The Uzhgorod Lumberjacks Win Ukrainian Championship

The Uzhgorod Lumberjacks captured the Ukrainian American football championship beating the Kiev Bandits 34-21 in Kiev with an enthusiastic crowd in the Ukraine capital looking on.

The two teams had met twice during the regular season splitting the series. The Bandits overwhelmed Uzhgorod in the first game 55-27 but the Lumberjacks exacted revenge in the second matchup winning 26-18.

Ukraine - 2015 championship game action

The Bandits entered the final with the highest scoring offense in the league averaging 46 points a game although they struggled in the semifinals against the Kiev Slavs, finally pulling out a 22-18 victory. The Lumberjacks had no problems in their semifinal game against the Kiev Bulldogs beating them 41-19.

The championship game started well for Uzhgorod as they jumped on a Bandits fumble in Bandit territory after a short opening kickoff and converted it with the game’s first touchdown. They went on to take a 27-7 halftime lead before Kiev could find any rhythm. Lumberjack’s receiver Troy Rice, who had been brought in for the championship game, grabbed eight catches for 140 yards and one touchdown.

Although Kiev managed to move the ball well in the second half, mainly through the air, the gap was too much to make up and the Lumberjacks could cruise to their second Ukrainian championship.

Story: Stanislav Rynkevich, First & Goal

Photos: Nina Tarashkevych and Alona Grygorenko

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.