EJC 2008 heading to the final weekend

Category: - published 2008-07-18 by

There are only four more games to be played under the Spanish sun in the European Junior Championships in Sevilla: On Sunday, it is the big game for the European Championship between Sweden and Germany, and the bronze medal game between France and biggest surprise of the tournament Denmark.
Saturday Spain and Finland play for the seventh place, and Austria and Russia for the fifth.

Playing for the gold medals are the two undefeated teams in the tournament. Sweden is playing for its first European Junior Championship, whereas the Germans try to improve from three consecutive losses in the final game.

The biggest and most physical team in the tournament, Germany brings its strong running game to the final. Responsibility has been shared in the German backfield, but the main man in the deciding 7-0 victory over Austria was running back Malek Said who rushed for 115 yards. The reliance on the running game can be seen in the passing statistics, as quarterback Robert Demers is 10 of 30 for three touchdowns and three interceptions in three games.
The winner of group B, Germany beat Finland 34-7, Denmark 20-7 and Austria 7-0 on their way to the final.

Sweden’s opponents in group A were Russia (27-0), Spain (40-0) and France (20-13).
Swedish running back Hampus Hellermark has rushed for 404 yards and four touchdowns in three games. Quarterback Anders Hermodsson brings a running threat in addition to efficient passing. He is 29 of 48 with five touchdowns and only one interception in the group phase of the tournament.

In the bronze medal game, there is more at stake than just the third place in tournament. As the top three of the EJC qualify for next year’s World Cup, Denmark and France are also playing for the ticket to Canton, Ohio, next year. Denmark made it to the bronze medal game over a three-way tie with Finland and Austria. It is the first time in top four for the Danes. The defending champion France lost to Sweden in their final game in group A and have to settle for playing for the third place.

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