Wroclaw Panthers Soar To IFAF Europe Champions League Final Four

The third of the four berths in the IFAF Europe Champions League Final Four has now been determined as the Wroclaw Panthers from Poland defeated the Prague Lions from the Czech Republic.

Meanwhile, Sweden’s Carlstad Crusaders dominated the St. Petersburg Griffins in Russia in the only other game played which had no bearing on the standings.

The third game scheduled between the Istanbul Bogazici Sultans and Serbia’s Novi Sad GAT Dukes was forfeited by the Dukes. They cited security concerns in Turkey as the reason and will faced a penalty fine from IFAF Europe. The Danube Dragons from Austria had already clinched the berth from Conference South in the Final Four.

The winner of the last group, Conference Central will be determined when Italy’s Milano Seamen play the Budapest Wolves (Hungary) on May 29. If Milano wins, they clinch the spot in the final four. If Budapest wins by 50 or more points they would qualify. If they beat them by less Vukovi Belgrade from Serbia moves on. The Seamen defeated Vukovi 50-34 and then Belgrade beat Budapest 42-7 earlier in the tournament.

Conference North

 Wroclaw Panthers (Poland) (2-0) 48 – Prague Lions (Czech Republic) (0-2) 7

IFAF Europe - 2016 Champions League - Panthers-Lions - 2pic.2

Photos: Bryan Michael Ham

Poland’s Wroclaw Panthers left no doubt Sunday as to who would advance to the IFAF Europe Champions League Final Four from Conference North trouncing the Prague Lions from the Czech Republic 48-7 in Prague.

Quarterback Steven White tossed six touchdown passes and carried another one in himself for the Panthers. Wide receiver Patryck Matkowski caught three touchdown passes while brothers Tomasz and Bartosz Dziedzic caught one each along with Wiktor Zieba. Kicker Dawid Panczyszyn kicked five of six PATs.

Lions receiver James Brooks scored Pragues lone touchdown late in the game on a four yard pass from quarterback Matthew Silva.

This first entry by a Polish club team in international competition is an indicator of how far American football has developed in that country.

Conference East

Carlstad Crusaders (Sweden) (1-1) 50 – St. Petersburg Griffins (Russia) (0-2) 3

IFAF Europe - St. Petersburg-Carlstad poster 2016

In the other game played, the Carlstad Crusaders from Sweden overwhelmed the St. Petersburg Griffins 50-3 in a game which had no bearing as the Koc Rams from Turkey had already won the Conference East title and advanced to the Final Four.

Carlstad quarterback Philip Juhlin threw three touchdown passes and ran one in himself. The Crusaders took a 36-0 halftime lead before substituting liberally in the second half.

Defensive back Patrick Nyman scored on a 22 yard interception while receiver Andre Holmgård caught two touchdowns passes while adding a PAT and a two-point conversion. Jacob Dahre and Victor Toresson added a touchdown reception each. Running back Christian Montclair  also scored on a one-yard run.

Anton Musatov kicked a 19 yard field goal in the third quarter to account for the Griffins points.

Backup quarterback David Nyhlen threw a 72 yard touchdown pass to Holmgård to round out the scoring.

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.