PLFA 8 Quarterfinals Roundup

Autor: Alex Zarganis Published: 30 Sep 2013 | Comments: 0

The two PLFA 8 quarterfinal tournaments took place over the weekend, determining the four finalists who will vie for the championship on October 12 in Przemyśl. The Przemyśl Bears, Warsaw Eagles C, AZS Silesia Re'B'els and Zagłębie Steelers Interpromex B were the four teams that managed to battle their way through to the ultimate day of the season. The Bears will meet the Re'B'els in the semifinals, while the Eagles will face the Steelers. The following is a short summary of the action from each of the two quarterfinal tournaments, as well as a brief recap of each of the games played within them.

Quarterfinal tournament #1 (in Warsaw): Bears top Eagles in Final, both advance

Results from the quarterfinal tournament played on Saturday in Warsaw:
Game 1: Przemyśl Bears 26, Warszawa Crusaders B 20
Game 2: Warsaw Eagles C 20, Sopot Sabercats B 6
Game 3 (consolation game): Sopot Sabercats B 20, Warszawa Crusaders B 10
Game 4 (group final): Przemyśl Bears 12, Warsaw Eagles C 6

Overview: The first quarterfinal tournament, named the Investo PLFA 8 Playoffs after its main sponsor, was an extremely competitive one, with none of the games decided by more than 14 points. The Crusaders, effectively one of the two home teams, were defeated by the Bears in the opener, which turned out to be the highest-scoring game of the day. The Eagles C team then booked their spot in the day's final game with a 20-6 win over the Sabercats B, who then beat the Crusaders in the consolation game. The final was a defensive struggle, with the Bears prevailing on Robert Wardęga's fourth-quarter touchdown reception.

Game 1: The Investo PLFA 8 Playoffs got off to a cracking start, with the Crusaders and Bears combining for a touchdown every two minutes in the tournament's opening quarter. Grzegorz Wójcik scored twice in the opening frame for Przemyśl, but missed conversion attempts left Warszawa with a 14-12 lead at the end of one. The Bears grabbed the lead in the second quarter, only to see the Crusaders tie the game at 20 in the third. Bartłomiej Hadała then scored on a 1-yard plunge in the fourth quarter to see Przemyśl through to the final game and ensure that the Bears would be participants in the championship tournament, which will in fact be held in their own hometown.

Game 2: Richard Mbewe threw three touchdown passes to Bartłomiej Rot to lead the Eagles over the Sabercats in the second game, setting up the Bears-Eagles final. The duo's first hookup, a 20-yarder in the first quarter, gave the Eagles an early lead that disappeared on Adrian Abraham's short touchdown run early in the second quarter. Mbewe hit Rot again before halftime, however, to put Warsaw back in front, and the pair added an insurance score in the fourth quarter.

Game 3: The two consolation game competitors, the Crusaders and the Sabercats, each won one game against the other in group play during the regular season. The Sabercats took the rubber match, taking a 12-0 lead on two Mikołaj Obrębski first-half touchdown runs before going on to win 20-10. The Crusaders made a game of it, however, drawing to within two points with a Wójcik touchdown run, but Mateusz Kogut quickly answered for Sopot with a 38-yard scamper late in the second quarter for what would turn out to be the final points of the game.

Game 4: The Bears and the Eagles had also split their regular-season group matchups before meeting in Saturday's final, which was won 12-6 by Przemyśl. The Bears defense knocked Mbewe out of the game in the first quarter, leaving the Warsaw offense in a hole for the rest of the first half. Przemyśl scored the only points before the break on Przemysław Kilian's 10-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. Mbewe, who had suffered a sprained throwing hand, returned to the game in the second half, and he led the Eagles on a tying drive in the fourth quarter. The Bears had plenty of time left to counter, however, and a long run set the offense up at the 7-yard line. Arkadiusz Rahilewicz hit Wardęga in the end zone from there for the deciding score.

Quarterfinal tournament #2 (in Leszno): Re'B'els and Steelers reach final

Results from the quarterfinal tournament played on Sunday in Leszno:
Game 1: Zagłębie Steelers Interpromex B 28, Wrocław Giants B 20
Game 2: AZS Silesia Re'B'els 30, Leszno Hunters 22
Game 3 (consolation game): Wrocław Giants B 26, Leszno Hunters 10
Game 4 (group final): Cancelled due to poor field conditions

Overview: Offense ruled the day in the second quarterfinal tournament, which was reduced to three games due to the deterioration of the field conditions throughout the day. The Steelers and Re'B'els each won the only game they played to book their places in Przemyśl, with the Steelers advancing as the higher seed due to their higher position in the standings. The Giants left the host Hunters winless on the day with a victory in the consolation game.

Game 1: The Steelers basically won the first game of the day in the first half, jumping out to a 22-6 halftime lead before holding off a late rally by the Giants. Miłosz Maćków's touchdown reception got Wrocław to within 22-14 in the third quarter, but Zagłębie pulled away again early in the fourth on a 10-yard touchdown run by Radosław Rintz. Jan Wawrzyniak then hit Rafał Dąbrowski with a long touchdown pass to get the Giants back to within striking distance, but by then it was too little, too late.

Game 2: The Hunters and Re'B'els went back and forth in the second game, which was tied with a different score at some point of each of the four quarters. Michał Woźniak scored on a short touchdown run to put Leszno ahead early, but the Re'B'els tied the game before halftime on a touchdown reception by Patryk Mazurek. Silesia went ahead in the third quarter on Paweł Tomeczek's 58-yard touchdown run, only to see the Hunters tie the game and then regain the lead with successive scores. Adrian Mazurek stood tall for the Re'B'els in the final frame, however, throwing the tying touchdown pass to Mateusz Cebula and then scoring the winning points on an 11-yard touchdown run. The Hunters' final drive was stopped in the red zone as time expired.

Game 3: The Hunters were right back on the field for the consolation game, and they gained the lead at halftime mainly on the strength of a 50-yard touchdown run by Emil Mikuła. The Giants, and especially Łukasz Turek, wore down a tired Leszno team in the second half, however, scoring 20 unanswered points to claim a 26-10 victory. Turek was behind all twenty of those points, scoring twice on rushing plays, once on a reception and even once on a two-point conversion.

Game 4: The fourth game was cancelled as the playing surface was no longer sufficient for another game. As the Steelers and Re'B'els both were guaranteed a spot in the final tournament thanks to their victories earlier in the day, there were no plans to play the game at another time. The Steelers advanced as the higher seed, thanks to their better position in the standings.


Final tournament: Saturday, October 12, in Przemyśl
Semifinal #1, 10:00 AM: Zagłębie Steelers Interpromex B vs. Warsaw Eagles C
Semifinal #2, 11:40 AM: Przemyśl Bears vs. AZS Silesia Re'B'els
Third-place game, 1:50 PM: Semifinal #1 loser vs. Semifinal #2 loser
Championship, 3:30 PM: Semifinal #1 winner vs. Semifinal #2 winner

Alex Zarganis
PLFA Press Bureau