Germany: Ingolstadt Dukes clinch playoffs in 1st year

Following in the footsteps of German Football League South division rivals the Frankfurt Universe, the Ingolstadt Dukes have clinched a playoff berth in their first year in the GFL, Germany’s top league.

The Universe accomplished the same feat in 2016. Ingolstadt will face the Braunschweig New Yorker Lions on the weekend of September 16/17 in the GFL quarterfinals.

The Hamburg Huskies also qualified for the playoff in their first season in Germany’s top league in 2015.

The Dukes defeated the Stuttgart Scorpions 39-18 this past weekend to improve their record to 7-6 to secure the fourth and final playoff spot in the South. With the win, Ingolstadt stayed clear of a surging Allgau Comets team, who also won their game against the Saarland Hurricanes. Had the Dukes lost, their game against the Comets this Sunday would have been a do-or-die matchup. Now, however, the game will have no bearing on the standings.

Quarterback Rick Webster returned to the lineup for the Dukes after missing a couple of games with knee problems. He played an outstanding game throwing for 333 yards and four touchdowns, tossing scoring passes to J.Hochschild (2 TDs, 68 yards) Lorenz Regler (117 yards) and T.Benschuh (54 yards). Zoran Sisak kicked three field goals and four extra points.

Zoran Sisak kicked 3 FGs and 4 PATs

Stuttgart quarterback Christoph Munster, filling in for the sidelined Connor Sullivan, tossed two touchdown passes on 16 of 30 passing for 215 yards. But he also threw two interceptions. Ike Guobadia caught eight passes for 108 yards and a touchdown while D Jones caught six for 105 yards and another touchdown. He also rushed for 55 yards.

Ingolstad scored on four of their first six possessions in the first half to take a 20-0 lead while keeping the Scorpions offense in check. The Dukes increased their lead to 27-0 in the third before Stuttgart could get on the board. Ingolstadt added another two points after returning a missed two-point conversion attempt and then both teams scored again giving the Dukes a 36-12 lead at the end of three quarters.

Sisak kicked his third field goal of the game early in the fourth before Munster connected with Jones for Stuttgart’s final score.

Last playoff spot still in doubt in German Football league

With the win, Ingolstadt wrapped up the seventh of eight playoff  berths in the GFL. All that remains is the playoff battle between the Berlin Rebels and Cologne Crocodiles in the GFL North.

The odds are in Berlin’s favor. A win against the Kiel Baltic Hurricanes would assure them of the last playoff spot. Even if Berlin loses, Cologne still needs to beat both the Dresden Monarchs and Hildesheim Invaders to qualify.



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