Battle of Northern Conference heavyweights pits Wroclaw’s new QB against fearsome Hamburg pass rush

It’s a new week for the Wroclaw Panthers, with a new quarterback at the helm.

After losing star offseason acquisition Justice Hansen to a season-ending injury and battling through last week’s blowout loss to the Frankfurt Galaxy with receiver Bartosz Dziedzic under center, the Panthers have brought in import Slade Jarman.

A former SIAC Player of the Year during his time at Fort Valley State, the six-foot-four, 220-pound pivot will have no shortage of weapons to throw to in a receiving corps that features speedster Malik Stanley, Przemyslaw Banat and Jakub Mazan. It seems an embarrassment of riches for a new quarterback, but Sloman will need all to step up to the plate as he makes his European debut against one of the continent’s best defenses in the Hamburg Sea Devils.

Former NFL pass rusher Kasim Edebali looks like he has found the fountain of youth and currently leads the ELF with five sacks. Nelson Imasuen, Evans Yeboah and Berend Grube are no slouches in that department either, while Hamburg sports a ball hawking secondary that includes the likes of Daniel Brown Jr., Justin Rogers, and Kevin Fortes — who’s coming off a two-interception performance against the Leipzig Kings a week ago.

The good news for the Panthers is that they are unlikely to need to win in a shootout, as the Hamburg passing offense has struggled with German youngster Salieu Ceesay at the helm despite the presence of dynamic playmakers Jean Constant and Lamar Jordan II. The bad news is they’ll be forced to shut the door on the league’s most physical rushing attack, as British tailback Glen Toonga has powered his way to a league-leading 445 yards and five touchdowns behind the Seas Devils’ downhill offensive line.

The continued absence of import linebacker William Lloyd will hurt their chances in that area, but Wroclaw will rely on former CFL Global standout Maxime Rouyer and homegrown backer Hubert Ogrodowczyk to fill the holes. Safeties Lars Steffen and Goran Zec won’t shy away from run support either and new import corner Jamaal White should take away any hope of big plays down field for Hamburg.

With two very different offensive styles on display, this clash between German powerhouse and Polish dynasty is sure to be entertaining. With both teams sitting at 2-1 on the season, it could have major ramifications as well, with the winner seizing sole control of first place in the ELF’s Northern Conference.

J.C. Abbott is a student at the University of British Columbia and amateur football coach in Vancouver, Canada. A CFL writer for 3DownNation, his love of travel has been the root of his fascination with the global game.