Plenty of things make the Dukes‘ season similar to the previous one — late season collapse, playing away in the playoffs and an injury to their starting quarterback, but there’s one thing that’s different — this time, they might have a new guy leading the way.

Like last year, Čaba Juhas went down with an injury that prevented him from playing during the fall season, but he came back for the semifinal game in Budapest. Every time he was away from the field, the Dukes turned to their receiver and backup quarterback Rastko Jokić, who played surprisingly well considering he was out of position. This year, he might get chance in the big game.

Though their coach, Predrag Nikolić, wouldn’t definitely say that Juhas won’t be the on team that will face the Gladiators Sunday in Oberwart, there’s at least a chance he might not.

‚All of us on the team know, that a very difficult game is before us. We know they’re a lot better than they were; they play good football. I think we’ll have to give our best, because it’s the most important game, and the opponent is one of the tougher ones. They have a good offense — we’re going there to compete with them, and I think offense versus offense will decide the game”, says Jokić.

The Gladiators are 9-1 for the year, making it clear they are a better team than last year, and their win in Budapest two weeks before the end of the season points out that this could really be their year. But, the quarterback, or receiver, or at times a tight end during his time with the Dukes could only conclude so like the rest of us.

With their game in September being cancelled because of travel problems for the Dukes, both teams know about the other one only what they remember from last year, and what they saw on game video this year. Not only that, but the Gladiators were to participate in both games that were cancelled this year — the other one against the Vukovi — making them the least known opponent for the South’s playoff teams.

‚Had we played against them, they would be more familiar to us. I can’t say that we don’t know them at all, but I look at the new players they have and we don’t know much about them. It would be better that we had played, so it’s not an ideal situation, but how it is for us, it is for them.”

His finest game last year was against the same team that’s now in front of the Dukes again. With Juhas out, many doubted the Dukes could still be a factor, but Jokić shined – a touchdown pass, three touchdown runs and a total of 209 yards rushing, enough for second place on the all-time single game rushing list.

Whatever happens Sunday after 3PM in Oberwart, Jokić says he’d like a shot at the quarterback position.

‚Last year I made a move there, at first because of a need, since we didn’t have a backup quarterback”, he says. ‚Now, that’s my goal. That is what I want.” 

CEFL Playoff
 GLA vs. DUK 
12. Oktober 08 | 15:00
Inform-Stadion | Oberwart 
Benachrichtige mich bei
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments