Top four teams in Poland line up in semifinals

Poland’s Liga Futbolu Amerykańskiego heads into the Final Four weekend with the four teams with the best regular season records set to battle.

The defending champion Bialystok Lowlanders topped the North Conference with a 6-2 record while the Wroclaw Panthers, playing in the South Conference, finished the eight-game regular season without a loss so both teams have had a bye week, awaiting the winners of the wild card round.

In the one wild card matchup, the Tychy Falcons disposed of the Warsaw Mets 34-27 in a game that was far closer than predicted. Meanwhile, the  Gdynia Seahawks had no trouble with the Opole Towers. rolling over them 53-0.

The semifinal matchups are not unfamiliar as the same four teams squared up in the 2018 semifinals although not in the same order. A year ago, the Panthers beat the Tychy Falcons 28-7 while Bialystok downed the Seahawks 33-16. It was the first time Gdynia had been eliminated in the semifinal stage since 2013.

Wroclaw Panthers, South #1 vs Gdynia Seahawks, North #2

This is a classic game between two teams that have won four of the last five Polish titles between them.

Wroclaw has played and beaten the Seahawks once this year, a 42-7 loss early in the season. That was the last game Gdynia played without quarterback Jason Smith who arrived in time for put a 72-0 pasting of the Wyszkow Rhinos. In the four games with Smith behind center, the Seahawks have averaged 57 points a game. However, Wroclaw experienced the same sort of turnaround when they bought in Tony Dawson to replace  quarterback Chris Forcier who suffered a season-ending injury in the CEFL loss to the Calanda Boncos. Since then, the Panthers have not lost a game in Poland or internationally. In the five domestic and two international games they have averaged 46 points a game.

Bialystok Lowlanders, North #1 vs Tychy Falcons, South #2

The Falcons already defeated Bialystok, the defending champions, once this season, handing them a 39-13 loss in early April. With an offense led by Keith Ray they are averaging 35 points a game, and have looked solid. They boast the third best defense in the LFA and their only two losses have been to the Panthers and Seahawks. The Lowlanders, with Rex Dausin behind center have also looked good. Their only other loss, other than to Tychy, was to Wroclaw early in the year. They have the second best defense in the LFA behind Wroclaw allowing 14 points a game and they will be playing at home.

Both games are too close to call. All four are solid on both offense and defense and are well coached.

 

AFI
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