Wyszków Rhinos 22, Bydgoszcz Archers 14 (in Bydgoszcz)
The Wyszków Rhinos got the 12th season of PLFA football underway on Saturday afternoon with a 22-14 come-from-behind victory over the Bydgoszcz Archers. The Rhinos scored all 16 of the game's second-half points to turn around an early deficit en route to victory in their PLFA I debut. Tyler Williams scored three touchdowns for Wyszków, including the game winner in the closing minutes of the fourth quarter.
The Archers took an early lead when Mateusz Marciniak returned a fumble 30 yards for a touchdown, but Williams, the Wyszków quarterback who previously played in NCAA Division II football, got the Rhinos back within a point with his first PLFA touchdown run later in the first quarter. Both teams kept the ball mainly on the ground due to a persistent heavy rain, although Bydgoszcz extended the lead to 14-6 before halftime on a Mikołaj Obrębski touchdown reception. Williams ran it in again from 40 yards out in the third quarter to cut the lead to two and the Rhinos tied the game with a safety before Williams completed his hat trick to finally put Wyszków ahead.
Silesia Rebels 25, Gliwice Lions 2 (in Katowice)
The first Śląsk derby of 2017 went the way of the Silesia Rebels, as they easily handled the Gliwice Lions in a 25-2 victory on Sunday in the PLFA I South Division season opener in Katowice. The Rebels effectively put the game away with two defensive scores in the second quarter, turning the tables on the squad with which they nearly merged in the offseason after getting swept in the two 2016 matchups between the teams.
Grzegorz Kozub started the scoring with a short touchdown run in the first quarter, and Benjamin Bołdys made it 9-0 with a field goal early in the second frame. One of Jakub Szymczyk's three interceptions then fell into the hands of Mateusz Garus, who returned it 20 yards for a touchdown. A safety made it 19-0 before a short Bołdys touchdown run gave the Rebels their final points. The Lions only avoided the shutout when Marcin Jankowski intercepted the ensuing two-point try and took it the length of the field for two points, and neither team would score in the second half.
Warsaw Sharks 23, AZS UWM Olsztyn Lakers 10 (in Warsaw)
The Warsaw Sharks took their first step to returning to the Topliga on Sunday afternoon, winning their home opener 23-10 over the AZS UWM Olsztyn Lakers. The Sharks scored two touchdowns in the third quarter to break open a game that was close at the break, and they easily held on for the victory from there. Luke Zetazate returned to Poland to help guide his new team to victory with a pair of touchdown passes.
Kamil Ronczka's 31-yard field goal put the Sharks up 3-0 in the first quarter, but Piotr Gołacki evened the score for the Lakers early in the second quarter with a 25-yarder of his own. Zetazate then found Karol Kowalczyk for a 25-yard strike that gave Warsaw a 9-3 lead at the intermission, and his 20-yard scoring toss to Jan Omelańczuk in the third quarter extended the advantage to 15-3. Warsaw's Rafał Frąk and Olsztyn's Kamil Polski traded touchdown runs after that to complete the scoring.
Warsaw Dukes 42, Łódzkie Wilki 6 (in Ząbki)
The Dukes made it a Sunday sweep for the Warsaw teams, opening their 2017 campaign with a dominating 42-6 win over the Łódzkie Wilki in the Ząbki twilight. Avery Neloms threw four first-half touchdowns for the Dukes, who raced away from the Wilki early on and never looked back. Neloms would tack on a fifth scoring toss in the second half, ending the day with four of his receivers getting on the scoresheet.
Krzysztof Ufnal's 10-yard touchdown reception made it 6-0 after a quarter of play, a lead that Witold Szpotański extended to 13-0 early in the second quarter with a 35-yard touchdown catch. Neloms then hit Marcin Jodłowski for back-to-back scores that put Warsaw up 28-0 at halftime. Damian Waszczyk capped off a long third-quarter drive for the Wilki with a one-yard touchdown plunge, but even that ended badly for Łódź as Bartłomiej Sikora took the ensuing kickoff all the way back for a score.
PLFA I WEEK 2 SCHEDULE:
Saturday, March 25, 12:00 PM: Krakow Kings (0-0) vs. Silesia Rebels (1-0)
Sunday, March 26, 12:00 PM: Gliwice Lions (0-1) vs. Warsaw Dukes (1-0)
Saturday, March 25, 12:30 PM: Warsaw Sharks (1-0) vs. Bydgoszcz Archers (0-1)
Sunday, March 26, 12:00 PM: Kozły Poznań (0-0) vs. Wyszków Rhinos (1-0)