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Dukes too much for the Boars
Branimir MilovanovićRB Đanić powered Dukes offense
The Kragujevac Wild Boars suffered a painful loss in the opening game of SELAF, conceding to the Novi Sad Dukes 30-5. Dukes were able to move the ball on offense, and on defense, the players made their rookie head coach forget about his pre-game worries as the Boars barely avoided a home field shutout.
It is probably the worst defeat in team history for the reigning champions, and Dukes continued their winning streak against this team with their third straight win, second in Kragujevac.
Even though he was intercepted twice by Marko Košutić, quarterback Čaba Juhas was convincing in leading his team on four touchdown drives, and five scores overall. He opened the scoring in the game with an 8 yard touchdown pass in the second quarter to Jovan Plećaš. The young Dukes wideout had an outstanding game as a receiver, but also did well in blocking downfield for his quarterback, who piled up significant yardage in the running game.
The teams traded field goals to end the half with the visitors’ lead at 10-3, so even though they were outplayed, down only seven points the Wild Boars were still in the game, but in the end Dukes cruised to an easy win.
The third quarter was scoreless; at this time Košutić recorded his second interception of the game on Juhas’ pass, but Kragujevac failed to do anything offensively because they could neither run or pass the ball, partly because they were missing two injured offensive lineman, with a backup tight end forced to play right tackle. Kragujevac’s quarterback Nemanja Trajković had an especially bad day throwing for far more incompletions than completed passes.
That doesn’t justify the team’s poor play on defense though, especially on Marko Đanić’s TD run that increased his team’s lead to 17-3 at the start of the fourth quarter that essentially put the game away for Novi Sad. Mladen Knežević ran for a five yard score, but the extra point was blocked by linebacker Marko Vujanac who picked the ball up and went down the field to pick up two points. The last score came on a pass by Juhas to Siniša Bilić.
Kragujevac’s new coach, Marko Obradović thinks his team did a bad job doing the basics. „We’ve had a lot of changes on our team, we’ve had a couple of injuries and suspended players. The team didn’t put enough effort and we were lacking in basic things like tackling. At the level we’re at the team that does the basics better always wins.”
The Dukes’ defense didn’t look great in practices, but in the game Kragujevac really struggled. “In practices our defense is playing against our offense, and you can see that they had problems of their own”, says Predrag Nikolić. “Juhas played great, and the defense didn’t give up anything. Plećaš had a good game, and our passing game in general was good, but I also think the success we had running the ball helped free up the pass. “
One of the best on the winning team was Jovan Plećaš who caught only two passes last season, but had a great game today. “We were ready, really worked hard after last season and prepared ourselves well. I hope this win is a good indicator for the season”, says Plećaš.