ELF: Rhein Fire Earn 17th straight win in impressive road victory over Frankfurt Galaxy

The Frankfurt Galaxy opened their season on Sunday in front of over 13,000 fans in Offenbach, but the Rhein Fire spoiled the party and came away with a 31-20 victory.

After the Galaxy opened the scoring with a Ryan Rimmler field goal, the Fire answered back when star running back Glen Toonga scampered into the end zone from 26 yards out on an impressive run.  The visitors extended their lead later in the first quarter when quarterback Jadrian Clark found a wide open Kelvin McKnight in the end zone for a six yard score.  

In the second quarter, Frankfurt found the end zone when quarterback Luke Zahradka hit new addition Kevin Kaya for a seven yard touchdown pass, but the Fire responded with a touchdown of their own as Toonga punched it end from short distance.  The Galaxy got the ball back and marched down the field as time ticked down in the half.  On third and goal, they dialed up the “Philly Special”, as star receiver Markell Castle threw the ball to his quarterback Zahradka for a huge touchdown before halftime.  This cut the Fire lead to 21-17 at the break.

Frankfurt cut the margin to one with another Rimmler field goal in the third quarter, and had a chance to take the lead with another field goal opportunity, but Rimmler could not convert and the Fire took over possession.  Their offense made the Galaxy pay, as they marched down the field and scored on a touchdown pass from Clark to Harlan Kwofie early into the fourth quarter.  The Fire tacked on three more points on a field goal from Sebastian van Santen, and the final score came out to be 31-20.

The Fire relied on their dominant ground game to control the game and wear down the Galaxy. Toonga finished with 141 yards and a pair of touchdowns, and the Fire out-rushed the Galaxy by a margin of 155-64.  While Frankfurt’s passing game was effective, they could not come up with enough big plays to make up for this rushing disparity.

With the victory, the Fire won their 17th consecutive ELF game, a streak that started in the 2022 season.  They also remain undefeated against their rivals in Frankfurt since the foundation of the ELF. The Galaxy fought hard against a juggernaut opponent, but it was not enough to get the upset victory. 

The Fire have their home opener next week against the Madrid Bravos, while the Galaxy travel to Paris to face the Musketeers, who looked dominant in their season opener against the Hamburg Sea Devils.

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.