Berlin Thunder run riot in win over Istanbul Rams

The Berlin Thunder have secured their first win of the European League of Football (ELF) season after a landslide 41-7 victory over the Istanbul Rams.

After suffering through a 43-18 thumping at the hands of the Hamburg Sea Devils last week, the Thunder needed a fast rebound. And this is exactly what they got. The Thunder’s defensive shutout allowed them to play the type of football they were looking for last week; a heavy dose of down-hill runner Jocques Crawford. Crawford was mostly contained in the first quarter but began to wear on the Rams defense towards the end of the half and rack up the yardage, despite the valiant effort of Rams’ linebacker Zachery Blair.

Thunder quarterback Joe Germinerio also began slowly but soon found his rhythm, showing the rest of ELF why he was one of the German Football League’s top passers last year. Germinerio finished the game with 227 yards passing and two touchdowns.

By halftime, the game was out of Istanbul’s reach as they trailed 20-0. The Rams defense performed admirably, but with an offense averaging just 2.1 yards per play, there was little in the way of opposition as the Thunder continued to run the score up.

Following a 40-38 shootout-loss to the Cologne Centurions in week 1, the Rams were one of the league’s surprise contenders. They showed an ability to make plays on both sides of the ball and execute on special teams (even without a star-studded roster).

This weekend however, Rams fans saw a team who appeared out of their depth. Offensively, Istanbul put up just 61 yards through the air and 83 yards rushing. This, unsurprisingly, led to 0 points offensively and often gave Berlin excellent field position.

The single Istanbul score came early during one of Berlin’s first punts of the game. Istanbul’s safety, Chad Wolrond, came screaming off the edge and caught the ball straight off the punter’s foot in one of the most bizarre looking plays in ELF this year. Walrond then proceeded to run into the endzone for the Rams’ only score of the game.

This is where praise for the Rams’ offense stops. Miscommunication, dropped balls and poor blocking led to an entire game of three and outs. After this performance, head coach Val Gunn will surely be asking his staff if they’ve made the right personnel decisions.


Daniel Mackenzie is a Press Association graduate who works in journalism and communications in the third sector. Daniel began playing football for the London Warriors and Team Great Britain and has since played across Europe.