#14 Cologne Falcons Down #9 Berlin Adler; EuroBowl Champs Miss GFL Playoffs

Berlin Adler misses German Playoffs for the first time since 2007; Cologne advances

 

The Berlin Adler lost 26-23 to the Cologne Falcons in dramatic fashion. Hitchcock couldn’t have written a better screenplay for the fight for the last remaining playoff spot in the German Football League.

This year’s season felt like a roller coaster ride for the team from Berlin. With an outstanding start to the year, they won their first 3 games with 40+ points and defeated the current #1 Braunschweig Lions, one of Europe’s strongest teams in the Euro Bowl, the Adler started their free fall losing 4 games in a row and releasing their head coach Kim Kuci in late July.

Last week’s win against the Dresden Monarchs showed some positive sparks and revived playoff hopes. But it all came down to Sunday’s matchup against Cologne.

Cologne

In the first half both offenses operated at eye-level. Each team scored on their opening drive. Depleted by season-ending injuries of their top receivers Conrad Meadows and Daniel Vöhringer the Adler had to rely on other weapons in their pass happy offense. Running back Cedric Macia scored Berlin’s first touchdown on his way to a 100 yard game. Canadian wide receiver Glenn MacKay caught a 4 yard pass from Adler quarterback Darius Outlaw for a 14-7 lead.

Whenever Berlin scored, Cologne had an answer and kept the game open with big plays. Cologne quarterback Robert Demers threw passes to Philip Schmitz and Jannik Leyendecker to even the score. Shortly before halftime, the Adler’s Danish kicker Phillip Andersen completed a 30 yard field goal for a slight 17-14 lead.

Cologne Falcons v. Berlin Adler

The third quarter started with a bang. A deep pass from Demers to Leyendecker over the left side led to a 69 yard touchdown and the lead change. Momentum shifted when Adler quarterback Darius Outlaw was intercepted twice in the second half. One of those interceptions was turned into a field goal and the Falcons extended their lead to 24-17.

Trailing by 7, the Adler still had a chance to grab a tie, which would have been enough to reach the last playoff spot and put an end to the Falcons dreams. With 6:45 minutes to go, Outlaw started his final drive from his own 27 yard line. After 11 plays the Berlin offense stood at the Falcons 7 yard line and Outlaw himself took care of the last yards running into the end-zone.

2,000 spectators at Berlin’s Jahn stadium went wild, 24-23, with 2 minutes left to play. The only thing missing was the obligatory PAT. But the snap went over the holder’s head and Cologne’s cornerback Niko Lester recovered the ball and went the distance giving the Falcons what turned out to be the final score,  26-23.

Berlin dominated the game statistically, recording more first downs (Adler 21, Falcons 14), total yards (451, 376) and possession of the ball (26:29,  21:31), but the four turnovers that resulted in 12 opposing points were too costly.

Next Sunday the Adler will finish their season with the final home game against the winless Düsseldorf Panther.

In two weeks the GFL playoffs kick off, when the Cologne Falcons have to travel south to the Stuttgart Scorpions.

The German Bowl will be played on October 11th in Berlin’s Jahn Stadium.

Scoreboard

1st quarter
07:00   11yd Rushing TD Macia, PAT Andersen
07:07   26yd Passing TD Demers to Schmitz, PAT Stentzel
14:07   4yd Passing TD Outlaw to MacKay, PAT Andersen
2nd quarter
14:14   35yd Passing TD Demers to Leyendecker, PAT Stentzel
17:14   30yd FG Andersen
3rd quarter
17:21   69yd Passing TD Demers to Leyendecker, PAT Stentzel
17:24   23yd FG Stentzel
4th quarter
23:24   7yd Rushing-TD Outlaw
23:26   PAT-Return Lester

Björn Hesse
Björn Hesse is a contributor writer from Berlin, Germany. Having been a Frankfurt Galaxy fan since childhood, he played linebacker for the Leipzig Lions in Germany’s third league (Regionalliga-Ost) from 2003 to 2008. He worked as a PR intern for the Galaxy during the 2006 season when the team won its fourth and final World Bowl title in Düsseldorf against the Amsterdam Admirals. Since 2014, Björn has worked for the Berlin Adler – the reigning Euro Bowl champions – in PR and Social Media Marketing. He currently writes about the Berlin Adler and the Indianapolis Colts for the German magazine HUDDLE and www.football-aktuell.de and contributes to American Football International. You can reach him via his Twitter handle.
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