Poland’s national American football team lost its first game under standard rules (they had played Sweden in February in an arena football game), but nevertheless showed plenty of promise.
The Netherlands beat Poland 37-14
Courrtesy of Marcin Warpechowski/PZFA
Disaster struck early for the Polish team, as Tomasz Dziedzic fumbled on the return of the initial kickoff, giving Dutch quarterback Richard Bouthoom a short field to work with. He capitalized two minutes later with a short touchdown pass to Tom van Duijn.
Poland tried both Michał Kołek and Damian Kołpak at quarterback in the first half, but neither was able to get much going on offense. Both of the first two drives, each with a different quarterback at the helm, lasted only three plays. The first half ended in a 19-0 result for the Dutch.
The second half began even worse for Poland than the first, as they quickly lost 12 consecutive points, and the visiting team gained a big 31-0 lead.
The 2,900-strong crowd finally came to life on the extra point attempt, which was blocked by the Polish defense. Karol Mogielnicki picked up the ball after a mad scramble, and was able to take it 90 yards to get two points on the board for the home team. This brought some much-needed hope for the Polish team, as they finally won the fourth quarter of the game (12-6). The game ended in 37-14 win by the Netherlands.
Despite the final scoreline, the Polish team members can hold their heads high after a performance that showed they belong on the same field as some of the more experienced players from other European countries. “Our team has the potential,” said Jędrzej Stęszewski, president of the Polish American Football League, “but we have a lot of work to do.”
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