A truly amazing experience
Available in:Goran Košutić
The SBB Vukovi Belgrade hasn’t been a team that has gone through many import players. In fact, one of their best players, Brandon McDowell has been with the team for four years now. But they did make a change at quarterback last year. An MVP title and a championship later, they went in another direction again.
In came Lance Kriesien. And although the high expectations are usually fulfilled from import players, being the quarterback of the three-time repeating champions has the bar slightly raised. But the results haven’t been lacking.
“I have been lucky enough to play with a great group of guys. The foundation for greatness was already set before I got here. I am just happy I have been able to help contribute and assist in the teams continued success. Serbia and vukovi have been a truly amazing experience”, says Kriesien.
His last name, sometimes difficult to spell, has also become a synonym among CEFL defenders for hard to catch. A simple reason, that made him one of the easiest picks for Offensive Player of the Year in recent memory – he led the league in both passing and rushing. Truth be told, the Silverhawks’ quarterback Anthony Gardner passed for more touchdowns and McDowell has 13 total touchdowns, but after more than 230 yards passing over 125 yards rushing per game, it was nonetheless an easy pick.
“Again, I must credit the people around me for the success we have had this year. Running the ball is definitely as important in my game as passing. My style of play fits well with what we try to do offensively and has kept defenses honest this season. I credit our coaches for putting me in favorable situations to use my talents and my offensive line for allowing us to be multiple in both the ground and air game.”
He also agrees that the Silverhawks are rightfully in the bowl game. And also that they are the toughest opponent they have faced all year.
“We have a lot of respect for Ljubljana. They are by far the best team we have faced all year as the scores from the 16 games we have played this season would indicate. Our match against them months ago was a tough one that could have been a win for either team. It has been a long time since we played and are both much better teams today. I expect this to be a fun one!“
Belgrade was down 11 points in that game, but it’s easy to forget how close it actually was. The Silverhawks missed two extra points and then failed on a two-point conversion in what turned out to be a three-point loss. The Vukovi on the other hand converted a key two-point conversion and intercepted a pass to end the game. The Vukovi have been good all year, but the Silverhawks have really caught fire in the last couple weeks including the playoffs. So what are the keys for his team?
“We need to play hard for four quarters and eliminate as many mental mistakes as possible. When you have two teams as evenly matched as we are the team that will win is usually the team that makes the least amount of mistakes. We are confident in our abilities in all three phases of the game but understand that it will take a total team effort to be victorious Saturday. Again, it should be an exciting game. “
Speaking of mistakes, it was maybe not Kriesien’s best game, although he still scored twice. The Silverhawks’ quarterback, Gardner, also registered his only interception this season during the game.
It is safe to say that these two teams are evenly balanced. Will the Vukovi again find a way to be better in crucial moments or will the Silverhawks finally get a win in Belgrade, we won’t find out until Saturday. But like Lance Kriesien, we’re pretty sure it will be a fun one!