Game Report
Date: 24 Mar 2012
Home: Warsaw Eagles - 27
Away: Poznan Kozly - 0

Eagles open Topliga season with 27-0 victory over Kozly

The Warsaw Eagles overcame some early mistakes and used stout defense to overcome Kozly Poznan in the PLFA Topliga season opener on Saturday afternoon, coming away with a 27-0 victory in front of about a thousand fans at OSiR Bemowo. The Eagles improved to 6-0 all-time against Kozly, beating them in the season opener for the second consecutive year.

Warsaw's offense was out-of-synch for most of the game, a fact that was evident on the opening drive. The Eagles turned the ball over in the red zone after a nice pass from new quarterback Kevin Lynch to Grzegorz Janiak had put them into scoring position. However, the defense came to their rescue later in the quarter when Rafal Brzozowski picked up a Kozly fumble and ran 25 yards to the end zone for the game's opening score.

If the Eagle offense was out-of-synch, the Kozly offense was worse. Despite some decent runs, Poznan's one-dimensional rushing attack was never able to put together a serious scoring threat. The final score line might have been much worse for Kozly, in fact, if not for Eagle mistakes. Kozly's defense played relatively well, as they have been traditionally known to do, but the offense was never able to keep them off the field for long enough to thwart the Warsaw attack.

The Eagles scored ten points in the second quarter, extending their halftime lead to 17-0. Kamil Krekora scored on an 11-yard run after Kozly failed to convert on fourth down, and Warsaw's new American special teams weapon, Brett Petticord, booted a 43-yard field goal just before the half. Petticord was perfect on the day, kicking two field goals and three extra points.

No one scored in the third quarter, and Warsaw finally put the game away early in the fourth when Lynch threw his first touchdown as an Eagle, a 15-yard strike to Janiak. Poznan finally seemed to have their first points of the young season in the final minute, but an apparent 60-yard touchdown was disallowed when the official on the Kozly sideline ruled that the runner had stepped out of bounds.

Despite the relatively easy win for Warsaw, the early season rust was apparent for both teams. “We've always been a slow-starting team,” commented Eagles president Roman Iwanski. It may take a few games for Warsaw's new players to fully function as a unit, and the same can be said for the team from Poznan, which was formed through an off-season merger of the old Kozly team and the KFA Fireballs (who played last season in the PLFA II division).

The Eagles will face a tougher task next week, taking to the road to face their old rivals, the Gdynia Seahawks, on March 31, at the National Rugby Stadium in Gdynia. Poznan will look for their first win of the season a day later in Krakow, where they will take on the Dom-Bud Krakow Tigers.

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