Round of 8 continues this weekend in the Sportklub CEFL Championship with two games. There’s a larger stake at play in the first one, on Saturday, because it is also played as the Spanish national finals. Still, in a single-elimination cup system, like the one played in the CEFL Championship, all teams have to bring their best in each game so the game on Sunday won’t be any less important.
CEFL Championship, Round 1
Saturday, 29 April, 17:30 CET
LG OLED Las Rozas Black Demons – Madrid Osos Rivas
Live stream: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FaWBkB233xc
First up, on Saturday, is an inter-city rivalry and a repeat of last year’s national finals in Madrid. Still raining Spanish champions, Osos Rivas and runners-up LG OLED Las Rozas Black Demons will play a single game for this year’s national crown and the right to advance to the second round of the CEFL Championship.
The Black Demons have played the opening week of 2022 CEFL Championship in Thonon, where they lost 12-6 to the Black Panthers in a defensive brawl. Their opponents, Osos Rivas, have not appeared in CEFL so far and their last international experience is from 2015 IFAF Europe Champions League.
In 2022 season in Spain, Osos Rivas went undefeated and captured the championship trophy. Now it was time for the Black Demons to replicate the same exploit, at least before the finals. On their journey they’ve marked two narrow wins against their Saturday’s foe. First was an unreal, soccer-like score, 3-2, and the other also a rarely seen 7-0 tally, which were Osos Rivas’ only losses.
Osos Rivas’ head coach, Ricardo Martín, puts his hopes in the proven domestic captain of the offense, Sergio Barbero and his passing options David Girón and Iván Iordanov. Import running back Ronald Tomasello will add to their production over the ground.
The other side of the field is led by Black Demons’ head coach Sam Eisenstadt. Canadian dual threat offensive leader Theo Landers has plenty of homegrown talent to engage. Ground work is shared by Daniel Romero, Marcos de la Mata and Javier Carrasco.
The fresh Spanish champion will be tested internationally in a fortnight in the second round of the CEFL Championship. They will travel to play the last-season’s French national league winners, Flash de La Courneuve.
CEFL Championship, Round 1
Sunday, 30 April, 14:00 CET
Calanda Broncos – Thonon Black Panthers
Live stream: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ZcWsfJFmjg
The last game of the first round is on Sunday in Chur, where Calanda Broncos host Thonon Black Panthers. Both teams have entered the CEFL Championship in 2019 but this is the first time they’re playing each other in this competition.
Calanda Broncos’ best season was their first one, when they almost snatched the CEFL Bowl XIV. In the following two years after 2020, they reached the semifinals. The Black Panthers were second-placed in the Western Conference in the CEFL Championship 2019 and they fell to the Flash in the second round last season.
Swiss league is going well for the Broncos so far, where they are 3-0. One of those wins is against their last-season’s bane, Bern Grizzlies. The Swiss-capital team has stayed unbeatable after 3 mutual games in 2022, making the Broncos current vice-champions.
The Black Panthers are on a roll in the French championship with 7 wins, no losses and 1 draw that came versus the Flash. Last year these two teams have decided the national finals, which went to the Flash, and they are scheduled to meet again at home this season.
Head coach of the Broncos, Geoff Buffum has bolstered his team’s roster with a duet of import players, quarterback John Uribe and wide receiver/defensive back Maxwell Gray.
French team’s chief game strategist, Larry Legault has reinforced the offensive side with two selections from overseas, signal caller José Tabora and tight end Jack Pilkerton.
The winner of this game will visit the new participant of the CEFL Championship, Italian title defenders, Otel Guelfi Florence. They will lay the red carpet on 13 May when the whole second round is set to be played.