The Szczecin Cougars and the Łódzkie Wilki each recorded victories in Week 10 PLFA I play, setting up an interesting final weekend of games in the North Division. The Wilki could clinch the league's final playoff spot with a win next weekend, while the Cougars and Crusaders remain alive to potentially take their place should they falter. In the only other Week 10 matchup, the Rebels evened their record with a win over the Saints. Here is a brief recap of each of the three games played over the weekend.
Szczecin Cougars 23, Warszawa Crusaders 0 (in Szczecin)
The Szczecin Cougars stayed alive in the race for the final PLFA I playoff spot, sweeping the season series against the Crusaders with a 23-0 home victory on Saturday. The Cougars won their second consecutive game to match the Crusaders at 3-4, a game behind the Łódzkie Wilki in the North Division standings.
The Crusaders looked to be headed to an early lead, but Konrad Piotrowski had other ideas as he intercepted a pass deep in his own end and took it 100 yards the other way for the game's first score. Szczecin added a second-quarter field goal and a pair of fourth-quarter touchdown runs by Andrzej Łukasik to complete the scoring.
The Crusaders will need a win against the undefeated Sopot Seahawks in their season finale on June 20 in Warsaw as well as a Wilki win over the Cougars the next day to move on to the postseason. The Cougars need to beat the Wilki in that final game by more than 3 points in order to claim the playoff spot for themselves.
Łódzkie Wilki 26, Toruń Angels 6 (in Pabianice)
The Wilki overcame a sluggish first half and got touchdown runs from four different players in a 26-6 victory over the Angels on Sunday in Pabianice. It was the best defensive performance of the season for the Wilki, who now need only a win in their final game of the year to clinch the second playoff spot in the PLFA I North Division.
Borys Bednarek put Łódzkie ahead with a 6-yard touchdown run in the first quarter, but Kornel Mierzejewski equalized things with a 30-yard touchdown reception before halftime. Damian Waszczyk scored in the third quarter to regain the lead for the Wilki, and Rafał Zapart and Mateusz Kuba added long touchdown runs in the fourth quarter to pad the final margin.
The Wilki are a game ahead of both the Warszawa Crusaders and the Szczecin Cougars in the race for second, with just a road game on June 21 against the Cougars remaining on their schedule. The Wilki beat the Cougars 27-23 earlier in the year, meaning they could potentially lose that final game by a field goal or less and still qualify for the playoffs, depending on what the Crusaders do. The Angels finished the season 1-7, and will be relegated to PLFA II in 2016.
AZS Silesia Rebels 26, Częstochowa Saints 0 (in Katowice)
The Rebels finished their season on a positive note at home on Saturday, shutting out the Saints 26-0. The Silesia defense recorded five interceptions in the ballgame, including two by Bartłomiej Banaszewski, and contained Jacek Wróblewski, who scored all 30 points for the Saints when they defeated the Rebels in overtime on May 10 for their only win of the year.
Maciej Kuś started the scoring with a 20-yard touchdown reception in the first quarter. Patryk Mołczan returned one of Silesia's five interceptions for a score in the second quarter, and he was followed into the end zone by Tomasz Nowak, who scored on a 15-yard catch before halftime. Nowak scored again in the fourth quarter on Kajetan Grochowski's third touchdown pass of the game.
The Rebels finished the season at 4-4, good enough for third place in the PLFA I South Division. The Saints have one game remaining, at home against the division-leading Krakow Kings. Win or lose, the Saints will finish in the South cellar, and will be relegated to PLFA II next season.
WEEK 11 SCHEDULE:
Saturday, June 20, Time TBA: Warszawa Crusaders (3-4) vs. Sopot Seahawks (7-0)
Sunday, June 21, Time TBA: Szczecin Cougars (3-4) vs. Łódzkie Wilki (4-3)
Saturday, June 20, Time TBA: Tychy Falcons (5-2) vs. Lublin Tytani (2-5)
Sunday, June 21, 2:00 PM: Częstochowa Saints (1-6) vs. Krakow Kings (6-1)