SFFL action returned to Kočevje with the weather making for perfect conditions. We witnessed some derbies, interesting games and unexpected results. After the first round we have no undefeated teams, but there is one team without a victory! The Tigers W, due to preventive measures regarding COVID-19 unfortunately had their games postponed.
Kranjski Jazbeci (6-1)
Due to the postponed game, Jazbeci have not yet played a full first round. However, in the much anticipated first game of the day against the Knights, they showed that last year’s cup did not fall into the wrong hands. The final score of 34-33 shows the power situation very well, as the two teams were constantly close.
QB Lebar threw for 5 TDs, two of them to Grošelj and two to Štern. On defense, DB Marko Knafelc intercepted one ball and the hard-won victory was here. In the second game of the day, however, the Badgers relented. The game against Novo mesto took too much of their strength and although they took a 12-0 lead against the Tigers, the Domžale side reversed the advantage to came back and win 27-26.
Lebar threw two interceptions against a strong Tigers defense, that knew how to take advantage of and turn the result in their direction. On defense, Klemen Črnivec collected six tackles, which was the most among all players.
OMP Knights Novo mesto (7-1)
Although they are ahead of the Kranj team on SFFL standings, due to the defeat in the mutual game, we place them in second place in our rankings. In Kočevje the Knights experienced déjà-vu from last year’s tournament in Gornja Radgona, when they also had an attack to win, but they used the wrong tactics and, in the end, they failed to score from four attempts on the opponent’s five yards.
WR/C Štravs, who scored two TDs, one PA1 and one PA2, and QB Travnikar, who scored for 5 TDs, proved themselves on offense. In the second game of the day, the anger from the first game was released on Tigers beating them with a score of 45-26. Travnikar passed for 6 TDs this time, and Štravs proved himself on defense and intercepted the opponent’s ball twice.
In the last game of the day, which Novo mesto played against the hosts of the tournament, the game was easily won 27-12 and they were able to give some play time in the second half to the players who did not play much in other games.
ABBA Killer Bees Ljubljana (6-2)
Killer Bees got two routine victories in Kočevje. In the first half of the first game, the Raptors still resisted them, but the experience on the side of the bees tipped the scales in their favor. On offense, Štamcar-Hertl’s connection shone again, scoring 4 TDs and 5 PA1s, while three more TDs were caught by the old fox Marko Novak.
Gomboc proved himself on defense this time, intercepting three of his opponent’s passes. In the battle for the capital against the Frogs, Hertl was an unsolvable riddle for the team in green. He caught 5 TDs and already has 26 this year, which is almost twice as many as the closest follower.
On defense, Groznik and Gomboc intercepted the opponent’s ball, Gomboc even returned it to the opponent’s end zone. Bees will face a tough test in the upcoming tournament – they will face direct opponents for a place in the top 3 Domžale Tigers, the always unfavourable Wild Hogs and the defenders of the title Jazbeci.
Domžale Tigers (5-3)
It was a difficult tournament for Domžale with a huge victory but two defeats. Probably the most surprising result was the defeat against Frogs, who won by two TDs. The most successful QB of the league, Jernej Pavlič, managed to pass for two TDs and threw one interception.
On defense, Miha Hrovat caught one intercepted ball and got five flag-pulls, which was still not enough to win. In the second game of the day, Knights left them no surprise. Pavlič passed for 4 TDs this time, but at the same time threw three interceptions, which kept Tigers away from success.
On defense, Urban Žargi shone with 11 flag-pulls, which puts him in second place in the league, with a total of 37. However, this was not enough to stop the high-flying Novo Mesto. Then came the last game, against Jazbeci. Tigers started slow, but they woke up just in time and spoiled the return home for the players from Kranj. In addition to 4 TDs, Pavlič managed to pass for three more PA1s, the defense locked their end zone on PATs and they were able to celebrate the victory over Jazbeci.
ERREA Frogs Ljubljana (4-3)
Frogs are beside Jazbeci and Tigers W the only team that did not play all the games of the first round. They show better and better performances from tournament to tournament, so our editors believe that in the second round they can surprise any team from the top three spots, just as they surprised Tigers in Kočevje.
