Sunday, August 14, 2011

Another Weekend of American Football in Sweden

The 2011 regular season is coming to a rapid close in Sweden and all signs continue to point to a three way logjam at the top of the standings with only two weekends left to play.

Ystad's (8-2) regular season is now over and they await their playoff fate as both Kristianstad (8-1) and Limhamn (6-2) look forward to a key season finale in two weeks if Limhamn beats Lugi (3-5) this week.

2011 Division I Södra (South) Standings
The top two teams at the end of the regular season will play in the 2011 SAFF Division I Playoffs along with the top two teams from each of the other three Division I Conferences.

Kristianstad Predators (8-1)
Ystad Rockets (8-2)
Limhamn Griffins (6-2)
Lugi Vikings (3-5)
Ekeby Greys (1-8)
Hässleholm Hurricanes (0-8)

Week 12 Results
Ystad 21 - Hässleholm 0
Kristianstad 43 - Lugi 14
Limhamn 39 - Ekeby 6

Week 13 Games
Saturday, August 20th
Ekeby (1-8) at Hässleholm (0-8)
Lugi (3-5) at Limhamn (6-2)
BYES: Kristianstad (8-1) and Ystad (8-2)

SAAF Division I Södra Notes: For our Hurricanes, it was good to hear that Pär Danielsson was back in action after having suffered a serious injury in the preseason. He immediately made his presence felt by intercepting three passes against Ystad on Saturday.

Hässleholm (0-8) plays at home this Saturday against the Ekeby Greys (1-8), this just has to be the week that our beloved 'Canes break into the victory column! The first time that these two squads played back on July 2nd, the Greys prevailed 28-6.

I always find it interesting to see what style various countries take in their approach to the game of American football. We have already chronicled the Italian Football League's offense, offense, offense mantra. Let's see how the Swede's do it.

OFFENSE - Points Per Game:
Limhamn (6-2) 37.1 ppg
Kristianstad (8-1) 34.4 ppg
Ystad (8-2) 20.9 ppg
Lugi (3-5) 17.2 ppg
Ekeby (1-8) 7.1 ppg
Hässleholm (0-8) 6.5 ppg

Offensively, there are two high scoring teams in the Division as Limhamn and Kristianstad tend to light up the scoreboard, well they would if there were scoreboards in Sweden. If Limhamn beats Lugi this week, then their season finale against Kristianstad should be a fan's delight!

Ystad's offense is solid but not spectacular. The reason that they finished the regular season at 8-2 is their rock solid defense.

DEFENSE - Points Allowed Per Game:
Ystad (8-2) 5.5 ppg
Kristianstad (8-1) 11.9 ppg
Limhamn (6-2) 12.8 ppg
Lugi (3-5) 21.6 ppg
Hässleholm (0-8) 36.4 ppg
Ekeby (1-8) 38.0 ppg

In America, the axiom has been for years that "Defense Wins Championships!" Certainly the Ystad Rockets have bought into this philosophy whole heartedly. On the season they have shut out an incredible six of their ten opponents in allowing only 55 points during the campaign. Unfortunately for the Rockets, they gave up 34 of those 55 points in their two losses, 0-13 to Kristianstad and 14-21 to Limhamn.

So, Swedish football tends to be much more conservative and low scoring in general than their Italian cousins due mostly to the lack of import players.

Still, the best squads tend to score often so maybe offense is now the key to American football success world-wide.

As usual, I can't begin tell you how proud I am of the job that Ryan Bolland is doing in coaching the Kristianstad Predators (8-1) this year, his first as a EuroBall Head Coach. A bright young man with a brighter coaching future!

Gear up Predators!

The time is NOW, Hurricanes!!!

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