Calanda Broncos and Basel Gladiators square off to decide Swiss Bowl XXXII

Switzerland’s championship game – Swiss Bowl XXXII – shapes up to be another up to be a David and Goliath battle Saturday, July 8 as the seven-time champion Calanda Broncos takes on the Basel Gladiators at their home park in Chur, Switzerland.

This is the 12th trip to the championship final for the Broncos as they face a recent familiar foe in this game. This is the sixth time since 2010 the Broncos and Gladiators have faced each other in the Swiss championship game since 2010.

Calanda has won five of those games but Basel won the most recent, in 2014, when they beat the Broncos 47-35.

The Broncos enter the game as the favorites. They finished the regular season with a 9-1 record and defeated Basel in both regular season meetings. 47-21 and 30-7. Their only loss was at the hands of the Winterthur Warriors, a 22-20 shocker. But they exacted revenge in the playoffs.

The Gladiators downed the defending champions Bern Grizzlies 14-7  in the semifinals to advance to the final after finishing the regular season with a 6-4 record including a key victory over Bern which decided home field advantage in the playoffs.

Calanda finished first and then easily disposed of the fourth place Warriors, 49-15, to reach the final.

The Calanda offense led by quarterback Clark Evans racked up 376 points in 10 games in 2017. Meanwhile, Basel has turned to quarterback by committee with  Terell Smith and Nate Rhoades along with young Swiss quarterback Pablo Scharowski handling the duties. Although they do not put up gaudy numbers, they have proven they can score when they need to.

Defensively, Calanda, led by defensive lineman Jeff Worthy, allowed 16.8 points a game, second best in the league. Although the Gladiators defense, led by defensive backs Tim Hagmann and Brandon Hathaway, allowed more points overall through the season, in the last month, it improved dramatically, dropping the per game average points allowed from 26.6 to 16.

This will be a classic Swiss championship game between arch rivals.

AFI
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