Dresden Monarchs outlast Kiel Baltic Hurricanes in wild German Football League shootout

Although the Dresden Monarchs went into their German Football League game this past weekend against the Kiel Baltic Hurricanes knowing full well they were facing an opponent that was much improved over earlier in the year, they definitely did not expect the offensive fireworks produced in the contest.

Despite scoring 61 points, the Monarchs were still pushed to the limit and had to hold off a surging Hurricanes squad, finally beating them 61-48 in the highest-scoring game of the season so far. And although they were outscored, Kiel produced 702 yards of offense, 152 more than Dresden.

This was also the finest quarterback duel of the season. Dresden’s KJ Carta-Samuels versus the Hurricanes‘ Joe Germinerio.

Carta-Samuels was more accurate, completing 22 of 28 passes for 480 yards and seven touchdowns. His main target was wideout Robin Wilzeck who led all receivers with 224 yards and four touchdowns on just six catches. Darrell Stewart Jr. had four receptions for 136 yards and two majors while Radim Kalous had eight catches for 87 yards and one touchdown. David Baum led all Dresden rushers with seven carries for 56 yards.

Meanwhile, Germinerio had the edge in yardage, throwing for 599 yards on 38 of 53 passing, and also seven touchdowns. His favorite receiver was Weston Carr who had a day to remember hauling in 18 passes for 355 yards and six touchdowns. Benedikt Englmann caught six passes for 86 yards and a touchdown while Arvid Lippels was five for 53 and Tom Donovan had four for 61 yards. Germinerio also led all rushers for nine carries for 62 yards.

Dresden Monarchs WR Robin Wilzeck catching one of his 4 TDs Photo: Dresden Monarchs

In the high-scoring first quarter, Dresden struck first on the opening possession as Carta-Samuels found Wilzeck on the fourth play from scrimmage right down the middle for a 41-yard touchdown, giving his team a 7-0 lead.

Germinerio answered right away, marching the Hurricanes down to the Dresden 24 yard line in eight plays and then hitting Carr in the corner of the end zone for the score. After the PAT attempt was blocked the score remained 7-6.

The Monarchs wasted no time extending the lead as defensive back Charles Oliver hauled in the ensuing kickoff, veered right, weaved through traffic across the field, and then straight up the sidelines for an 85-yard kickoff return touchdown making it 14-6 with just under seven minutes left in the quarter. The Monarchs expanded the lead to 21-6 four minutes later as Germinerio connected with Wilzeck for another 41-yard passing touchdown.

This time, Kiel came right back. Germinerio found a streaking Carr for a 73-yard touchdown and the lead closed to 21-14 after a successful two-point conversion.

And still in the first quarter! This was definitely a duel of quarterbacks.

Carta-Samuels responded on the next Dresden drive first hitting Kalous for a nine-yard gain to the Monarchs 44 and then handing off Nazar for four yards. On a first and 10, Antek Podborski caught a 10-yard pass before stepping out at the Kiel 42. Then, on a bubble screen, he tossed the ball to Stewart, who simply sidestepped two would-be tacklers and then used his speed to race the rest of the way to give the Monarchs a 28-14 lead heading into the second quarter.

A fumble less than a minute later by the Hurricanes gave Dresden the ball back at their own 36. Five plays later, Carta-Samuels simply tossed the ball to a streaking Stewart and suddenly the Monarchs held a three-touchdown lead, 35-14.

Germinerio was undeterred, engineering a beautiful 12-play, 75-yard, drive on the very next possession that ate up almost seven minutes, marching his team down to the 12-yard line before connecting with Carr again for a major, reducing the lead to 35-20.

In this see-saw duel of quarterbacks, three plays later, Carter-Samuel hit Wilzeck again, this time for a 39-yard touchdown to return it to a three-touchdown lead for Dresden, 42-20, with four minutes still left in the first half.

The 1,500 spectators in the stands and the thousands more watching on the live stream were being treated to something special.

Kiel Baltic Hurricanes QB Joe Germinerio Photo: Dresden Monarchs

Germinerio came right back, mounting another clock-eating drive starting from his own 25-yard line. Eight plays later, from the Dresden 19 yard line, with 11 seconds on the clock, he stepped back and heaved the ball in the back right-hand corner of the end zone. Carr leaped up over the head of the defensive back and snatched the ball out of the air, closing the gap to 42-26. Englmann added the two-point convert and suddenly the Hurricanes were back in the ball game.

This was a game that had both defensive coordinators tearing their hair out.

The third quarter wasn’t much different with both quarterbacks landing body blows. Germinerio opened, capping a 75-yard drive with a 41-yard touchdown pass to, who else but Weston Carr to narrow the lead again to 42-34.

It took Carta-Samuels five plays to respond, marching his team 57 yards down to the two-yard line and then finishing off with a short two-yard scoring pass to Kalous to take a 49-34 lead.

With six minutes still left in the third, Germinerio again rallied his team, engineering another 75-yard drive, capping it with a 20-yard touchdown pass to Englmann, who had made two key receptions on the drive, to narrow the lead again, this time to 49-42 with the two-point conversion.

Dresden DB Charles Oliver returning a kick Photo: Dresden Monarchs

And there was still a full quarter of football left to play.

Finally one of the quarterbacks flinched. On the first play of the fourth quarter, Germinerio was picked off by Dresden defensive back Charles Oliver deep in the end zone. Four plays later, Carta-Samuels found Wilzeck behind the defense for a 79-yard touchdown to boost the lead to 56-42.

Although there was still plenty of time left on the clock, the Dresden defense managed to get a stop, holding Kiel off on the next possession. Carta-Samuels drove his team into field goal range and Florian Finke made good, kicking a 28 yarder to inch further ahead, 59-42.

Germinerio and the Hurricanes were still not done, marching on the next drive from their own 25 down to the Monarchs 31. Somehow, Weston Carr was left all alone at the back of the end zone on a third and one with 33 seconds left. Germinerio simply heaved the ball up in the air and Carr narrowed the lead again, 59-48. Dresden defensive back Apelu Kaulana picked off Germinerio on the two-point conversion attempt and returned the ball 102 yards for the final two points of the game.

This was definitely one of the most entertaining games of the season in the GFL. It was also a statement game for Kiel. This is a team that doesn’t quit. The game also made it clear that the GFL North title is up for grabs with plenty of football left to play.

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