Crunch time

It’s do or die for Sportklub CEFL teams when both of its competitions continue this Saturday. Three games are played in the Championship, and the Cup moves forward with a semifinal game. One newcomer to Sportklub CEFL will play its first game of the season against the toughest opponent. Three other teams in the Championship and one in the Cup will finish their regular season.

CEFL Championship

Things will be much clearer in the Eastern Conference of the Championship when both its games are played this Saturday. Calanda Broncos will welcome Istanbul Koç Rams and Wrocław Panthers will play host to Kragujevac Wild Boars. These are final games for both the Rams and the Panthers, while the Broncos have yet to greet the Wild Boars in the final game of the conference in two weeks.

The Panthers are laying out the carpet for the Wild Boars in the opening game of the day while trying to dig themselves out of the hole they were in after the first week. Their loss to the Broncos at home was largely exacerbated by their starting game organizer being downed in the first quarter with a shoulder injury. If that was a setback, then unearthing a talent like new QB Tony Dawson this late in the season was a stroke of genius. He posted a Championship record of 8 touchdowns when they dealt a 55-7 blow to the Rams. Four of those were over the ground, 2 went in the hands of Radim Kalous, and one each to Wiktor Zięba and Philipp Blechinger.

The Wild Boars are sitting pretty on top of their national league too with the 4-0 score, same as the Panthers in theirs. Serbian team’s high octane offense scored big against the Rams’, beating them 53-36. If this is any indication to go by, they are neck and neck with the Panthers in that aspect. Does that mean their defenses will be the judging factor remains to be seen. Wild Boars’ QB Jacob Sisson has impressed in the first game with his arm strength, launching long passes over the field. He has kept Pedro Medici on his radar, hitting him for 4 touchdowns, while Stefan Borković caught one more. Sisson rushed for another himself practically the length of the field.

Wrocław Panthers – Kragujevac Wild Boars
15:00 CET, Saturday, 11 May, Olympic Stadium, Wroclaw
Watch the live stream here

The Broncos have posted a 27-3 win in their first outing in Wroclaw. They now have two home games to play, which puts them in a favorable position to cling to the top conference spot. First one of those two is against the Rams, who have lost both of their previous encounters.

The Swiss team is led by QB Conner Manning who, interestingly enough, has two brothers, neither of which is called Peyton or Eli. In the first game against the Panthers he through 2 touchdowns and ran for another. He connected with Severin Murk and Lukas Lütscher on those two, while Melvin Sassi rushed one in himself. The team is leading their national league with the 4-1 score.

The Rams also sit at the top of their domestic championship with 3 wins and no losses. However, their Ls came in CEFL Championship, first facing the Wild Boars on the road and then at home versus the Panthers. They are now looking to improve performance and close their participation with a parting shot. QB David Whipple and RB Joshua Quezada will have much to say on the field.

Calanda Broncos – Istanbul Koç Rams
18:00 CET, Saturday, 11 May, Sportplatz Ringstrasse, Chur
Watch the live stream here

Milan Seamen have been the new addition to the Western Conference of CEFL Championship this season. They had a bye week in the first round and will now open their season against the reigning champion. The game is played at the Vigorelli stadium in Milan, a long time Seamen base. The home team will attempt to do what no other was able to in the past two seasons, to beat Swarco Raiders Tirol. The Austrian team has already slated a win in the Championship against Thonon Black Panthers with the score 41-7.

The Seamen are 6-1in the elite Italian league, where their QB Luke Zahradka leads the bunch in passing yards and touchdowns. His favorite targets have been Stefano Di Tunisi and Xavier Mitchell, who are 3rd and 4th in the league in receiving yards. A quick glance at these stats draws the conclusion that their hopes lie in the aerial attack. This points to an attractive game with plenty of passing plays. After this game, Seamen will face Thonon Black Panthers in the final regular season game of the Western Conference.

On the other side, the untouchables from Innsbruck are more balanced on offense. They seem to have an unending supply of skill players for their starting QB Sean Shelton to pick from. Patrick Donahue has caught 3 touchdowns in the first Championship game against the French. Fabian Abfalter and Marco Schneider have each added one of their own. Their ground game was also effective with Tobias Bonatti’s 127 rushing yards and a touchdown. A win in this one will promote the team to their third straight CEFL Bowl.

Milan Seamen – Swarco Raiders Tirol
18:00 CET, Saturday, 11 May, Stadio Vigorelli, Milan
Watch the live stream here

CEFL Cup

Semifinals are scheduled for the next two weekends in Sportklub CEFL Cup. First of them is played in Belgrade, where SBB Vukovi meet Bolzano Giants. Both teams were effective in the quarterfinals, when SBB Vukovi returned from Bucharest with a 28-14 win against the Rebels, and the Giants greeted Budapest Wolves and beat them 36-19. This will be the first time these two teams meet.

SBB Vukovi are 4-1 in the national league, with the only loss suffered against the Wild Boars. Their spearhead RB Joe Bergeron will sit this one out, and will be replaced by his compatriot, Joseph Ferguson. Bergeron scored 3 touchdowns in the quarterfinal game, and Ferguson promises to be equally efficient, scoring 4 in one half of his first outing in the Serbian national league. Their field general Levi Plante will have support in his favorite WR this season, Nikola Simović.

Bolzano Giants are rolling in their national league, currently occupying first spot with 6 wins and no losses. Quarterback Austin Gahafer is second in Italian league statistics with 16 passing touchdowns. He showed his skills in the quarterfinal Cup game as well, scoring 4 times. His favorite target is WR Mark Simone who’s been ahead of all other receivers in the country since the start of the season. Their workhorse running back is Ifrain Pajan who ticked on a score on the ground against the Wolves.

The other semifinal game is played next weekend, when Istanbul ITÜ Hornets welcome Moscow Spartans. These teams have prevailed in the quarterfinals against Moscow Patriots and Budapest Cowbells, respectively. The final game will be played on 8 June and the winner of the semifinal game in Belgrade will host it.

Belgrade SBB Vukovi – Bolzano Giants
16:00 CET, Saturday, 11 May, BASK Stadium, Belgrade

Watch the game live here