Braunschweig New Yorker Lions capture 6th straight German Football League North title

The Braunschweig New Yorker Lions had to settle for a 28-28 tie Sunday at Braunschweig’s Eintracht Stadium against the Dresden Monarchs but it was enough to secure first place in the German Football League North and home field advantage throughout the GFL playoffs.

With a crowd of 4,500 looking on, the Lions took a 28-21 halftime lead and then hung on in the second half to secure the win. The tie was the only result that left Braunschweig and Dresden in first and second place in the GFL North. Had either team lost they would have fallen to third, allowing the Berlin Rebels to move up into second after their resounding 38-0 win over the Hildesheim Invaders.

Braunschweig had beaten Dresden 44-24 earlier in the season but were facing a surging Monarchs team on a five-game winning streak while the Lions had proven their vulnerability with a loss two weeks ago to the Berlin Rebels.

Lions quarterback Jadrian Clark threw touchdown passes to Nicolai Schumann and Jan Hilgenfeldt while running backs Chris McClendon (game MVP) and David McCants each scored.

For Dresden, Trenton Norvell scored twice himself and threw touchdown passes to Mike Schallo and the league’s top receiver, Mitchell Paige.

McClendon opened the scoring for Braunschweig, finding a seam and racing 22 yards for the game’s first touchdown.

Dresden responded with Norvell marching his team down to the 13 yard line in five plays and on the next play finding Schallo to tie the game at 7-7.

The first quarter ended with Clark connecting with his favorite receiver of late, Schumann, who rumbled 35 yards down the middle of the field to retake the lead for the Lions, 14-7.

Dresden countered on the opening drive of the second quarter with Norvell carrying the ball in from the nine yard line to tie the game at 14-14.

McCants was brilliant on the ensuing Braunscheig possession, helping march the ball down to Dresden’s two-yard line. He punched it in on the next play to give the Lions the lead again, 21-14.

Norvell responded immediately hitting Paige in stride on a 25 yard touchdown pass to tie the game up again, 21-21, still in the second quarter.

Then with little time remaining in the first half, Clark engineered a beautiful drive, taking the Lions down to the Dresden 10 yard line with McClendon carrying much of the load. Clark then found Hilgenfeldt in the end zone with eight seconds left to give the Lions a 28-21 lead going into the halftime break.

Both defenses rose up in the second half with Dresden stopping a fourth down attempt on their 42 yard line and then striking back. Running back Glen Toonga broke free on the next play for a 57 yard run down to the one yard line. Then Norvell called his own number to tie the game at 28-28.

Neither offense could find the end zone after that but both had chances to win on field goals. First Monarchs kicker Florian Finke missed a 40 yard field goal early in the fourth quarter and then usually reliable Lions kicker Tobias Goebel saw his 22 yard field goal attempt blocked with 19 seconds on the clock.

Dresden chose to take a knee to end the game and thus secure home field advantage in the German Football League quarterfinals.

Braunschweig will now face the fourth place team in the GFL South, the Munich Cowboys while the Monarchs will take on the Allgäu Comets who finished third. Both those quarterfinal games are scheduled for September 22.

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