Week 4 of PLFA I action saw the Angels and Crusaders get their first wins of the year in contrasting fashion, with one eking out a defensive slugfest late with a big play on special teams and the other cruising to a win after building a sizable halftime lead. In other play, the Kings used a big second half to win their important matchup with the Rebels, while the Falcons moved into pole position in the South by beating the Tytani. Here is a brief recap of each of the four games played over the weekend.
Toruń Angels 7, Szczecin Cougars 0 (in Szczecin)
In a game that only a purist could love, the Toruń Angels were handed a gift touchdown inside the two-minute warning to break a scoreless deadlock and allow them to emerge victorious over the home Cougars in Szczecin. The Angels had fallen to the Cougars three times in PLFA II play before breaking that streak on Saturday.
Toruń held Szczecin outside the red zone for the entire game, although they were unable to convert on their own pair of forays deep into Cougar territory. Overtime looked inevitable until a bad snap led to a blocked punt that was returned 30 yards by Marcin Mosakowski for a deciding touchdown. Wojciech Jędrzejczyk get his hands on the Andrzej Łukasik kick to force the result.
Both teams are now tied with the Łódzkie Wilki at the bottom of the North Division standings with records of 1-2. The Cougars will now face back-to-back games against the division-leading Seahawks, with the first of that pair coming on May 16 in Sopot. Toruń will be at home for their next game, on May 9 against the second-place Warszawa Crusaders.
Krakow Kings 41, AZS Silesia Rebels 20, (in Katowice)
Michał Dybowicz rallied the Kings from a halftime deficit with three second-half touchdown runs to give the visiting Krakow Kings a 41-20 victory over the AZS Silesia Rebels on Saturday in Katowice. Dybowicz ended up with four touchdowns total in a game in which all nine combined scores by both teams came on the ground.
Silesia led 20-13 at halftime on the strength of a pair of scores by Jan Musil and a 42-yard touchdown run by Kajetan Grochowski. Krakow would shut out the Rebels in the second half, however, and Paweł Jankowski added two touchdowns to Dybowicz's four to make the margin of victory fairly comfortable for the Kings in the end.
The Kings and the Rebels are now tied for second place in the South Division, a half-game behind the Tychy Falcons. Both teams will be back in action in road games on May 10. On that day, the Rebels will journey to Częstochowa to face the winless Saints, while the Kings will take on the Falcons in a game whose victor will be assured a share of first place in the division following its conclusion. The Falcons beat the Kings in Katowice by a single point on April 19.
Warszawa Crusaders 30, Łódzkie Wilki 8 (in Pabianice)
The Crusaders, whose offense struggled in a season-opening loss to the Szczecin Cougars, got a jolt from their new quarterback-receiver duo Sascha Gaveau and Frederik Hermann to get past the Łódzkie Wilki 30-8 on Sunday in Pabianice. The newcomers hooked up for a pair of second-quarter touchdowns that allowed Warszawa to coast to victory in the second half.
Warszawa took a 10-0 lead in the first quarter on a field goal and a 50-yard fumble return for a touchdown by Hubert Deptuła. Hermann made it 17-0 early in the second quarter, before Damian Waszczyk's short touchdown run gave the Wilki hopes of getting back into it. Maciej Ryszczuk scored on a 5-yard touchdown reception to ice the game in the fourth quarter.
The Crusaders, who evened their record at 1-1, now lead the logjam behind the undefeated Sopot Seahawks in the PLFA I North Division by a half-game. They will be back on the field on May 9 to take on the Angels in Toruń, while the Wilki will have a two-week break to figure how to win their rematch with Warszawa in the capital on May 16.
Tychy Falcons 34, Lublin Tytani 12 (in Lublin)
Three long touchdown runs by Grzegorz Dominik propelled the Tychy Falcons past the Lublin Tytani on Sunday, guiding the visitors to a 34-12 victory that moved them into a half-game lead in the PLFA I South Division standings. The Tytani fell to 1-3 with the loss, leaving them with a lot of ground to make up in the playoff race halfway through their season.
Dominik opened the scoring with a 60-yard touchdown run in the first quarter, and he was followed into the end zone by both Mateusz Błazik and Jakub Gołosz later in the first half. The trio combined to give Tychy a 28-0 halftime lead. Lublin could take consolation only in the fact that they outscored the Falcons in the second half. Andrzej Jakubiec threw a pair of touchdown passes in defeat.
The Falcons will play one of their most important games of the season when they next take the field, facing the Krakow Kings in Tychy on May 10. The Kings came within a failed two-point conversion of beating Tychy in their first matchup last weekend. The Tytani will play the 2-1 AZS Silesia Rebels on May 16.
WEEK 5 SCHEDULE:
Saturday, May 9, Time TBA: Toruń Angels (1-2) vs. Warszawa Crusaders (1-1)
Sunday, May 10, Time TBA: Tychy Falcons (3-1) vs. Krakow Kings (2-1)
Sunday, May 10, 2:00 PM: Częstochowa Saints (0-2) vs. AZS Silesia Rebels (2-1)