Husaria Szczecin's long winning streak continued over the weekend, as the defending PLFA I champions stormed past their in-town rivals, the Cougars, by a score of 34-7. In the weekend's only other game in Poland's second league, the Gliwice Lions got their first win of the season by defeating the winless Bielawa Owls in a defensive battle. Here is a quick recap of both of the games played over the weekend.
Husaria Szczecin 34, Szczecin Cougars 7 (in Szczecin)
Husaria fell behind early in what was meant to be their toughest test of the season yet, but they quickly rebounded to score the Szczecin derby's final 34 points in what turned out to be a 34-7 rout over the previously unbeaten Cougars. Husaria pushed their winning streak to 13 straight with the victory and moved into sole possession of first place in the PLFA I West Division.
The Cougars got the ball in great field position to open the game, as Husaria elected to try an onside kick that eventually went unsuccessful. Andrzej Łukasik hit Jakub Piekarski shortly thereafter with an 18-yard touchdown pass to give the Cougars a 7-0 lead. It took Husaria only two plays, however, to tie the game on Jakub Dobrowolski's 23-yard touchdown run.
Jordan Rooney, an American player who spent most of the first half of the season on the sidelines with an injury, took over for Husaria in the second quarter. Rooney caught touchdown passes of 24 yards and 5 yards to give Husaria a 21-7 lead that they would hold on to at halftime after stopping the Cougars at the 1-yard line just before the break.
Rooney threw a touchdown pass to Gracjan Wrząchol early in the third quarter, and Piotr Kaczmarczyk followed that up with his third touchdown pass of the afternoon, a short one to Tomasz Komosa. Neither team would score in the fourth quarter, and the Cougars were left with plenty of questions to answer as to how they are going to handle Husaria during the rematch on July 19.
Despite the loss, the Cougars remain very much in the playoff hunt with a 3-1 record. That count is good enough to give them a full-game cushion over the their next opponents, the third-place Tychy Falcons. Tychy will visit Szczecin on June 8, a day after Husaria host their next opponent, the winless Bielawa Owls.
Gliwice Lions 10, Bielawa Owls 0 (in Bielawa)
The Gliwice Lions and the Bielawa Owls met in the 'other' PLFA I game of the weekend, a battle of winless teams in Bielawa that ended in a 10-0 victory for the Lions. The 10 points scored represented the lowest total in the PLFA this season, and the fewest in Polish 11-man football since the Warszawa Werewolves defeated the Olsztyn Lakers 6-0 in June 2012.
Interestingly, the last shutout victory for Gliwice also came in that same month, when they defeated the Krakow Knights 41-0 in a PLFA I matchup. In addition to getting their first win of the season, the Lions remained in the playoff race in the PLFA I West Division, although they still trail the second-place Szczecin Cougars by two full games. The Owls fell to 0-4 at the midway point of the year.
Gliwice finally broke a scoreless tie with a 6-yard touchdown run by Marcin Skrzypiec in the second quarter. Adam Nelip added a 30-yard field goal later in the frame, and that was all the scoring that would take place in the contest. The Owls were shut out for the first time in over a year.
The Lions could move into a tie for third place with a victory in their next game, a May 31 road contest against the 2-2 Tychy Falcons. The Owls will also be away from home in their next game, although they will presumably have a tougher time of it when they face undefeated Husaria Szczecin on June 7. The Lions and Owls will meet again in the last game of the regular season, in Gliwice on July 20.
PLFA I WEEK 9 SCHEDULE (HOME TEAM FIRST):
Saturday, May 31, 2:00 PM: Tychy Falcons (2-2) vs. Gliwice Lions (1-3)
Saturday, May 31, Time TBA: Lublin Tytani (1-2) vs. Białystok Lowlanders (2-0)
Sunday, June 1, 1:00 PM: Krakow Kings (1-2) vs. Płock Mustangs (2-2)