Vukovi dominate, win South
The Novi Sad Dukes came to Belgrade in an attempt to win the game and clinch the South conference. Instead, it was like they never showed up, and the home team, the Vukovi won 36-0, never once being in doubt over the final outcome.
It was all too similar to some of the earlier games of the Vukovi, but something that the Dukes never experienced. Always competitive in games against their main conference rival, winning two of the last five games in the league, the Dukes hopes were basically dashed with the Vukovi leading 7-0 in the first quarter.
Though Belgrade played slightly better, the real reason for it was the injury to their already second string quarterback Rastko Jokić. Jokić was hit hard and never returned -- his injury turned out to be not as difficult as it first appeared, but the Dukes were still left with the third quarterback, Lazar Sporin, who joined the team during the summer, and he wasn’t able to deliver.
After Jordan Green’s opening 10 yard long scoring run, Milan Matović added three points with a 33 yard field goal for a 10 point Vukovi lead in the second quarter. Meanwhile, the whole Dukes team looked anemic more than anything else, not even remotely similar to the team that gave the Vukovi their only loss of the season.
Saša Petaković caught a 12 yard pass from Green, and by the end of the half it was already clear the Dukes would have a difficult task not only to turn the game around, but to still have an advantage over the Vukovi in the head-to-head matchup. They won the first game with an 18 point advantage. . Their only opportunities came after good special teams play, but even then they couldn’t take advantage. A missed field goal from inside the 25 yard line was the closest they came; by then, though, they were already 23 points down.
Sporin was intercepted three times and fumbled once in the second half, and the Vukovi finished in their usual style this season -- with two defensive touchdowns. Running back Željko Kostić also had a touchdown run in the third quarter.
With the win, the Vukovi will surely end the season as the number one team in the South, regardless of the outcome of next week’s game in Budapest against the Cowboys. They’ll host the Wolves in the semifinal; as for the Dukes, they lost the crucial game of the regular season for the second straight year and will again have to play an away game in the playoffs, traveling to Austria to play the Gladiators.