The Carlstad Crusaders improved their Super Serien record to 3-0 by overpowering the Göteborg Marvels 56-21. Carlstad proved that they were the superior team in this matchup, but the young Marvels team did not make it easy for the defending champions. But easy or not, this game ended how most people expected it to, a convincing blowout in favor of the Crusaders.
For my full analysis and stats go to my website HERE.
This game opened in the expected fashion, the Carlstad Crusaders drove the length of the field, converting a few third downs in the process, and scored with ease. Philip Juhlin finished the opening drive with a 1 yard touchdown run. 7-0, Crusaders. It should be noted that the ex-Crusader Alpha Jalloh aided the initial drive with a personal foul that put Carlstad inside the Marvels red zone. It was obvious that this specific game had an emotional component for the talented player. Which is why it was even more fitting that on the second play from scrimmage for the Marvels, Alpha Jalloh took off on a 58 yard touchdown score for Göteborg. 7-7, Tie game.
Not to be outdone, the Carlstad Crusaders marched down the field again, using a balanced attack of running and passing as they pleased. A key play to the drive was a 3rd & 5 conversion made by a perfectly timed screen pass for the Crusaders. Later in the drive, Quarterback Philip Juhlin connected with receiver Robin Juhlin for a 28 yard touchdown pass. 14-7, Crusaders. The Marvels were not intimidated by the ease at which the Crusaders were moving the ball against their defense. Runningback-turned-quarterback Gerard Johnson led the Marvels down the field, using short passes and run plays by Alpha Jalloh. A 28 yard pass completion to Almeida Taborda put the Marvels at the Crusaders 10 yard line. Two plays later Jalloh scored his second touchdown of the game on a one yard dive. 14-14, Tie game.
28 points in the first quarter made this game seem destined for a high scoring affair, and for one team it was. This is where the Carlstad Crusaders experience and consistency took over the game. Starting with great field position (the Crusaders average starting position was their own 46 yard line), the Crusaders offense was put in a difficult 3rd & 10 situation. The Marvels stepped up on 3rd down by sacking quarterback Philip Juhlin, credit to defensive lineman Dan Jörneklint. But the Crusaders were not interested in punting the ball. On 4th & 14, Juhlin connected with Julius Rucker for a 40 yard touchdown pass. Alpha Jalloh was in position to make a play on the ball but mistimed his jump, allowing for Rucker to cradle in the touchdown catch with ease. 21-14, Crusaders. In their rebuttal, the Marvels were forced into a tough 4th & 5. Bad clock management forced Göteborg into a delay of game penalty, making their situation 4th & 10. An overthrown pass resulted in turnover on downs. Carlstad took over with great field position again, but could not capitalize, as the Marvels stopped them on 3rd down to force 4th down. The Crusaders committed a penalty to make it 4th & 5. As with the previous 4th down attempt, Philip Juhlin found an open receiver, and the Crusaders drive continued. Juhlin capped off the drive with a 5 yard touchdown run. 27-14, Crusaders.
The Marvels attempted to put together a statement drive on their next possession. Converting two consecutive 3rd downs, Göteborg advanced to the Crusaders 25 yard line. A 15 yard penalty, combined with an incomplete pass that would have put the Marvels in scoring position, led to 4th & 15 on the Crusaders 30 yard line. Quarterback Gerard Johnson was sacked trying to escape pressure, and once again a turnover on downs. The Crusaders cruised down the field again, aided by Marvels’ penalties. Philip Juhlin scored on a 15 yard run where he made the Marvels defenders understand why he is a DUAL threat quarterback. 35-14, Carlstad Crusaders.
This is just a summary of the game, but I would be upset at myself if I didn’t add my two cents here. At this point, the game was pretty much over. The Marvels would spend the rest of the game attempting to create big plays and forcing things instead of relying on their game plan. The Crusaders just kept it to business as usual en route to another win in Sweden.
With 35 seconds left in the half, Marvels quarterback Gerard Johnson tried to scramble out of pressure from Alex Haldane and Josh Hill of the Crusaders defensive line. He was unsuccessful and fumbled the ball trying to make a big play. The Crusaders took over the ball on the 29 yard line, with 22 seconds left in the half. After a 24 yard pass to David Nyhlen, Juhlin ran in another score before halftime for his 6th score of the game (4 rushing, 2 passing). 42-14, Crusaders at halftime.
Someone forgot to tell the Marvels that the game was over. Göteborg’s offense came out in the 3rd quarter similar to the beginning of the game, on fire! The first 3 plays each gained a first down as the Marvels marched down the field. On 4th down with 8 yards to gain on the Crusaders 36 yard line, the Marvels did something new, they converted the 4th down and kept their drive alive. The Marvels finished their possession with a 5 yard touchdown run from quarterback Gerard Johnson. 42-21, Crusaders. The Marvels followed this score with an unsuccessful onside kick, which gave the Crusaders more great starting field position. On a 3rd & 2 play, Marvels linebacker Joshua Akena, with the help of Linus Dalerstedt, stopped the Crusaders rushing attempt to bring up another dreaded 4th down. With the game in hand, the Crusaders elected to do a quick punt, the first of the game. The Marvels were not able to take advantage of their first defensive stop, as they ended their possession with a punt as well. On their next possession, the Crusaders converted 3rd & 15 with a 20 yard pass completion to receiver Robin Juhlin. On the next play, Robin Juhlin took an option pitch 20 yards for a Carlstad touchdown. 49-21, Crusaders. The Göteborg Marvels moved the ball down the field, but were not able to convert on third down as Gerard Johnson was sacked by the entire Crusaders team. The Marvels decided to punt the ball on fourth down.
The Crusaders began the last quarter by letting the play clock wind down before using mostly running plays and two back formations. After rushing the ball down the field, runningback Victor Toresson put the exclamation mark on the game with a 2 yard touchdown run. 56-21, Crusaders. The Marvels gave one last epic try, starting their possession at their own 10 yard line. A big 53 yard pass to Almeida Taborda got the Marvels to the Crusaders 29 yard line and in scoring position. Another pass, this time a 20 yarder to Oscar Wahlberg put the Marvels on the 5 yard line. On the next play, with an unusual amount of juking, missed tackles, and running all over the field, Alpha Jalloh ended up with the football and fumbled trying to score a touchdown at the 3 yard line. The Crusaders took a knee to finish the game. Final score 56-21, Carlstad Crusaders.
PERFECT PERVIS VIEW
I’ve stated before that the score never tells the whole story, which is why I prefer to watch games instead of read stat lines. Watching this game made it easy to understand what happened on the field. The offense of the Carlstad Crusaders had their way with the Marvels defense. Despite facing multiple 3rd and 4th down situations, the Crusaders always converted when they really needed to (67%), and then finished drives with touchdowns (100% red zone scoring). The Marvels offense was less successful against the Crusaders defense. Alpha Jalloh put on a great show the entire game, but excitement doesn’t equal points. Gerard Johnson playing quarterback was actually a great situation for the Marvels, since the Crusaders defensive line spent most of the game hanging out with him. Josh Hill and Alex Haldane controlled the line of scrimmage the entire game. Both teams lacked decent secondary play, but I won’t dwell on that.
Overall this game gave both teams something to think about going forward. The Marvels were able to experience exactly what it was like to play one of the best teams in Europe. The Crusaders got an early taste of competition from the Marvels, and will be able to use that experience going forward next week when they travel to Norway to face the Oslo Vikings in the NEFL.
For my full analysis and stats go to my website HERE
For more stories from Perfect Pervis, go to his website.