ELF: Surging Berlin Thunder face division leading Hamburg Sea Devils

In a European League of Football Northern Conference clash, the division-leading Hamburg Sea Devils travel to Berlin to take on the second place Berlin Thunder.

With a win on Sunday, the 8-1 Sea Devils will clinch their division and a spot in the playoffs. Though they are almost a lock to do this at any point in these last three weeks, they definitely
want to do so with a win over their rivals. Hamburg is coming off a 59-0 dominating victory over the Leipzig Kings. The defense was the story of the game, as they forced a whopping six turnovers, three of which resulted in defensive touchdowns. American cornerbacks Justin Rogers and Daniel Brown each returned interceptions for touchdowns, and the defense forced and recovered four fumbles, one of which was recovered in the Leipzig end zone. Now, though, they will have a much tougher test against a hungry opponent.

Berlin picked up a much-needed win last week against the Wroclaw Panthers to move to 6-3. The Thunder used big plays to get the advantage, as they scored a pair of passing touchdowns of 70 yards and also recovered a fumble and returned it 60 yards for a score. Quarterback Joe Germinerio completed only 12 passes but racked up 296 yards on those completions. He has had a great season for Berlin, and he will need to bring his A-game if the Thunder want to pull off the upset.

These teams last met back in week 1, which resulted in a 43-18 victory for Hamburg. The Sea Devils defense was suffocating in that game, scoring a pair of defensive touchdowns and holding the Berlin offense to under 200 total yards. As both teams have grown and developed over the season, it will be interesting to see how this matchup will compare to the last. With playoff hopes on the line, this will be a game well worth watching.

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.