The Sofia Bears won their second match for the Balkan League in a distinctive battle hero banner

The Sofia Bears won their second match for the Balkan League in a distinctive battle

The Sofia Bears won their second match for the Balkan League in a distinctive battle


A direct match between Sofia Bears and Kraljevo Royal Crowns for the newly formed Balkan American Football League (BAFL).

On November 3rd, at 3 p.m., at the Akademika Stadium (behind the Pliska Hotel), the teams of the Sofia Bears and the Serbian Kraljevo Royal Crowns faced each other. It was also a direct match for the newly formed Balkan American Football League (BAFL). After losing their first league game to Bucharest Rebels, the Bears needed a must-win. The beginning foreshadowed a very difficult battle for the Bulgarians - against the bears' limited lineup due to injuries of only 20 players, the Serbian team opposed more than 44 players, although some of them were youngsters and helpers from other Serbian teams. However, the bears were given a great incentive by nearly 500 people in the audience - a record for the attendance of an American football game in our country, as well as the dance group VS Dance, which warmed up the atmosphere before and during the game.

In the excellent conditions of the artificial pitch of Akademika and the good weather, the teams had no choice but to give their best. The match started with a bang for the Serbs who, with a long pass from Stefan Duric, managed to score on their first attack. The Bears got off to a slow start but managed to tie the game late in the half with wide receiver Todor Stamenov's touchdown pass after a great pass by quarterback Christian Chan. For the first time in a long time, the Bears were able to strike a balance between their strong defense and the scoring offense in this game. In the second half, the tireless and extremely experienced Serbian team continued to press on offense and again led the score twice, and the Bears again caught up, but only by one touchdown, thanks to one of the longest runs by quarterback Chan - nearly 40 yards run for a touchdown. Thus came the generally strong last quarter of the match. Slightly alarmed by the serious Bulgarian resistance, the Serbian quarterback was unable to stop the strong attack of the bears, which was literally "crushing" and gaining yards thanks to the running backs Alexander Kenanov and Simeon Vasilev and the excellent play on the line. This gave the opportunity for long passes, and after one such wide receiver Atanas Atanasov, after a perfectly executed pass in the corner, brought the difference in the score to only 1 point - 19 to 20.

Despite the Serbs' attempts to respond, the Bears' strong defense did not allow them to take the lead, and on the counterattack with just a minute left in the game, the Bears went ahead for the win and after several first downs through running and successful passes, Christian Chan was able to score on the run by land. In the extra point attempt, Todor Stamenov took a shot, and the ball bounced off, but luckily it hit him again and it completely crushed the visitors, swelling the score to 27 to 20. Royal Crowns had the opportunity to make a last attack, but the now demoralized Serbian team no longer had the strength to score again.


The crowd's triumphant roar drowned out the referee's final signal. The match played under artificial lighting for the first time turned into a celebration for the Bears, who retain real chances to fight for first place in the Balkan League. This match once again showed that the Bulgarians have the strength to fight in group sports, as long as they put their individual biases aside and play as one, as a team, and not for themselves, but for the teammate next to them. 03 November 2013, Sofia, Akademik Stadium, BAFL: Sofia Bears 27 : 20 Kraljevo Royal Crowns /Serbia/ Stefan Duric TD- 6 /0:6/, Ivan Zivanovich PAT- 1 /0:7/, Todor Stamenov TD- 6 /6:7/, Todor Stamenov PAT- 1 /7:7/, Nemanja Gajovich TD-6 / 7:13/, Christian Chan TD-6 /13:13/, Stefan Duric TD- 6 /13:19/, Ivan Zivanovic /13:20/, Atanas Atanasov TD-6 /19:20/, Christian Chan TD- 6 /25:20/, Todor Stamenov TPC- 2 /27:20/ Video: BNT Photos: VS Dance, Hristo Petrov, Yana Blazheva, Yavor Yanakiev