Sportklub CEFL’s most significant weekend yet this season is about to be played. Two games of the CEFL Championship semifinals will each take place in Germany and France this Saturday. The winners will advance to the CEFL Bowl XVII which awaits us in three weeks. CEFL Cup final game is also programmed for Saturday, and all three games will be live-streamed.
CEFL Championship, Semifinal 1
Saturday, 3 June, 17:00 CET
Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns — Thonon Black Panthers
Live stream: https://player.sportdeutschland.tv/993c6439-5bc2-4440-a8f9-14c696bdf71c
The first semifinal of the CEFL Championship is being fought in Schwäbisch Hall where the Unicorns will host Thonon Black Panthers. Two-time CEFL Bowl trophy holders are just warming up their engines, with this being their fourth game this season. On the other hand, the visitors have all but finished their campaign.
After scraping by vs Stockholm Mean Machines with a last second win in the second round of the CEFL Championship, the Unicorns have posted a 1-1 score in the GFL. Suffering a loss in the opener against Potsdam Royals in a repeat of last-season’s finals was a wake-up call for them. They are now facing an unlikely semifinal opponent.
The Black Panthers are still unbeaten this season, having placed in the national semifinals already. Not being seeded, they’ve had the longest journey in the CEFL Championship so far. Both times they came, saw and conquered. They ousted Calanda Broncos first and disposed of Otel Guelfi Florence next. This test will be their toughest one yet.
German champions are doing great with their homegrown talent behind the center. Ian Gehrke has scored 4 passing touchdowns on the Mean Machines’ defense. His most dependable target was Caleb Schweigart. This time Gehrke will be able to count on two-time CEFL Bowl MVP, Tyler Rutenbeck as well.
The French vice-champion is not without offensive threats either. American signal caller, José Tabora recorded 5 touchdowns in the first two rounds. Their tight end, Jack Pilkerton, was on the receiving end on two of those. Running back Nicolas Khandar added to the production with a couple of his own.
CEFL Championship, Semifinal 2
Saturday, 3 June, 20:00 CET
Flash de La Courneuve — E-R Parma Panthers
Live stream: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z9zKtGq_VzY
Paris metro area commune of La Courneuve will be the site of the second semifinal. Reigning French champions, the Flash will welcome E-R Parma Panthers. Both teams were seeded this season, playing their first contests in the second round and winning convincingly. Each one of them has placed in their respective national playoffs too.
The Flash have proceeded to the CEFL Championship semifinals by besting the new Spanish champions LG OLED Las Rozas Black Demons 25-14. Nationally, they’ve yielded just once to the Black Panthers two weeks ago. They are a favorite to win the French Wild Card round next week, before moving to the semifinals over there as well.
Italian team has started their CEFL Championship tour at home against Belgrade SBB Vukovi in the second round, trouncing them 28-10. The Panthers have placed in the national semifinals, suffering only a slap in the opener. Season finale brings them the opportunity to play for both the CEFL Bowl XVII and the national bowl in the USA.
French quarterback Léo Cremades is the Flash’s offensive leader. He aired two touchdowns in the first sortie, one each to François Bremond and Benedict Von Jagow, and Baptiste Aubert attached a rushing score. A duo of import defensive linemen, Brandon Penerton and Zachery Curry, help the team on the other side of the ball.
Offensively, E-R Panthers are depending on their import signal-caller, Anthony Paoletti, who scored 4 touchdowns against SBB Vukovi, one of those over the ground. Another import wide out, Adewale Omotosho Jr, as well as two domestic receivers, Matteo Bonzanni and Dario Zatti were sure-handed on the passing plays.
CEFL Cup final game
Saturday, 3 June, 14:00 CET
Kragujevac Wild Boars — Budapest Wolves
Live stream: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Of8URaJwWeM
The plans for the CEFL Cup have been modeled to include more teams this season, but the tournament ultimately held only four participants from as many countries. One innovation was incorporating a team which had been defeated in the first round of the CEFL Championship. Geographic distances between the teams are the major reason why this wasn’t done earlier.
The final game of the CEFL Cup will now be hosted by Kragujevac Wild Boars, which will greet Budapest Wolves for the right to hoist the trophy. Before the finals, the home team has overpowered Vysocina Gladiators, who have returned to the CEFL Cup. The Wolves have had a longer trip, first dropping to SBB Vukovi in the first round of the CEFL Championship and then crushing Bucharest Rebels in the Cup semis.
In addition to the CEFL Cup, national leagues are also bending to these teams wills. The Wild Boars are 4-0 in the Serbian championship, beating the rivaling SBB Vukovi twice and placing in the semifinals already. The Wolves are also coasting through Hungarian championship recording 5 wins and no losses. With only one game left to play, they’ve also punched a ticket for the national semifinals.
Most prominent offensive options for the home team are their import players: quarterback Isaiah Green and running back Ashton Heard. Internationally-acclaimed wide receiver, Strahinja Stepović, is the most dependable passing target.
Meanwhile, the visitors are putting their hopes in domestic players who have proven their worth. Quarterback Bencsics Márk will look mostly to Czirók Márton and Varga Péter, and rusher Gombos Dávid will help in the ground game.