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2012 playoff kickoff
Available in:Goran Košutić
The Zagreb Patriots will host the Ljubljana Silverhawks on Saturday in the last game of the 2012 regular season. The game was originally to be played in May, but it was postponed and so it will be played on the same weekend as the first semi-final game of the playoffs: the SBB Vukovi Belgrade host the Budapest Wolves on Sunday from 5PM CET in Belgrade, but also live on Sportklub TV.
Fortunately, the game in Zagreb doesn't determine anything, as the playoff matchups have already been determined. The Silverhawks' only motive is likely to avoid injury before their home playoff game against the Blue Devils next week. The Patriots' motive is also clear: they have their last chance to win a game this season.
The more interesting matchup, the one in Belgrade, will decide the first finalist of this year's CEFL Bowl. The SBB Vukovi are heavy favorites, as the Wolves play against many streaks and traditions. The Vukovi have won three straight championships, have six straight bowl appearances, have in the last six seasons including this one not lost at home in all competitions and of course they've never lost against the Wolves.
They also beat the Wolves both times this year. They were lead on offense by maybe the most dominant player in the CEFL ever, and the likely winner of the Offensive Player of the Year award, quarterback Lance Kriesien. Kriesien leads the league in both passing and rushing, with almost twice as much yards in both categories than the second best player in the league. He also has 12 touchdowns passing with no interceptions, including three scores on the ground. The defense was once again led by tackle machine Nemanja Lazarević and former two time Defensive Player of the Year Miloš Lišanin, who leads the league in sacks again.
The Wolves were much less consistent this year. With 2 wins out of 6 games, it was probably their least successful year in the league. They changed quarterbacks frequently, went from a good start to losing all the games except the one against Zagreb. That one they won big, but their last game in Ljubljana was a disaster: 55-8 for the Silverhawks and their worst loss in the CEFL ever.
In the previous years, they have had plenty of chances against the Vukovi, they just didn't take them. Such was last year's CEFL Bowl, which they lost by a point. If this is the year they finally do it, it would be the first time that it was completely unexpected.