The Eidsvoll 1814s opened their 2014 season with a road trip to Frogner Stadium and a match up against their old rivals, the Oslo Vikings.
Most predictions throughout Norway were for a Viking victory, but the pre-season buzz quickly faded as Eidsvoll dominated the game in every phase and recorded a 45-7 victory to open the season.
Eidsvoll took the opening kickoff and marched 75 yards before Kristin James scored the first of his four touchdowns from 12 yards out. Martin Haugen’s leaping interception gave the ball back to the 1814s, who extended their lead to 9-0 on Kjell Lorentzens 36 yard FG. On the ensuing kickoff, the Eidsvoll special teams made their mark by recovering a short kickoff in Oslo territory. All eyes were on Kristin James, but Eidsvoll began to show some new balance in the attack as a reverse to Arne August Skovseth Søgaard scored from 22 yards out and netted the 1814s a 16-0 lead.
Oslo’s offense put together a nice drive and scored on a short TD pass to get back in the game at 16-7. From there, Eidsvoll scored two quick touchdowns, the first on a 26-yard run by Kristin James, who also punched in the 2-pt conversion. From there, Riley Bowen got in on the scoring with an interception that he returned 41 yards for a touchdown. Eidsvoll took a 31-7 lead into the locker room.
Any hopes of a Viking comeback were quickly dashed at the start of the 3rd quarter. A crushing hit by Brian Moro led to a Viking fumble and Kristin James raced 45 yards on the next play to push the lead to 38-7. James’ 4th TD of the game made the score 45-7. Eidsvoll began to give all their players an opportunity to get on the field in the 4th quarter and neither team was able to score.
Kristin James showed no drop-off from his 2013 season with 20 carries for 214 yards and 4 TD’s. However, Eidsvoll showed they have several weapons to defend. Geir Kristian Hoel was a force in all phases of the offense, as he carried the ball 11 times for 43 yards and caught 6 passes for 68 yards. Arne August Skovseth Søgaard carried 5 times for 61 yards and a TD, and had a catch nullified by a penalty.
Above all, Eivind Brekke, who was not given much respect coming into the game, showed his improvement by completing 7 of his 8 pass attempts for 78 yards. The players who did not record any stats but had a huge impact on the game was the Eidsvoll offensive line, who consistently opened holes for the running game.
The Eidsvoll defense picked up right where it left off, yielding just 7 points and producing 5 turnovers. In addition to the interceptions recorded by Bowen and Haugen, Thomas Jansrud, playing his first football game of his life, intercepted an errant Viking pass to mark his start in the sport.
The 1814s open their home campaign on Sunday May 4th against the Nidaros Domers. The last time these two teams met, the 1814s pulled a nail-biting 12-10 victory to earn a spot in the 2013 Norwegian final. The Domers return one of Europe’s top quarterbacks in Dustin Hawke and will be looking for revenge. Fans of football are invited to take in what promises to be an exciting matchup!
Mvh Lars Erik Flesvig