Sweden wins EC gold in rainy slugfest
Sweden takes the EC gold medal in a game heavily influenced by the rain.
Photos: Chris Palmgren / CP88
The game started off like thunder for the Swedish team, scoring on their first two drives. First on a 43 yard score by RB Carl Göransson and next on a pass from QB Cox Jr. to Axel Ripa. With both PAT attempts unsuccessful for Sweden, the score was 12-0. The Swedish offense and defense seemed like a mouthful for the Danes; but football is played in three units.
On the kickoff after the 2nd Swedish score, the Danish runningback and kickreturner, Lasse Engel took the short kick all the way to the end zone for the first Danish score. 12-7.
This would not be the last time the Danish special teams unit would excel. Already on the next Swedish drive Joakim Juul Ladefoged, the long armed defensive lineman form team Denmark, got his hand on the punt, and with defensive back Alexander Mylsted falling on the ball, the unit gave the Danish offense good field position on the next drive.
Three plays and a Touchdown Pass from Hagen Jakobsen to Kaplan later, the lead had changed. 12-14 Team Denmark.
Then came the rain.
The next score would be a 43 yard rush by Michael Cox jr. with 8 minutes to go in the 2nd quarter giving team Sweden the lead going in to the half.
Half Time would be used by the coaching staff on the two teams to make the right tweaks to handle the weather. Something the Swedes figured out better than the Danish team did. The Swedes showed up to the tournament with a heavy formation, with two tight ends and four players in the offensive backfield, giving direct snaps to the QB. A strategy that seemed to work well for the Swedish offense in the pouring rain. Especially after putting in RB #25 Jonathan Gustafsson as the QB behind the big o-line they really started moving the ball. Gustafsson ended up rushing 33 times for 135 yards primarily from this formation. Gustafsson ended the game by running the ball for a touchdown in the beginning of the 4th quarter.
By winning the European Championship, team Sweden has secured a spot in next year’s World Championship.
Sweden: RB Jonathan Gustafsson, 33 carries, 135 yards, TD
Denmark: LB David Tawake Christoffersen, 16 tackles, 9 solo
6-0 Touchdown #22 Carl Görranson (PAT no good)
12-0 Touchdown #39 Axel Ripa pass from #1 Michael Cox Jr. (PAT no good)
12-7 Touchdown #18 Lasse Engel Kickoff Return (PAT good)
12-14 Touchdown #7 Nicholas Kaplan pass form #6 Mads Hagen Jakobsen (PAT good)
18-14 Touchdown #1 Michael Cox Jr. (Two-point conversion no good)
26-14 Touchdown #25 Jonathan Gustafsson (Two-point conversion good)