Week 9 of the PLFA I season produced an overtime thriller in which the Falcons bested the Lions 14-12, a statement performance on defense as the Kings shut out the Mustangs 24-0 and another victory for one of the league's last two unbeatens as the Lowlanders toppled the Tytani 21-6. Here is a quick recap of each of the three games played over the weekend.
Tychy Falcons 14, Gliwice Lions 12 (in Tychy)
The Tychy Falcons got a dramatic overtime victory over the Gliwice Lions on Saturday in Tychy to make up ground on the two division-leading teams from Szczecin, pulling out a 14-12 victory with two fourth-down conversions on their overtime possession. The Falcons completed a season sweep of the Lions with the victory, and ran their streak over Gliwice to three straight by becoming the first road team to win in five games between the pair.
The Gliwice offense, operating mostly on the ground, was the more effective one during a first half that would eventually pass without a score. The Lions reached the Tychy 2-yard line inside the final minute of the second period, but a turnover left them with the same round number that showed on the Falcons side of the scoreboard at the intermission.
Łukasz Ihnatowicz put Gliwice ahead with a short touchdown run in the third quarter, but the Falcons tied the game on Mateusz Błazik's 3-yard touchdown run inside the two-minute warning. Each team tried for a one-point kick after its touchdown and each failed, sending the game into overtime.
Ihnatowicz followed a 20-yard run on the first play of overtime with a 1-yard touchdown plunge to make it 12-6, but the Falcons were able to block the extra point again. Grzegorz Dominik scored on a 15-yard run on fourth down to tie the game once again, and Tychy coach Wojciech Grzybek elected to try for two. Błazik was stopped near the goal line, but he was able to stretch the ball across the plane for the winning points.
Tychy now trails the Szczecin Cougars, their next opponent, by just a half-game in the standings. The Falcons will visit Szczecin on June 8 in an attempt to leapfrog the Cougars and move into position to finish with the second postseason slot. The Lions, meanwhile, will have a long break before they host the other Szczecin team, Husaria, on June 29.
Krakow Kings 24, Płock Mustangs 0 (in Krakow)
The Krakow Kings climbed into a tie for second place in the PLFA I East Division on Sunday afternoon, sending off the visiting Mustangs with a 24-0 defeat to take back to Płock as a souvenir. For Krakow, the victory avenged an opening-day loss to the Mustangs, who have now lost three consecutive games after opening the season with back-to-back victories.
Michał Dybowicz set the tone early for the Kings, scoring twice in the first quarter on touchdown passes thrown by Paweł Jankowski. Płock had a chance to pull themselves back into the game before halftime, but quarterback Spencer Wood fumbled just shy of the goal line to leave a zero in the scoring column for the Mustangs.
Jankowski struck again in the fourth quarter, connecting with Mateusz Cyganik on a 42-yard touchdown pass that made it 18-0 for the Kings. That score came just after Wood was intercepted by Jacek Bukowiec. Jankowski then tacked on a short rushing touchdown of his own after the Kings took over at the 2-yard line when a Mustangs punt attempt went awry.
The Kings and the Mustangs both remain in the thick of the race for the second playoff spot in the East. Each will be in action again on June 8, with Krakow hosting the undefeated and division-leading Białystok Lowlanders, while the Mustangs welcome the last-place Lublin Tytani to Płock.
Białystok Lowlanders 21, Lublin Tytani 6 (in Lublin)
Białystok and Lublin battled to within a point of each other all the way until the fourth quarter on Saturday, before the visiting Lowlanders finally got two touchdowns to put away the Tytani 21-6. Białystok remains unbeaten through three games this season, while the Tytani find themselves in a 1-3 hole halfway through their fixtures.
Tomasz Zubrycki returned a punt 80 yards in the first quarter to give the Lowlanders a 7-0 lead, but the Tytani quickly answered with a 1-yard touchdown run by Nathan Lee. Their conversion attempt was no good, however, leaving the score 7-6 in favor of Białystok.
The rest of the first half would pass without points, and neither team was able to crack the scoreboard in the third quarter as well. Białystok finally got their first offensive points of the game when Bartosz Głowacki hauled in a 17-yard touchdown pass from Damian Kołpak, and Michael Campana put the game out of reach with a touchdown run later in the quarter.
Both teams will be right back in action next weekend, and both will be on the road. The Tytani will travel to Płock to face the 2-3 Mustangs on June 8, while the Lowlanders will meet the Krakow Kings on that same day. The Kings-Lowlanders matchup is a makeup of a game that was postponed due to inclement weather earlier in the season.
WEEK 10 SCHEDULE (HOME TEAM FIRST):
Saturday, June 7, 1:00 PM: Husaria Szczecin (4-0) vs. Bielawa Owls (0-4)
Sunday, June 8, 2:30 PM: Szczecin Cougars (3-1) vs. Tychy Falcons (3-2)
Sunday, June 8, 1:00 PM: Płock Mustangs (2-3) vs. Lublin Tytani (1-3)
Sunday, June 8, 1:00 PM: Krakow Kings (2-2) vs. Białystok Lowlanders (3-0)