Germany: Cologne Crocodiles snap losing streak, make playoffs

The Cologne Crocodiles snapped a six-game losing streak stretching back to late June to defeat the Potsdam Royals 31-18 and secure the fourth and final playoff spot in the German Football League North division.

The Crocodiles built a 21-0 lead in the second quarter and then held off Potsdam for the win.

Cologne quarterback Bradley Strauss threw for 172 yards and a touchdown and scored another one on the ground while running back Shayeen Edwards scored two touchdowns while rushing for 58 yards. Receiver Dominic Gröne also added a touchdown and Noah Plöttner kicked a field goal and four PATs.

For Potsdam, quarterback Austin Gahafer threw for 213 yards and three touchdowns but was picked off three times as well, one of which led to a Cologne touchdown. Danish WR Frederik Myrup Nielsen was dangerous as always catching seven passes for 94 yards and two touchdowns. Running back Tyvis Smith padded his German Football League rushing lead with 100 yards and added 34 yards in receptions and a touchdown.

Cologne scored on three of their first five possessions with first Edwards scoring on a two yard run and then Gröne hauling in an eight yard touchdown pass from Strauss midway through the second quarter. Edwards added another rushing touchdown and with just over six minutes left in the second quarter, the Crocodiles led 21-0.

Potsdam has an explosive offense though and they came roaring back as Myrup Nielsen scored twice on short passes in the last six minutes to close the gap to 21-12 at the half.

The Crocodiles added a field goal early in the third quarter to go up 24-12 and then Gahafer watched as an errant pass was intercepted at the Cologne 20 yard line and returned into Royals territory.

Strauss wasted no time, marching his team 51 yards in five plays and then capping the drive with a five yard touchdown to give Cologne a 31-12 lead early in the fourth quarter.

Gahafer made up for the interception, engineering an 80 yard touchdown drive, finishing it with a short pass to Smith to narrow the lead to 31-18.

That was as close as Potsdam got though and the Crocodiles, still with one game left in the season, can start preparing for the GFL quarterfinals where they will face the Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns.



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