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Kamber leads to the final
For the second year in a row, the better seeded teams won their semifinal home game and moved on to the CEFL Bowl. After the Vukovi did their part to accomplish that yesterday in Belgrade, the Gladiators outlasted the Dukes 28-21 in a thriller in Oberwart.
It came down to the Dukes 4th down attempt from the Gladiators 27 yard line with mere seconds on the clock. They weren't able to convert -- Rastko Jokić's pass fell incomplete, and an additional kneel down was all it took for the Gladiators to start the celebration, as they made it to the CEFL Bowl.
Both Manuel Houtz for the Gladiators and Čaba Juhas for the Dukes missed this one, but at first it seemed the Dukes would miss their quarterback more than the Gladiators would miss their receiver. Bernhard Kamber found David Hailiman for a 75 yard strike to take the lead, but the rest of the half would mostly be play out on the Gladiators half. The Dukes tied the game at 7 with a 37 yard pass to Igor Kosa as Jokic finally started to set in.
The Dukes still missed two field goals prior and after the touchdown -- the Gladiators had no such problems and retook the lead. Kamber didn't complete many passes at that point, but when he did it was good enough for points. He passed to Joe Widner for 26 yards and 7 points.
Soon though the Dukes decided to camp out at the Gladiators half. After they punted the ball, Kamber was intercepted, but the Dukes turned the ball on downs at the 2 yard line. The Gladiators didn't hold on for long, as Andreas Stossier fumbled and the Dukes recovered. With seconds on the clock, Jokić passed for his second score to Sinisa Bilic and a tie.
Like last year in Budapest, the Dukes took the lead in the second half of the semifinal. Receiver Jovan Plećaš passed on a trick play to Igor Kosa, for the first and only Dukes lead in the game. It turned out to be short lived when Kamber found a third guy in the end zone, this time Rene Muhr.
The decider came late in the fourth quarter. Who other then Kamber could've capped the Bowl entry drive, and he did it with a 2 yard run. The Dukes had two chances to tie or win, as the Glads couldn't run out the clock after David Hailiman intercepted Jokić, but Jokić had maybe too little time to do something in the end.