CEFL Cup playoff picture is much clearer after today’s games in each of the groups. Kranj Alp Devils are still perfect after beating Zagreb Patriots in the Western group. Meanwhile, Indjija Meridian Indians have placed in the third spot in the Eastern group by defeating Sirmium Legionaries.
The game in Slovenia was dominated by the domestic team from the get go. Alp Devils’ running back Matic Hudovernik took the show by surprise. He plowed into the end zone for 2 yards and his team’s first score. The Patriots couldn’t do much offensively either so they had to punt and put the pressure on the defense. Hudovernik took advantage of that as he weaved his way to the promised land again on a 15 yard dash. Patriots’ offense still couldn’t find their mojo in the second period, but their defense had an equally rough time. This time Hudovernik broke free after a pitch and catch with his quarterback Tanner Bachand for a 40 yard touchdown.
Not much has changed in the third quarter either. Patriots’ offense continued to struggle and their defense didn’t fare better. Bachand controlled the game and has managed to up the score with a 27 yard pass to wide receiver Samo Miklič. In the last period, Croatian team’s running back Benedikt Nikpalj mitigated his team’s woes breaking into opponents’ house for the final 28-7.
Vojvodinian derby had a much different look. The teams were jumpy in the first half causing a number of penalties. Legionaries have aerated their attack, but their opponents were up to par, intercepting them an incredible four times. Even so, they’ve entered Indians’ end zone three times, each score being negated by penalties, showing lack of discipline. Aside from the stout defense, Indians haven’t appeared offensively.
Similar ineffectiveness in the second half was interrupted with a touchdown by Legionaries’ running back Tyler DeMent. The celebration was short-lived though, because the tides have turned after his fumble in the next offensive series. Indians have taken the ball and the initiative with Nathaniel Gottlieb’s pass to for touchdown to Stefan Borković, tying the score. In the next drive they put their kicking unit in the position to take the lead, which was not to be. However, 19 year old Borković caught another pass for a touchdown in the last quarter, which turned out to be enough for the win. Legionaries’ long passes in the remainder of the game fell through and the game ended with a 7-13 score.
Hapless Legionaries finish their CEFL Cup season winless and take the 7th place in this competition. Indians are third in Eastern group and their hosts in the game for the 5th place might be known next week when Zagreb Patriots welcome Sarajevo Spartans. First encounter of these two rivals went to the Bosnian team, 13-7, so the Patriots hope for a win by a larger point difference and for Alp Devils to beat Spartans in the last game of the group in order to take the middle spot. Otherwise, Spartans could go to the top by overpowering the Patriots and beating the Alp Devils with a 16+ point differential.