Photo courtesy of Marcin Warpechowski
Story courtesy of Raymond Rolak
WARSAW, Poland -- The title contest did not disappoint as the Gdynia Seahawks outlasted the Warsaw Eagles 52-37, in an offensive shootout for the NAC Super-Final VII championship. All 23,000 available tickets were sold for the Polish League of American Football (PLFA) title game at the National Stadium. PLFA (Polska Liga Futbolu Amerykanskiego)
“This is a key moment in the development of football on our continent,” said Tommy Wiking, president of the International Federation of American Football (IFAF). “In 10 years we will all remember this game as a breakthrough.” The game was broadcast live throughout Poland on two different networks, and a replay is set to be shown all across Europe.
Kevin Lynch led Warsaw to a touchdown just before the break and to another one on the opening drive of the second half to pull his team to within 32-30. “Our biggest problem was that we made too many mistakes,” explained Eagles head coach Phillip Dillon. “We had the right attitude, however, and I thank my players for fighting to the final whistle”.
The Seahawks offense continued to pound away, with the knockout blow, a 58-yard touchdown run by McMahon in the fourth quarter. Sebastian Krzysztofek scored touchdown runs of 16 and 38 yards on the next two Gdynia drives. Krysztofek finished with 139 yards of total offense for Gdynia.
Former NFL quarterback Ron Jaworski presented the MVP Award to McMahon postgame.
Commissioner Jedrzej Steszewski, said, “Playing our championship in the National Stadium has really elevated the game.” The American custom of tailgating before the event was a large part of the attraction. Overall, the 2012 PLFA season had 38 teams competing in four divisions, Topliga, PLFA I, PLFA II and PLFA 8.
American football is also played in a number of European countries including Germany, Austria and in the Czech Republic. Teams can also be found in Denmark, France, Finland, Norway, Switzerland Sweden, Spain and the United Kingdom.