ELF: Rhein Fire looking for revenge against surging Hamburg Sea Devils

Two top-tier teams in the European Football League face off on Sunday as the Rhein Fire host the Hamburg Sea Devils

The 5-1 Sea Devils have been on a hot streak as of late, winning their last four games, including a 70-0 victory two weeks ago against the Istanbul Rams.  They will have a tough task ahead of them this week, though, as the 4-2 Fire are looking to get a statement victory.  These teams met back on July 3rd in Hamburg, when the Sea Devils won big, 42-15.  However, Rhein’s home field advantage and recent personnel changes could make this game a lot more competitive.

In a dominant victory last week in Istanbul, there were several standouts from the Sea Devils offense. German quarterback Salieu Ceesay completed 12 of 17 passes for 299 yards and four touchdowns.  After the game got out of hand, Moritz Maack came into the game in relief and posted 126 passing yards on nine completions and three touchdowns.  Jean Constant had a huge day at receiver, making six catches for 199 yards and three touchdowns, while Lamar Jordan II added four catches for 92 yards and a pair of scores.  Running back Glen Toonga, a Brit who leads the league in rushing yards and touchdowns with 880 and 10, respectively, continued a great season with 14 carries for 126 yards and a touchdown. 

Glen Toonga exploded for 4 TDs against Rhein Fire in Week 5 Photo: © Jonas Wicker

The defense had a phenomenal day, forcing a pair of turnovers and keeping the Rams off the scoreboard.  While this victory came over a Rams team that was considered to be the worst in the league (prior to yesterday’s huge win over the Barcelona Dragons), this was no fluke performance by Hamburg, who has been a strong squad all season.

On the other sideline, the Rhein Fire will be looking to put an end to Hamburg’s win streak and will be seeking revenge for the loss earlier this month. 

Jim Tomsula’s team rebounded from that loss with a 17-3 win over the Cologne Centurions.  Despite the win, though, the Fire decided to bring in a new quarterback this week to shake things up.  They signed former Sea Devils quarterback Jadrian Clark who led Hamburg all the way to the ELF championship game in 2021. After the season, though, he did not ultimately return to the team.  As he was just signed this week, he might not be very familiar with the Fire system and playbook, but other quarterbacks have joined ELF teams in the middle of a week and started the next game this season, so maybe Clark will see action today. 

Defensively, while the team played lights-out against the Centurions two weeks ago, they will need to do a better job of slowing down the Hamburg offense than they did three weeks ago.  In that game, they got gashed by the Sea Devils ground game, as Glen Toonga had 185 yards and four touchdowns.  If the defense has made good adjustments, they could put up a much better fight this time around, while Clark could give the Fire offense a spark.

A current student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Carter played football in high school and has been a lifelong avid football fan.