Today it was all or nothing for both Sweden and Finland since they both had one win each and the winner of this game would get the bronze medal in this first ever World University Championship.
In the prior Championship games in Uppsala the loosing team hadn’t scored a single point but much as anticipated this would be the first game with no certain winner before the game even started.
Team Finland started the game on offense and put up a long drive that started deep within their own territory. Sweden played very aggressive on defense right from the start and when Finland only had four yards to go to the end zone #45 Henrik Nilsson forced a fumble and Sweden took over on offense.
– ”Of course we where frustrated with that but it was only the first drive. The thing that we took with us from that drive was that we saw that we could advance the ball on Sweden, both on the ground and trough the air.” Said Finland’s HC Tero Virtanen on the press conference after the game.
Both teams relied on there running game in the beginning of the game but with only 47 seconds left of the first quarter #81 in Sweden, Jonathan Wahlgren, caught a 47y pass for a touchdown and Sweden took the lead with 0-7. On the following drive team Finland ran the ball as effectively as they did in the opening drive, with the big difference that this one ended in a rushing touchdown by #32 Henri Routila. The following kick was unfortunately kicked wide of the posts and team Sweden still had the lead with 6-7 with 8:11 left in the second quarter.
On the following kick off #6 in Sweden, Hampus Hellermark, was ejected from the game on a targeting penalty that accrued after the ball was blown dead due to a kick out of bounds.
Even though #9 Fabian Söderberg ran in team Sweden’s next touchdown it was once again a 45 yard catch by #81 Jonathan Wahlgren that put them in scoring position. With 3:42 left in the second quarter Sweden extended their lead to 6-14.
Since Finland’s first drive took about eight minutes of the clock there wasn't as much time left as team Sweden would have hoped for in the end and the first half ended with a run play by QB #9 Fabian Söderberg. The field goal unit lined up shortly after, but the time had run out on the previous play.
Sweden began the second half much like they ended the first on, by running the ball a lot, but this time with #39 Johannes Nilsson instead of #2 Victor Toresson. When Sweden came closer to the end zone Victor Toresson came back on to the field and could easily make a one yard rushing touch down and put Sweden up by 6-21 with 7:46 left in the third quarter.
With 5:01 left in the third quarter Sweden’s #20, linebacker Joshua Akena, blocked a punt on Finlands own 20 yard line and #84 Erik Bahri recovers it. Only two plays later running back Toresson received a pass from Fabian Söderberg and team Sweden extends their lead to 6-28.
Just like in the beginning of the game Finland put together a good drive on offense and made their way all the way down to Sweden’s ten yard line, but there Finland had to turn the ball over on downs. With a 6-28 lead HC Leo Billgren chose to give back up quarterback #10 Joakim Nilsson some playing time, unfortunately his first drive ended in a punt. And even though Finland only had a short distance to go they once again failed to ge the ball in to the end zone.
In the last five minutes of the game neither of the teams made any extra effort to put more points on the board.
– ”With about five minutes left of the game I took of my sweater and jacket and gave my cellphone to the offensive coordinator, and much as I anticipated I got the traditional Gatorade shower. That was about that time I knew that we had won the bronze medal.” Said Sweden’s HC Leo Billgren on the press conference after the game.
With a final score of 6-28 team Sweden won the game and with that also the bronze medal.
MVP Finland: WR #11 Markus Häkli. He had 5 receptions for a total of 91 yards and his longest receptions was for 27 yards.
MVP Sweden: QB #9 Fabian Söderberg. He had a total of 170 passing yards on 12 completed passes. He also rushed for 21 yards and had a 12 yard reception.