Switzerland Tops Holland, Ready For Group B Qualifier This Weekend

In their final tuneup before this weekend’s IFAF Europe Group B qualifier against Slovakia, Team Switzerland treated the home crowd in Thun to a 12-0 victory over the visiting Dutch Lions from Holland.

Scoring a touchdown and a safety in the first half, Switzerland added a second half field goal (Nils Jonkmans) and held off a furious Dutch comeback for the win.

Quarterback Steven Mueller, who played the entire first half, found Urs von Känel for a beautiful 55 yard touchdown in the first quarter. Team captain and starting tailback Fabian Schaller had an excellent day running the ball as did all three running backs.

Switzerland’s offensive line, anchored by captain Daniel Schachar was a key factor in the win. Dominic Liechti led a tough and very physical Swiss defense. Alex Raich snagged a key interception in the end zone to snuff out Holland’s most dangerous drive.

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Fabian Schaller

Holland’s defense was led by linebacker Kevin Bourne who caused problems for Switzerland all game long.

Switzerland’s offensive coordinator Geoff Buffum:

“That kid can play. He was giving us fits all game long. It seemed like he made half their plays. He was very disruptive.”

Another standout for Holland was running back Kevin Wesseling in his first game with the national team. Quarterback Richard Bouthoorn saw much of the playing time although Joey Kraan got plenty of snaps. Wide receiver Melvin Maasdamme also played well for Holland.

The Dutch offense could not find a rhythm as Switzerland played a very physical game. And the Swiss offense, while not scoring a lot, kept possession of the ball for long stretches, keeping Holland’s offense off the field. Holland has to rectify that before playing Belgium.

Next up for Switzerland is Slovakia this weekend in a crucial Group B qualifying game while Holland prepares for Belgium on October 24 in their qualifier for the IFAF Europe Group B tournament.

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Kevin Bourne closing in

Photo credit: Ted Erkkila

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.