The final pieces of the German Football League playoff puzzle fell into place Saturday and all the quarterfinal matchups were decided as the 2019 GFL regular season wrapped up.
The Dresden Monarchs defeated the Berlin Rebels 20-14 in the key game of the day to finish in second place in the GFL North. In the other pivotal game in the North, the Hildesheim Invaders downed the Potsdam Royals 24-7 to grab third place. With the loss to the Monarchs, Berlin wound up fourth.
In the GFL South, the Marburg Mercenaries scored a minor upset in beating the Frankfurt Universe 34-30 but it did nothing to change the standings. Frankfurt finished second behind the undefeated Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns while Marburg took third. The Stuttgart Scorpions finished fourth despite losing their eighth game of the season to the Ingolstadt Dukes, after the Allgau Comets had lost to the Unicorns.
With the regular season over, the playoff picture is set. The GFL North leaders, the Braunschweig New Yorker Lions will face the GFL South #4, the Stuttgart Scorpions while the GFL South #1 Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns have a date to play the Berlin Rebels who wound up fourth in the GFL North.
In the other two games, the Dresden Monarchs, GFL North #2 face the GFL South #3, the Marburg Mercenaries and the GFL South #2 will take on the Hildesheim Invaders, GFL North #3.
GFL North #1 Braunschweig New Yorker Lions (14-0) v. GFL South #4 Stuttgart Scorpions (6-8)
The Lions are by far the favorites in this one. They look as good as they ever have and have actually improved throughout the season. Meanwhile, Stuttgart has faltered losing five straight. They have not won a game since beating the Munich Cowboys on July 13.
GFL South #1 Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns (14-0) v. GFL North #4 Berlin Rebels (9-5)
Although Berlin has been one of the most improved teams down the stretch winning four of the last five, they are facing a team which has not lost a game since October 10, 2016. The Unicorns look as formidable as they have at any time during their 48 game winning streak.
Prediction: Schwäbisch Hall
GFL North #2 Dresden Monarchs (10-4) v. GFL South #3 Marburg Mercenaries (9-5)
Dresden came through with a win when they had to in the final game of the season against the Rebels. They have been solid all year and have built the finest pass defense in the country. Against Germany’s number one passing team in the Mercenaries, they will have their hands full though. The thing is, the Monarchs are the second-leading passing team in the GFL while Marburg’s pass defense ranks 13th. While Marburg QB Jake Sullivan will make things difficult for the Monarchs secondary, it might not be enough.
GFL South #2 Frankfurt Universe (11-3) v. GFL North #3 Hildesheim Invaders (10-4)
This is the most intriguing matchup of the playoffs. Apart for the final loss to Marburg in a meaningless game, the Universe have impressed after the break. They are impossible to run against allowing just 42 yards rushing a game all season. Meanwhile, Hildesheim has sputtered in the past month losing three of their last four. Still, with a healthy Casey Therriault at quarterback, the Invaders can beat anyone on any given day.
Prediction: Toss up