The second semifinal game of the CEFL Championship took place at Calanda Broncos who were visited by E-R Parma Panthers. Two current national champions from neighboring countries have had tough opponents in their quarterfinal games.
Both teams were in the lead in the first half but the home team was 2 points in front before the break. In each of the last two periods Panthers’ offense managed to score once, guided by their import players. At the same time their defense completely shut out the Swiss.
The Broncos have started out strong. On the first offensive play of the game William Andries finds Eric Rageth open for 15 yards. Then he connects with Moritz Boller and Maxwell Gray, who pushes his team to the opposing red zone. They can’t run it in on 3 plays and elect for the field goal.
Broncos: Erik Rageth 25 yard field goal, 3-0
Italians answer right back with constant rushes by Dauson Dales and quarterback Brook Bolles. They split the production over the ground to take the lead.
Panthers: Brook Bolles 3 yard rush, PAT is good, 3-7
Home team’s running back, Brecht Deboosere rushes for 23 yards and Gray corrals an 18-yarder, before Andries is intercepted on 4th down. After the visitors punt, Andries makes up with a 26 yard scamper but then gets sacked by Vanni Belli. Another 3 and out by the Panthers is followed by their defensive penalty that advances the Broncos’ drive. Gray’s grabs move the chains, Deboosere adds on the ground and their team is in charge once more.
Broncos: William Andries 18 yard pass to Maxwell Gray, PAT is no good, 9-7
In the second half defenses dominate the action on the field. The Broncos can’t budge after Deboosere’s 42 yard rush. Teams trade punts and then Panthers’ QB Bolles stretches his legs for 40 yards and Dales does the rest on a few running plays before retaking the lead for his team.
Panthers: Dauson Dales 12 yard rush, PAT is good, 9-14
The Swiss respond with a catch by Gregorio Calonego and Rageth for first downs, then Gray moves the chains twice. They can’t score from the rival’s 5 yard line and the Panthers take over. On a low shotgun snap Bolles picks up the ball and quickly passes to Matteo Bonzanni who carries defenders on his back to win 40 yards. Visitors’ offense is hobbled by penalties but Dales won’t let it slip away this time. He grinds out tough yards down after down and jumps into the end zone for the final score.
Panthers: Dauson Dales 1 yard rush, PAT is good, 9-21
Andries flings a deep ball which gets intercepted by Yoan Felix Kelassah Proulx to end the duel. With this hard fought win the Panthers place in the CEFL Bowl XVI.