The Munich Cowboys (5-7) flexed their collective muscles Saturday as they handed the Marburg Mercenaries (5-6) a 45-17 defeat and edged closer to the fourth and final playoff spot in the German Football League South division.
Munich had lost to the Mercenaries earlier in the season 33-30, so in the event of a tie in the standings, the Cowboys would get the nod. Marburg is still fourth in the GFL South ahead of Munich in fifth, but the Mercenaries have a game in hand.
Munich quarterback Trenton Miller threw four touchdown passes, three to Maxim Soujon and one to James Okike. Okike scored a rushing touchdown as well while Jan Peters added a touchdown on the ground. Robert Werner kicked a field goal and six extra points.
For Marburg, whose offense seemed to be in disarray at times, Silas Nacita was again a bright spot filling in at quarterback, running back and receiver. He scored a touchdown while Alexander Thury who replaced an ineffective Zac Cunha at quarterback, threw a touchdown pass to Andrecus Lindley. Kristof Szakacs kicked a field goal and both PATs.
Munich scored on their first possession of the game when Miller found Soujon from 25 yards out. Nacita tied it for the Mercenaries midway through the first quarter but Miller connected with Soujon again on the next series to give the Cowboys a 14-7 lead heading into the second quarter.
The Cowboys defense imposed their will keeping Nacita & co. in check while Munich running back Jan Peters scored to increase the lead to 21-7. The Cowboys secondary picked off a pass by Nacita and a minute before the half, Werner kicked a 25 yard field goal to increase the lead to 24-7. Nacita was intercepted again 10 seconds later but Munich did not capitalize.
With Cunha back in at quarterback for Marburg, the offense moved into field goal range and Szakacs narrowed the lead to 24-10 with a 29 yard field goal.
That was as close as Marburg would come in the third while Munich opened the fourth quarter with a beautiful 45 yard touchdown pass from Miller to Okike, extending the lead to 31-10.
Marburg head coach Dale Heffron then inserted Austrian national team quarterback Alexander Thury at quarterback and he responded with a touchdown pass to Lindley to close the gap to 31-17. However, the Cowboys recovered the onisie kick attempt and with great field position, Soujon hauled in a 25 yard touchdown pass from Miller to basically put the game away. Okike added an insurance touchdown with four minutes left and Munich earned perhaps their most important win in two years.
Munich has two games left on their schedule against the Allgäu Comets and Stuttgart Scorpions. Both a winnable games for the Cowboys as they have beaten both on the road. Marburg will also play Stuttgart but must also contend with the unbeaten Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns and the Ingolstad Dukes.