To the offense, The Ljubljana team brought a new QB, Karsten Opraus, who proved himself in his first game with two pass TDs. Frogs’ best defensive player, Aljoša Kous, intercepted one ball and made 4 tackles, which was enough to win 28-13. After a surprise in the first game, in the second where they fought for Ljubljana, they failed to stop Hertl and Štamcar, so they return home with a score of 1-1.
On defense, Dejan Godec scored the first pick-six for this newly formed team, and Kous had 5 flag pulls, which puts him in third place in the SFFL with 35. In Planica, they have three games to play, against Tigers W, Raptors and Knights.
LAZAR Wild Hogs Kočevje (3-5)
The team from Kočevje can return from the tournament with their heads held high, as they won against their direct opponents for sixth place, Gladiators and Raptors, and lost against the Knights. In the first game of the day, two players stood out on offense: QB Potočnik proved himself with 4 passed TDs and the returnee after injury, Marko Turk, who caught 2 TDs after changing QB’s position with WR.
On defense, the entire team excelled allowing only scores, especially DB Čoragič, who intercepted one opponent’s pass. In the second game, the hogs sent Raptors back into the underground, beating them 61-14, with QB Potočnik passing for 8 TDs while also running for one.
On defense, Amadej Tadić, who scored three interceptions, and blitzer Tin Pleše with two sacks, which puts him in first place in the SFFL with ten, proved themselves. However, Kočevje’s offense did not work against Novo mesto. They scored only one attacking TD, and one on the defense, that was scored by Žiga Možina, who scored a pick-six and added three more flag-pulls.
Ajdovščina Gladiators (2-6)
Gladiators have quite a few problems this season with the absence of their QBs, as they are forced to try someone new at this position every tournament. In his first game in that position, QB David Dužnik passed for two TDs and one PAT while throwing one interception. Even though Silič collected seven flag pulls on defense, it was not enough to stop Kočevje’s offense and consequently prevent the defeat 26-13.
In the second game against the Raptors came in stronger, this time Dužnik passed for 3 TDs and Silič in addition to 8 flag pulls also intercepted the opponent’s ball, which was enough to win 25-12. Beside the mentioned two, WR/DB Matjaž Šuštaršič also proved himself with two caught TDs and one interception, and WR Renato Ajd with one caught and one rushing TD. In the next round, they will have a chance to prove themselves against Wild Hogs and surprise the Knights.
Underground Raptors (1-7)
The young Kranj team is still looking for the right form and although they can show a very good game in one half, they can completely give up in the second half of the same game. We believe that with experience they will improve, and we are already looking forward to how they will play in the future.
They return from Kočevje with a score of 0-3, which puts them in eighth place. In the direct fight for places 6-8! They lost both to Ajdovščina and Kočevje, as well as to Killer Bees. Against bees DB Kristjan Čebulj proved himself again, collecting 8 flag pulls. He has a total of 40 of them this season, which puts him in first place among all players.
The returnee after injury, DB Alen Alidžanovič, intercepted one ball from the opponent in the game against Wild Hogs and took six flags, while WR/DB Nik Tomc caught 2 TDs, 1 PA2 and took three flags. In their last game of the day, Nik took 8 flags and caught one interception, while Mark Andoljšek caught 2 TDs on offense, which was still not enough to win.
Domžale Tigers W (0-6)
Due to preventive measures, the girls were forced to miss the tournament in Kočevje. Missed games against Jazbeci and Frogs will be played later, on the 10th and 17th of September 2020. In the meantime, the tournament in Planica will be on the agenda, where Tigers W will play once again against Frogs and Jazbeci and against Raptors. We believe the girls will return even stronger and will chase their first SFFL win in the second round.
The third tournament was full of exciting games and unexpected results. We must not forget that we are only in the middle of this year’s league and that we have three more interesting regular season tournaments and the playoffs at the end of the season.
Editors are already looking forward to the next two rounds, when we move to Planica, where we always play in a beautiful ambience between mountains and under ski jumping hills.
Due to the situation we have, the tournaments are closed to the public. We invite you to view our posts, comment, share, etc. and also watch game recordings posted on the SFFL YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCHBd-YaxT0JBFBmBTKk7FYQ).
This is a ranking written by our editors and based on the results of the previous tournaments. What is your opinion? What do you expect from the teams? Comments welcome below ?