German Football League Semifinals a toss up

The German Football League playoffs are down to four teams with the top four seeds still in the hunt.

German Bowl XL is scheduled for October 13 and the numbers one, two, three and four seeds all look impressive enough to claim the title. The Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns are the number one seed followed by the number one seed from the GFL North, the Braunschweig New Yorker Lions. After those two are the Frankfurt Universe number two in the GFL South and the number two team from the GFL North, the Dresden Monarchs.

All four won their respective quarterfinal games although not all easily.

Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns (GFL South #1) v. Dresden Monarchs (GFL North #2)

The 15-0 Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns (GFL South #1) remain the favorites after another winning their quarterfinal game with relative ease, beating the Cologne Crocodiles 37-14 in the quarterfinals and stay  undefeated this season. In fact, this team has not lost a game since German Bowl XXXVIII in 2016 when they were beaten by the Braunschweig New Yorker Lions 

The last time the Unicorns faced Dresden was in the 2016 semifinals when they beat them 34-26.

This weekend though, they will face one of their stiffest tests of the season when they take on the Monarchs. The Unicorns have been truly challenged three times this season. They defeated the Frankfurt Universe twice by close scores, 17-7 and 12-9 and then were pushed to the limit by the Marburg Mercenaries winning 34-31.

This means two things: One –  They are vulnerable and have weaknesses that could be exploited. Two – They keep finding ways to win even when teams exploit their weaknesses.

Can they continue this trend?

Dresden took care of the Allgäu Comets in the quarterfinals, whipping them 51-19. This team has proven they can overcome obstacles themselves and have taken a measure of revenge on the two teams who defeated them during the year. They downed the Berlin Rebels 20-18 late in the season to avenge a loss earlier in the season and then they played the New Yorker Lions to a tough 28-28 tie on the last regular season game of the year, to partially make up for a 44-24 loss on June 23.

The Monarchs have really come together in the last half of the season and look impressive with the top receiver in the GFL, Mitchell Paige and the leading tackler in AJ Wentland. Both played key roles in the quarterfinal win.

Braunschweig New Yorker Lions (GFL North #1) v. Frankfurt Universe (GFL South #2)

The 12-2-1 Lions  enter the second round of the playoffs as the number 2 seed overall but looked impressive in their trouncing of the Munich Cowboys.  Although Braunschweig stumbled somewhat down the stretch tying, winning and losing in the last three games they had no mercy for the Cowboys and looked like title contenders again. They dropped their second loss of the season to the Berlin Rebels and after beating the Kiel Baltic Hurricanes, played to a 28-28 tie with the Dresden Monarchs.

These two teams faced each other in the 2017 German Football League semifinals with Lions barely escaping with a 23-21 win.

The 13-2 Universe (GFL South #2) had to rely on a last minute field goal in horrendous conditions to edge the Berlin Rebels 6-5 (!?) in their quarterfinal matchup. Still, Frankfurt could be the dark horse after losing only two games during the regular season, both to the Unicorns and both in close defensive games. They have looked impressive down the stretch and are legitimate contenders.

Both of these games are toss ups.

 

 

 

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