The Krakow Kings and the Warszawa Crusaders (who have yet to play in 2015) were the only two PLFA I teams with the past weekend off, as play in Poland's second league got into full swing. The Wilki and the Seahawks secured wins in the North Division, while the Rebels and Falcons were victorious in the South. Here is a brief recap of each of the four games played over the weekend.
Łódź Wilki 27, Szczecin Cougars 23 (in Łódź)
The most exciting game of the weekend was decided in the waning seconds, as the Wilki got two fourth-quarter touchdowns from Borys Bednarek to overcome the Szczecin Cougars 27-23 on Saturday in Łódź. The disappointing finish came in the season opener for the Cougars, while the Wilki evened their record after being bludgeoned by the Sopot Seahawks in their first game of the year.
Szczecin bounced out to a 15-0 lead on a field goal and touchdowns by Marek Demski and Bartosz Turski, only to see the Wilki tie the game with a 50-yard touchdown run by Remigiusz Szmiel and the first of Bednarek's three touchdowns on the day. Demski scored again before halftime, giving the Cougars the lead once again with a 40-yard touchdown reception that went for naught after the closing sequence.
The Cougars will stay on the road for their second game, traveling to the capital to take on the Warszawa Crusaders on April 18. That will be the season opener for Warszawa. The Wilki won't be in action again until April 26, when they welcome those same Crusaders to Łódź.
AZS Silesia Rebels 27, Lublin Tytani 22 (in Lublin)
The AZS Silesia Rebels and the Lublin Tytani also finished their game with less than a touchdown difference between them, but this time it was the Rebels holding off a furious Tytani comeback in the final quarter to emerge with a 27-22 victory on Sunday in Lublin. The Tytani were turned away in the Silesia red zone on their final drive after trailing by as many as 19 points in the fourth quarter.
The Rebels got touchdown runs from Jan Musil and Michał Janusz to take a 14-0 lead after a quarter. Nathan Lee's short touchdown run then made it 14-8 at halftime, but Janusz scored again in the third quarter to make it 21-8. Kajetan Grochowski's 1-yard plunge gave Silesia their largest lead before Bartosz Graczyk and Bartłomiej Trubaj each scored for Lublin to make the ending tense.
The Tytani got solid play from backup quarterback Andrzej Jakubiec in the fourth quarter comeback. It remains to be seen whether he will start for Lublin in their next game, at the Częstochowa Saints on April 18. The Rebels, now 2-0 on the year, will get a week off to prepare for their important clash with the Krakow Kings on April 25 in Katowice.
Tychy Falcons 19, Częstochowa Saints 2 (in Tychy)
Most of the action in the other South Division matchup came in the first quarter, as the Tychy Falcons scored all their points in the opening frame and then rode their defense to a 19-2 home victory over the Częstochowa Saints. Michał Bury had two interceptions, including one that he took back for a score, in the win for the Falcons.
Jakub Gołosz lit up the scoreboard first, scoring from three yards out on Tychy's opening drive. Bury then intercepted a pass in the Częstochowa end and took it back for an easy score to make it 13-0, and Grzegorz Dominik capped off an impressive first quarter for the Falcons with a 70-yard touchdown run. A fourth-quarter safety was the only thing that kept the Saints from putting up a goose egg in their opening game of the 2015 season.
Częstochowa will next try to get their first win of the year in their home opener, which comes on April 18. On that day, the Saints will welcome a winless Lublin Tytani squad. The Tytani will also be the next opponent for the 2-1 Falcons, who will visit them in Lublin on April 26.
Sopot Seahawks 50, Toruń Angels 7 (in Toruń)
The Sopot Seahawks confirmed their status as one of the teams to beat in PLFA I this year by knocking off the Toruń Angels 50-7 on Saturday in Toruń. Before moving up this season, players from both teams spent the last 3 years in PLFA II (the Seahawks were formed by a merger of the Sopot Sabercats and the Gdynia Seahawks B team last season), where they took part in one of Poland's most heated and most competitive rivalries.
Luke Zetazate continued to have the hot hand for the Seahawks, who led 42-7 at halftime largely on the strength of 4 touchdown passes from the Canadian. Gabriel Chambers was on the receiving end of three of those tosses, while Paweł Henicz and Jakub Widawski added rushing touchdowns for Sopot.
By a quirk of the schedule, the Seahawks and Angels will meet each other once again next week, this time in Gdańsk on April 19. That will be the seventh meeting all-time between the two clubs. Sopot has now won 5 out of the 6 games in the series, with Toruń's only victory coming last May.
WEEK 3 SCHEDULE:
Saturday, April 18, 7:30 PM: Warszawa Crusaders (0-0) vs. Szczecin Cougars (0-1)
Sunday, April 19, 1:00 PM: Sopot Seahawks (2-0) vs. Toruń Angels (0-1)
Saturday, April 18, 2:00 PM: Częstochowa Saints (0-1) vs. Lublin Tytani (0-2)
Sunday, April 19, 4:00 PM: Krakow Kings (1-0) vs. Tychy Falcons (1-1)