Towers’ potent receiving corps a focal point ahead of Danish first place battle

It’s unlikely that any Danish defensive game plan would fail to account for Mike Williams, but his incredible performance against the AaB 89ers last week means the Copenhagen Towers’ import receiver won’t be sneaking up on anybody for the rest of the season.

Joining the Towers‘ lineup after Denmark’s mid-season break, Williams second game of the year was one for the ages. In a decisive victory, the native of Orange, California hauled in 10 passes for 241 yards and a touchdown, seemingly breaking free deep at will. The performance opened up a completely new facet for a Copenhagen offense that has tended to lean on the ground game and it couldn’t have come at a better time.

Williams’ encore will come against the Søllerød Gold Diggers on Saturday, the only team to manage a victory against the Towers this year. Both sit at 4-1 heading into their final regular-season game and the winner will claim sole possession of first place in the Nationalligaen.

Heading into the matchup, the Gold Diggers are well aware of what a difference Williams has made to the Copenhagen attack. It’s a brand new threat to account for, but a talented Søllerød secondary led by Pol Cunillera isn’t fazed.

“It’s not only Mike Williams, their receiver core is very dangerous and they pair it well with a strong run game. But we know we can stop it, we did it for the whole second half of our last encounter in Søllerød and we know we have the players to do it again,” the Spaniard said ahead of the pivotal contest.

“Play like we did all season, hit them hard and don’t let them run past us. It will definitely be a great match up.”

Copenhagen Towers WR Jakob Green #86 Photo: Michael Jensen

As Cunillera is quick to point out, Williams is not the lone threat that his team will have to account for. While running backs Anton Witmeur and Michel Konate were bottled up the first time the two teams faced off, Danish receiver Jakob Green did have 75 yards and a pair of scores. Quietly putting up all-star numbers once again, Green is not just a sidekick to Williams but a capable number one receiver in his own right.

The pair provide quarterback Randall Schroeder with an embarrassment of riches and he hasn’t been surprised by their success since the break.

“It really all comes down to the great work they put in outside of practice and games. What people don’t see is them watching film, running extra routes and making sure their bodies are ready to go on game day. To me, that’s what makes them so difficult to stop,” he said earlier this week, adding that his receivers were not alone in that regard.

“It’s not just them either. Everyone on the team has really bought in and goes the extra mile. When you have a team full of guys like that whether it’s one of your offensive lineman or skill position players, it pays off on game day.”

That sort of dedication should easily translate into victories and so far it has against every team but the Gold Diggers. After storming to an early lead back in June, the Towers stumbled and uncharacteristically struggled to execute late in Søllerød. The end result was a come-from-behind overtime victory by the home squad.

Gold Diggers QB Andreas Sølling Photo: Ralf Dietrich

That Gold Diggers’ squad was a different one from what they face now, as quarterback and comeback architect Aaron Ellis soon departed for the ELF’s Stuttgart Surge, but the fact that young Dane Andreas Sølling is now under center makes little difference to the Towers.

“Søllerød is a great team. They’re well coached and have talent across the board. They’re defense flies around and really makes your earn every yard,” Schroeder stressed.

“Last time we played them we didn’t do a good job of executing especially in the second half. We need to make sure we’re ready to play an entire four quarters of football because you know that Søllerød is going to bring everything they’ve got. Playing against a great team like them will hopefully bring the best out of us.”

The best from the Towers means playmakers like Williams putting up big numbers, but it’s not defensive coverage that those within the Gold Diggers’ building feel will secure them the playoff top seed. Instead, the game will come down to the one intangible quality they demonstrated in spades the last time around.

“It may seem corny, but it’s all about heart. Our last game against them was an amazing comeback victory, and we could pull it off because we believed in each other,” Pol Cunillera said.

“Key players have had injuries and we’ve stepped up every time. We overcame our QB situation and now we’re back on track. We have great coaches and a stacked roster, pair it with our desire to win and we can match up against the Towers or any team we face.”

Watch the Copenhagen Towers play the Søllerød Gold Diggers, Saturday, September 4, 19:00 CET (7 pm, 1 pm ET).

J.C. Abbott is a student at the University of British Columbia and amateur football coach in Vancouver, Canada. A CFL writer for 3DownNation, his love of travel has been the root of his fascination with the global game.