The divide at the top of PLFA I grew wider during Week 10 action, as Husaria and the Lowlanders both recorded victories to remain unbeaten and pull further clear of the rest of the pack in their respective divisions. The races for second heated up, however, as the Falcons came back from 14 down to beat the Cougars in the West and the Tytani triumphed over the Mustangs in the East. Here is a quick recap of each of the four games played over the weekend.
Tychy Falcons 32, Szczecin Cougars 14 (in Szczecin)
The Falcons came back from a big first-quarter deficit on Sunday to not only beat the Cougars 32-14, but to also wrestle away the tiebreaker advantage over Szczecin by overcoming the deficit resulting from an 11-point defeat at the hands of the Cougars earlier in the season. Tychy moved a half-game in front of the Cougars in what appears to be a two-way battle for second place in the PLFA I West Division.
Andrzej Łukasik found Marek Demski on a 60-yard touchdown pass, and Jakub Piekarski helped the Cougars capitalize on a botched Falcons punt attempt by scoring from a yard out to make it 14-0 early on. The Falcons cut the deficit to 14-8 with a Mateusz Błazik touchdown run and a safety in the second quarter, but they missed a chance to take the lead when Błazik was stopped a yard shy of the end zone as time ran out in the first half.
Błazik ended up giving Tychy the lead in the third quarter with his second touchdown run of the game, and he completed the hat trick in the fourth quarter to extend the advantage. Grzegorz Dominik also scored in the final frame to give the Falcons 32 unanswered points, removing any doubt about the outcome.
Both teams will face the winless Bielawa Owls in their next contest. The Cougars will travel to Bielawa for their final road game on June 22, before finishing up the season with contests against the Gliwice Lions and Husaria Szczecin. The Falcons will face the Owls at home on June 28 before travelling to Szczecin to finish their regular season against Husaria.
Lublin Tytani 28, Płock Mustangs 14 (in Płock)
The race for second in the East Division tightened up considerably on Sunday, as the Tytani held off the Mustangs for a 28-14 victory in Płock. The Mustangs, who won 8-6 in Lublin on April 6, lost by double-digits for the fourth consecutive game, while the Tytani pulled themselves up into a tie for third in the East.
Lublin took an early 6-0 lead on a short touchdown run by Marcin Grosman, but the Mustangs tied it quickly thereafter on a 25-yard touchdown pass from Spencer Wood to Jakub Seweryn. Płock went ahead on a safety after pinning the Tytani at the 1-yard line on a punt, but Lublin regained the lead before halftime on a 28-yard touchdown run by Nathan Lee.
The Tytani would hold the advantage the rest of the way. Lee caught a screen pass from Bartłomiej Trubaj in the third quarter and ran 60 yards with it to make the score 21-8 at the end of three quarters. Łukasz Pietrzak returned a fumble 60 yards for a score to cut the gap to 21-14, before Trubaj put the game away with a late touchdown run.
The Mustangs will need to win both of their remaining games to have any hope of advancing to the postseason. That will be a difficult task, as only a road date with the Łódzkie Wilki on June 21 and a home matchup against the undefeated Białystok Lowlanders remain on their schedule. The Tytani have three games remaining, beginning with their final home game of the year, which comes on June 22 against the Krakow Kings. The Kings are currently tied with Lublin at 2-3, a half-game back of the Wilki.
Białystok Lowlanders 42, Krakow Kings 7 (in Krakow)
The Lowlanders continued their dominance of the East Division on Sunday in Krakow, using a big second half to blow open their game against the Kings and triumph 42-7. The Kings, who have not beaten the Lowlanders in three tries, were doomed to defeat by their offense, which turned the ball over five times.
The game was a close one in the first half. The teams traded touchdowns in the first quarter before Tomasz Zubrycki gave the Lowlanders a 14-7 lead in the second quarter with a 34-yard touchdown reception. That came just before time ran out in the half, following an interception that came just inside the two-minute warning.
The Kings never recovered, and their task was made more difficult when Zubrycki ran a punt back 70 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter. Michael Campana, Damian Kołpak and Radosław Bielawski all added touchdown runs for Białystok later in the half.
Sunday's game was a makeup of a game that was postponed on May 18, and the two teams will meet again on July 19 to close out the regular season. Białystok will play next on June 15, at home against the second-place Łódzkie Wilki, while the Kings will be back in action a week later, taking on the Tytani in Lublin on June 22.
Husaria Szczecin 56, Bielawa Owls 6 (in Szczecin)
Jordan Rooney had a field day against Bielawa on Saturday, throwing for seven touchdowns and running for one more for good measure to lead Husaria to a 56-6 romp over the Owls in Szczecin. The win was the fourteenth in a row for Husaria, who seem well on-track to land another home semifinal berth.
Saturday's game was a far cry from the first meeting between the teams this year, when a Rooney-less Husaria eked out a 17-16 win in Bielawa. All seven of Rooney's touchdown passes went for 40 yards or more, as did Bielawa's only score, a 56-yard touchdown pass from Konrad Darmochwała to Krzysztof Pawlaczek in the first quarter.
That score followed an opening touchdown by Jakub Dobrowolski, leaving Husaria ahead 8-6 midway through the first quarter. Szczecin, who scored exactly 14 points in all four quarters, then scored the game's final 48 points. Dobrowolski, Marcin Kaim and Gracjan Wrząchol each had a pair of touchdown receptions, and Leszek Ankutowicz added the seventh for Husaria.
Husaria have three games to get through for a second consecutive unbeaten regular season, the first of which will come on June 29 at the 1-4 Gliwice Lions. Bielawa will be back on the field a week earlier, hosting the Szczecin Cougars on June 22 as they continue to search for their first victory of the season.
WEEK 11 SCHEDULE (HOME TEAM FIRST):
No games scheduled
Sunday, June 15, 2:00 PM: Białystok Lowlanders (4-0) vs. Łódzkie Wilki (2-2)