The Dresden Monarchs and Braunschweig New Yorker Lions gave the packed crowd at Heinz-Steyer Stadium in Dresden, Germany their money’s worth and more Saturday in battling to a 38-38 tie in sweltering 90 degree (30 degree celsius) heat.
Although both offenses were playing in high gear, the game was plagued by penalties, dropped balls and missed tackles with the heat no doubt being the biggest factor.
Dresden quarterback Brandon Connette, leading Germany’s top offense, threw five touchdown passes, three to Sebastian Sagne and two to Micky Kyei, the last one with less than a minute on the clock to preserve the tie. Florian Finke added a 41 yard field goal.
Lions signal caller, Casey Therriault, in his first game back in Germany since winning the 2015 German Bowl with Braunschweig, ran for three touchdowns and threw a scoring pass to Niklas Römer. David McCants scored Braunschweig’s other touchdown. Tobias Goebel kicked a field goal and all five PATs to round out the scoring for the Lions.
The game was as good as advertised with neither team gaining much momentum. Like two heavyweights trading blows, the Monarchs and Lions matched each other score for score with six lead changes.
Connette opened the scoring for Dresden with a 16 yard touchdown pass to Kyei but a missed PAT, which would prove costly, gave them only a 6-0 lead. Therriault, not looking rusty at all despite the layoff, countered finding Römer for a 65 pass and run.
Then Therriault capped another drive carrying the ball in from two yards out to extend the lead to 14-6 in favor of Braunschweig. Connette responded moving his team to within field goal range and Finke made good from the 41 yard line closing the gap to 14-9.
Behind the running of Donald Russell and pass catching of Sagne, Dresden scored again taking its first lead 16-14 midway through the second quarter. Again, the lead would change hands as Therriault engineered another masterful drive scoring himself from the two to retake the lead 21-16.
Not to be outdone, Connette found Sagne again tossing a 43 yard touchdown pass to grab a 23-21 halftime lead. Braunschweig’s defense proved their worth late in the half with a goal line stand, keeping Dresden from scoring on four attempts from the two yard line.
McCants opened the scoring in the second half following another outstanding Braunschweig drive scampering in from the four yard line to regain the lead 28-23.
The Lions could not rejoice for long though as Connette connected with Kyei on a 27 yard touchdown pass giving Dresden the lead 30-28.
Therriault moved his team into field goal range and Goebel made no mistake kicking a 30 yard field goal to give the Lions back the lead 31-30.
Then Braunschweig’s defense corralled Connette twice on the ensuing drive, finally forcing the ball back into Therriault’s hands. The Lions quarterback moved his team downfield again and carried the ball in himself to increase the lead to 38-30.
Both defenses rose up but with three minutes left, Connette again found Kyei this time from the 10 yard line to even the score a 38-38.
The final two minutes of the game were as wild as the first 46 minutes but did not produce any scoring. Goebel had a chance to win the game for Braunschweig with six seconds remaining, but his 47 yard field goal attempt went wide to the delight of the Dresden fans.
Second tie for both teams
This was the second tie of the year for both teams. Dresden played to a 21-21 draw against the Berlin Rebels while the Lions tied the Kiel Baltic Hurricanes 10-10.
With the tie, the Lions remain in first in the North with Dresden in second. However, the Berlin Rebels play Sunday should they win as expected against the Dusseldorf Panther, they would move past Dresden into second.
Kiel sets rushing record!
The Kiel Baltic Hurricanes, who won handily over the Hildesheim Invaders 59-27 behind a record setting 370 yards rushing from Chris McClendon Saturday, remain in fourth.