German North Division Champions prove their worth; Berlin’s playoff hopes still alive
On Sunday the Berlin Adler lost against the GFL North champions New Yorker Lions 3-35, but the last playoff spot is still in reach for this year’s EuroBowl champion from Berlin.
The Adler coaches knew from the start, that it would be extremely tough to defeat the Lions with a second string team. Three players had to be compensated on the running back position. That’s why rookie Marten Vollbrecht came to his first GFL start. In front of 2,414 people at Jahn-Stadium the host team was able to compete until halftime, before Braunschweig started to dominate the game.
In the first half of play the Lions were beating themselves with penalties. The Adler were the first team to score with a 47 yard field goal from the Danish kicker Phillip Andersen. On the succeeding drive the New Yorker Lions missed a 37 yard field goal.
From the second quarter on both defensive units were putting more pressure on the opposing quarterbacks. Adler playmaker Darius Outlaw hardly found the time to make big throws. The Berlin game-plan consisted mostly on short distance passes due to their RB dilemma. Outlaw was constantly rushed and sacked five times! Lions QB Casey Therriault was also brought down four times during the game from a hard-hitting Adler d-line.
At the end of the first half the lead switched, when Therriault threw a 31 yard touchdown pass to the German national team WR Niklas Römer. After a lost fumble from Outlaw, the Lions could have put more points on the scoreboard, but Adler DB Sebastian Karl caught an interception in the red-zone like he previously did against the Lions in the EuroBowl a month ago. The game was intense and tight,. At halftime the Adler players were confident that they could upset Braunschweig a second time in 2014.
But in the second half Berlin had to pay dues to its lack in depth. From now on it was New Yorker only, that dominated most of the action on the gridiron. Four touchdowns followed. The Lions started to ground and pound with their two top running backs David McCants and Michael Andrew. McCants recorded more than 100 total yards and two rushing touchdowns.
The undefeated New Yorker Lions keep on marching towards playoffs, already having secured home field advantage throughout. Berlin has to win two of their last three games in order to clinch the last playoff spot in the GFL North division.
This Sunday the Dresden Monarchs are coming to the German capital to face the Alder. The Lions will face dead-last Düsseldorf Panther next.
Word from the Coaches
Troy Tomlin, Head Coach New Yorker Lions:
“There were a lot of penalties today and it was a tough fight. I’m happy with the win. In the second half we played much better than in the first… It isn’t important if we stay undefeated during the regular season, that’s not the goal. What counts is that we get better from game to game.”
Jag Bal, Defense Coordinator Berlin Adler:
“The Lions are obviously a good team that you can’t play with your backups. Especially with teams unlike them that don’t have the depth. Sometimes the second strings aren’t quite as good as the first strings and usually there’s a big jump. You really have to step up to show what your starters can… Offensively we were down numbers. If you saw us warming up down there, we looked like we had a soccer team out there…You gotta do what you can with who you got. Today was not the big game, but nobody likes loosing and I didn’t prepare to come to loose.”
03:00 47 yd FG Andersen
03:07 31 yd TD – Pass Therriault to Römer, PAT Goebel
03:14 2yd TD – Run McCants, PAT Goebel
03:21 5yd TD – Run Therriault, PAT Goebel
03:28 47yd TD – Run McCants, PAT Goebel
03:35 50yd TD – Run Andrew, PAT Goebel