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Quarterfinal week

After Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns have placed in the semifinals last week, remaining 3 games of the CEFL Championship quarterfinal round are played this Saturday.

CEFL Championship quarterfinals
Saturday, 14 May, 15:00 CET
E-R Parma Panthers — Vienna Danube Dragons

Live stream:

The game day starts with the matchup between E-R Parma Panthers and Vienna Danube Dragons. Both teams are tyros in the CEFL Championship, though the visitors already have one win to their name this season. This game will be broadcast on Sportklub TV but the live stream is also available.

The Panthers are one of the oldest teams in Italy, founded in 1981. They’ve won the national championship 5 times, latest one last season. Their most recent European excursion was in 2014 IFAF Europe Champions League. Back then they’ve hosted another present quarterfinalist, Thonon Black Panthers, and lost to them in a virtual shootout 41-45.

Danube Dragons have also appeared in the Champions League in season 2016. After beating Lisbon Devils and now defunct Novi Sad Dukes, they’ve advanced to the Final Four tournament. In the first round this season they traveled to Belgrade to meet SBB Vukovi. They were chasing the score twice before breaking the Serbian champion in the second half.

E-R Parma Panthers have secured their presence in the national playoffs. They still have 2 more games to play in the regular season and they currently occupy third spot in the standings with a 4-2 record. American quarterback Brook Bolles will be their offensive leader and his compatriot, linebacker Dauson Dales will help the defensive unit.

At half-season Danube Dragons sit at the top of their league with 5-0. They still have a long way to go though, playing mostly teams with the positive score in the second part. On Saturday they will probably turn to their QB-WR combo, Chad Jeffries and Camron Lewis. The duo was unstoppable in Belgrade, posting 4 touchdowns for the win.

CEFL Championship quarterfinals
Saturday, 14 May, 18:00 CET
Thonon Black Panthers — Flash de La Courneuve

Live stream:

A French quarterfinal will be played in Thonon-les-Bains, where the Black Panthers will host Flash de La Courneuve. These two teams know each other well from the national league, where they play in the same group this season.

The Black Panthers have placed in the second round by beating LG OLED Las Rozas Black Demons at home in the opening week. Previously, they participated in the CEFL Championship in 2019. Appearing in the Western Conference that season, they’ve had mixed performance. Their loss came to the CEFL Bowl winners, Swarco Raiders Tirol and they’ve won against Milano Seamen.

The Flash have only joined the CEFL Championship this year. They’ve also advanced to the quarterfinals with a W in the first round. Playing on the road at the Spanish 2021 champions, Badalona Dracs, didn’t faze them. They took the early lead and never let go. Outscoring the home team by 6 touchdowns, they’ve notched the largest point difference in the opening round.

Playing in the Northern division of their national championship, these teams have climbed to the first two spots with a couple more weeks to go. The Black Panthers’ only loss has come to the Flash at the start. Meanwhile the Flash are sporting an unblemished 8-0 record. They’re slated to meet again in the closing of the regular season when the Black Panthers will have a chance to return the favor.

Judging by the 12-6 score from the Black Panthers’ first CEFL Championship outing, they seems to rely mostly on defense. Their offensive hopes lie in quarterback Brett Hunchak and running back Akiva Wedge, who have both scored in the opening round.

The visitors have a myriad of offensive options. They have no trouble scoring from either the air or over the ground. On their junket in Badalona 3 weeks ago their signal caller Conor Miller and running back Guillaume Buquet have scored 2 touchdowns each.

CEFL Championship quarterfinals
Saturday, 14 May, 18:00 CET
Calanda Broncos — Budapest Wolves

Live stream:

Last quarterfinal matchup is played in Chur, when Calanda Broncos will play host to the Budapest Wolves. It is these teams’ first game of the CEFL Championship season. The Broncos have skipped the first round as a seeded team, together with Parma Panthers, while the Wolves’ opening game was canceled.

Calanda Broncos are returning to the CEFL Championship for the third time. Their first season was in 2019 when they’ve played in a 4-team Eastern Conference. With 3 wins they went to the CEFL Bowl where only Swarco Raiders Tirol bested them with a 42-46 score. Last year their loss came in the semifinals from Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns who went to win it all.

The Wolves are no strangers to CEFL either, playing 8 seasons in the competition, from 2007 to 2014. Their 2 bowl game appearances were against SBB Vukovi, and both were among the most exciting games in the history of CEFL. Ultimately they lost them in the closing moments by a point each time. First one was in 2007 in CEFL Bowl II and the second in 2011.

The Swiss league has crossed half mark for its 2021 champions. Currently the Broncos are placed second in the standings table with 5 wins and a loss. They’ve brought in help from oversees on both sides of the ball. Their offensive unit will be led by William Andries and defensive back Maxwell Gray will assist the secondary with opposing attacks through the air.

In the Hungarian national championship the Wolves have played just 1 game, losing to another former CEFL member, Budapest Cowbells. This is no different to last season when the Wolves have also started with a loss, but ended up winning the finals. They will play with a domestic quarterback and American safety Vladimir Santana will shore up the defense.


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