Six of six
The Vukovi’s 13 game winning streak in CEFL ended at the same place where it essentially began last year, or where they lost the last time. The Dukes won the game in Novi Sad for the second straight year against the Vukovi, beating them 34-16, and now have sole possession of first place in the South conference. They’re also starting to build a streak of their own, being 6-0 this year in CEFL and 11-0 overall this year in all competitions, and are at the moment the best team in the league.
Dukes had the champs on the ropes all game, chipping away minute by minute and quarter by quarter, slowly increasing the lead, until Čaba Juhas and Jovan Plećaš delivered the knockout blow with a 80 yard touchdown pass and catch that put the score out of reach. The Vukovi put together their best drive of the game just moments prior to that, scoring on a touchdown run by Lazar Nikolić, getting back in the game with the score at 21-16, but after Plećaš ran away from the entire Vukovi defense it was clear the Dukes wouldn’t let the visiting team come back.
Juhas capped his amazing performance with a short yardage touchdown run -- it was his fifth total touchdown that ended the scoring and also his best played game this year, if not in his short playing career. With four touchdown throws, two in each half, he once again proved to be at his best in big games, and this game between two undefeated 5-0 teams certainly was. Nearly spotless, his one turnover came five minutes before the end when the game was already decided.
It was a turnover that brought a change in the game, after the Vukovi scored on their opening possession when Nemanja Petković scored on a quarterback sneak. Punting the ball on their second stalled drive, the Dukes still kept the ball after a lot of confusion on the side of the Vukovi, with Dušan Lalić touching the ball and turning it over.
What followed were two carbon copy touchdowns from Juhas to Mitar Bajčetić and Rastko Jokić for a 14-10 halftime lead and then a third one, again to Bajčetić, that showed the Dukes weren’t kidding in this game.
In catchup mode, the Vukovi weren’t nearly as dominant as they’ve been all year long -- coach, but primarily a kickoff and punt returner William Blocker had to line up at running back late in the third quarter and the Vukovi got a score from Nikolić on that drive, but by then it was already too late. There were no big plays on special teams from Blocker this time, and if anything, the Dukes won the special teams’ battle, especially early in the third quarter. Quarterback Nemanja Petković didn’t shine as well, in the end throwing for two interceptions while forcing the ball downfield near the end of the game.
The league’s most intidimating defense up to this point was manhandled by Juhas and the Dukes’ spread attack; it was the first time all year that they failed to get to the quarterback, and once that happened the Dukes quarterback had plenty of open receivers to chose from -- which he did, for a highly convincing win in the end.