushing TDS as well.
Both quarterbacks are excellent on-field leaders although Farley also doubles as the offensive coordinator. Morovick can make things happen with his feet so linebackers have to be on their toes.
The two main running backs, Emil Knutsson of the Crusaders and Stockholm’s Timmy Goransson have been used in vastly different ways. Knutsson has been a key to the Carlstad offense with 90 carries in five regular season and one playoff game, gaining 433 yards. Goransson has offset the Mean Machines lethal passing attack carrying ball far fewer times, 57, thus gaining 242 yards in seven games. Both have been used sparingly in the passing game.
Stockholm has outstanding receivers led by Canadian Ben von Jagow who topped his team with 386 yards, including 148 yards in the playoff win over Uppsala. He is wily and reads defenses well and with his deceptive speed can get free at opportune times. Carlstad’s Jacob Bergwall led his team with 280 yards receiving averaging 13.3 yards per catch. While not as spectacular, he was a key safety valve for Farley.
Graphics: Igor Lazarevic Photos: Tommy Börzsei. Stefan Akander