Patiala, 26th December 2015: The 2nd American Tackle Football All India Inter University Championship under the aegis of Elite Football League of India-University (EFLIU) and Association of Indian Universities (AIU) concluded a short while ago with hosts Punjabi University, Patiala triumphing in memorable fashion.

Punjabi University caps off magical run with win in finale

Proud Champions Punjabi University, Patiala. All images by Adarsh Rao.

Proud Champions Punjabi University, Patiala. All images by Adarsh Rao.

The finale of the All India Inter University Tackle Football Championship was the exciting matchup between rival Punjab teams Chandigarh University, Mohali (CU) and Punjabi University, Patiala (PUP). The match began with no clear favourites since both teams had had dominant runs throughout the tournament. Both teams were defensive juggernauts and had not allowed a single touchdown by any team they played against. Both teams also had a star on the offensive end. CU’s quarterback Gurvinder had been instrumental in his team’s success with his accurate long passes. PUP’s running back Chawla was responsible for getting most of his team’s touchdowns by virtue of his speed and quickness.

The teams looked pumped up for the match during warm up, anxious to get on the field. Chandigarh University had the upper hand in the early going thanks to pinpoint from their quarterback which enabled them to gain yards easily. Chandigarh was also playing exactly the way they wanted on the defensive end, limiting PUP’s advances and forcing incomplete passes. They scored the first touchdown of the day thanks to a brilliant interception of a lazy pass by Punjabi University. Chandigarh University held a one touchdown lead going into halftime. But this touchdown served as a wakeup call for the home team.

#21 Punjabi University's MVP Chawla (yellow) in action against Chandigarh University in the finals

#21 Punjabi University’s MVP Chawla (yellow) in action against Chandigarh University in the finals.

Fueled by the screams of the vast crowd that had gathered to watch, PUP started turning the tide. They stepped up their offense, running most plays for their star running back Chawla and he did not disappoint. He scored a touchdown near the end of the 3rd quarter and PUP converted on the field goal to gain a slim 1 point lead. At this point Chawla decided to take matters into his own hands. He scored another touchdown at the start of the 4th giving his team a seemingly insurmountable 8 point lead with about 6 minutes to go. But Chandigarh refused to quit. They had now switched to desperation mode and were determined to give it their all. In the dying moment of the game, Chandigarh was only 10 yards away from the end zone, but on the 4th down. A touchdown and a 2 point conversion would have tied things up, but it was not to be. The defensive unit of PUP persevered and secured a deflection, leading to an incomplete pass just as the buzzer sounded, to win the game. The celebration was a sight to behold with the entire team running on to the field and the crowd roaring in triumph.

After the game, PUP’s star running back Chawla had this to say – “I knew we were the better team, even when we were trailing. We dug deep and got the win.”

(Right) #21 Chawla, the MVP of the tournament holding the trophy with his teammates.

(Right) #21 Chawla, the MVP of the tournament holding the trophy with his teammates.

The players were awarded the trophy and medals by Chief Guest Prem Singh Chandumejra, Member of Parliament. Chawla and Gurvinder from the winning teams shared Most Valuable Player (MVP) honours and will get scholarships from ELFI.

MD University wins bronze

The 3rd place match took place between Osmania University, Hyderabad (OU) and MD University Rohtak (MDU). Defense dominated and most of the game was played around the 50 yard line, with neither team being able to get near the opponent’s endzone. MD University, Rohtak got the first breakthrough with a brilliant play but Osmania responded almost immediately to level the game. It was MDU however, that got the last laugh, as they scored 2 more touchdowns to win the game, and the bronze medal.

Final Day Results

  1. Punjabi University Patiala (Chawla 2 TD) bt. Chandigarh University, Mohali (Ganshyam 1 TD) 14-6
  2. MD University, Rohtak Osmania University, Hyderabad 22-0

About the Elite Football League of India University (EFLIU)

Now in its 2nd edition of American Tackle Football, select universities are competing in an All India Inter University American Football Championship. Going by the name of the ‘Elite Bowl 2015’, the tournament is being organized by the Elite Football League of India and Association of Indian Universities, along with hosts, Punjabi University, Patiala.

The tournament was held between 23-26 December 2015 and had a direct knockout structure i.e. winning teams advanced to the next round and losing teams get eliminated. This was the 2nd edition of the tournament and has been organized by the Directorate of Sports, Punjabi University; under the aegis of Elite Football League of India-University (EFLIU) and Association of Indian Universities (AIU).

The tournament was played on grounds specially designed for American Football, complete with line-marking and goal posts. Unlike the inaugural edition, which witnessed both flag football and tackle football, in this second edition only Tackle football will be played in full American Football protective gear.

List of Participating Teams

  1. Jain University,Bangalore
  2. Bangalore University
  3. Lovely Professional University, Jalandhar
  4. Jaipur National University
  5. Kolkata University
  6. Poornima University, Jaipur
  7. MD University, Rohtak
  8. JECRC University, Jaipur
  9. Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar
  10. Chandigarh University
  11. Osmania University, Hyderabad
  12. Punjabi University, Patiala

About Association of Indian Universities (AIU)

The idea of bringing together all the universities on a common platform emerged from the deliberations of a Conference of the Vice Chancellors of Universities convened by Lord Reading, the then Viceroy of India at Shimla in 1924. The Inter-University Board (IUB) of India was subsequently formed on March 23, 1925, with the view of promoting university activities, especially by way of sharing information and co-operation in the field of education, culture, sports and allied areas. The Inter-University Board acquired a legal status with its registration in 1967 as a Society under the Societies Registration Act, 1860. In 1973, it assumed its present name: The Association of Indian Universities (AIU). The membership includes traditional universities, open universities, professional universities, Institutes of National Importance and deemed-to-be universities. In addition, there is a provision of granting of Associate Membership to universities of neighbouring countries.

Kabir Saxena
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