Germany: Dresden Monarchs advance to semifinal with shootout win over Saarland Hurricanes

The Dresden Monarchs move past the Saarland Hurricanes in the opening round of the German Football League playoffs, winning by a score of 45-38 and advancing to the semifinals.

The game opened up all Dresden. Outstanding wideout Austin Mitchell, who had missed the last three games of the regular season, returned to the lineup and had an immediate impact, catching a ball in the flats before bursting through the secondary for six on the first drive. A turnover on downs allowed quarterback Steven Duncan to increase the Monarchs’ lead, hitting Nico Barrow out of the backfield for another score.

Quarterback Robby Rowell responded for the Hurricanes late in the first quarter, scrambling around the backfield before taking off down the sideline for a 14-yard touchdown. Unfortunately for Saarland, Duncan led the Monarchs offense down the field in just over a minute, topping the drive off with a ball over the middle to Hayden Braga in the endzone. 

Photo: Jm.eyes

Before the half came to a close, Duncan and Rowell exchanged passing touchdowns, finding Tommy Wilson and Marvin Fuchs respectively. Florian Finke split the uprights from 47 yards out to put the Monarchs up 31-16 at the end of the second quarter of play.

The second half was a much closer ball game. Every single drive resulted in an offensive touchdown, starting with another Rowell rushing score. Duncan connected with Tommy Wilson on a flea-flicker on the following drive, hitting the British speedster in the endzone from 31 yards out.

Rowell retaliated with an impressively efficient drive down the field, taking just five plays to go 67-yards, topping it off with a run up the middle on the goal line to decrease Saarland’s deficit to two scores. 

Monarchs star running back Nico Barrow tore through the Hurricanes’ defense to bury the game late in the fourth period, rushing into the endzone from the 34-yard-line.

Saarland managed to make another effort at the endzone as Rowell found James Brania to make it a one score game with a two-point conversion, but a series of first downs from Dresden allowed the Monarchs to end the game and advance to the semifinals, where they will face off against the Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns.

Photos: Jm.eyes

A current student at Bournemouth University as well as a quarterback with eight years of playing experience. Brad's goal is to be a part of the growth of the game around the world through journalism and media.