ELF: Frankfurt Galaxy defeat Hamburg Sea Devils on last-second field goal

The Frankfurt Galaxy secured a crucial win over a European League of Football division rival as they defeated the Hamburg Sea Devils in a 17-14 nailbiter.

In front of a packed house of about 6,500 fans in Frankfurt, it was the Sea Devils who owned the first half on the road.  After the Galaxy punted on the first possession of the game, it took Hamburg just three plays to reach the end zone, as quarterback Preston Haire found Jean-Claude Madin Cerezo wide open downfield for a 53 yard touchdown.  In the second quarter, the Sea Devils were in the midst of a long drive when Haire was injured while being tackled.  Backup Moritz Maack entered the game and quickly threw a touchdown pass to Benjamin Mau to extend the lead to 14-0.  Hamburg took that lead into halftime, thanks in large part to an excellent defensive performance, but had to be feeling uneasy given the injury to Haire.

In the third quarter, Maack was intercepted by Frankfurt linebacker Sebastien Gauthier, giving the home team possession around midfield.  The Galaxy offense finally got into rhythm, quickly moving down the field and reaching the end zone on a touchdown pass from quarterback Jakub Sullivan to receiver Reece Horn, though the extra point attempt was blocked.  Maack was intercepted again on the next possession, but Frankfurt could not capitalize.  On the following Hamburg drive, receiver Malik Stanley fumbled, and the Galaxy returned the ball inside the opposing 10 yard line.  Maack then found receiver Norman Schumm for a touchdown, and a successful two point conversion tied the score at 14 just before the end of the third quarter.

The fourth quarter was scoreless for nearly its entire duration.  With Haire knocked out of the game, Hamburg was pretty conservative offensively, and never made any progress down the field.  The Galaxy got the ball on their own 41 yard line with 1:40 on the clock.  With the help of a couple of defensive penalties on Hamburg, they marched down the field and set up for a 31 yard field goal attempt.  Kicker Ryan Rimmler, who missed a field goal and had an extra point blocked earlier, made this kick as time expired to give his team the win.

With the win, Frankfurt improves to 5-1 and holds a large lead for second place in the Western Conference.  The Sea Devils fell to 3-4, and it is possible that they will need to win each of their remaining five games in order to make the playoffs.  If Haire cannot return to action soon, it is hard to imagine that the two-time second place finishers will make it back to the postseason.

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.