Germany: Royals, Unicorns among GFL semifinalists

This weekend saw the German Football League postseason kick off, with four playoff games being played.

The semifinals will consist of a Saturday matchup between the Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns (1) and the Dresden Monarchs (2), while Sunday will see the Potsdam Royals (1) play host to the Braunschweig New Yorker Lions (2).

Let’s take a look back on the games as we head into the semifinals.

Potsdam Royals obliterate Ingolstadt Dukes 54-0

In the game between the top seed in the North and the fourth seed in the much weaker South, it is no surprise that the Royals showed no signs of struggle against the Dukes. All credit to Ingolstadt, who managed to secure a playoff berth in their first season after promotion from GFL2, but this will undoubtedly be a game they will look to forget in a hurry.

The game started off very defensive, with three straight turnovers; Ingolstadt’s Gabriel Boccella, who took control of the offense in the absence of quarterback Matthew Weimer, opened the game with two interceptions, while Potsdam lost the ball due to a fumble on their first drive. It didn’t take long for the Royals to heat up however, scoring with a Jaylon Henderson run on their next drive before going on to rack up a whopping 24 unanswered points in the second quarter alone. Another 24 points in the second half saw the Royals solidify their status as the top ranked team in the North.

Henderson went on to have one of his best career games, putting up 435 yards and six scores through the air on 83.3% completions. He also spread the ball tremendously, finding five separate receivers for touchdowns. Danish wideout Simon Føns impressed massively as he reeled in five balls for 159 yards and a score.

Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns move past Berlin Rebels with 17-7 victory

The opposite side of the graphic saw the top team of the South host the Berlin Rebels, who occupied the fourth playoff spot in the North. Both teams struggled massively on offense throughout the day, particularly in the first half; the teams exchanged punts for the majority of the first period before interceptions from each side saw the first bit of real action in the matchup. After Alex Stadhal intercepted a pass from Unicorns passer Ian Gehrke, Deshaun Paper returned the favor to Rebels quarterback Hamish McClure, taking the pick 64 yards to the house. 

In the second half, offenses finally decided to make an appearance; towards the end of the third period, Lars Kozlowski topped off an 80 yard drive for the Unicorns, finding the endzone from four yards out to put the defending champions up two scores. A Tim Stadelmayr field goal tacked on another three points for Schwäbisch Hall. As the game wound to a close, Connor Kaegi, who had replaced McClure, found Niklas Freund in the endzone to give Rebels their first score, but it was far too late as the Unicorns ended the game in victory formation. 

Dresden Monarchs win 45-38 shootout over Saarland Hurricanes 

After a hot start, going 31-16 up in the first half, the Monarchs seemed to let up in the second half, allowing the Hurricanes to attempt a comeback.

The Monarchs’ quarterback-receiver duo of Steven Duncan and Austin Mitchell proved valuable once again, connecting on eight occasions for 95 yards and a score, with Tommy Wilson picking up an additional 91 yards and two receiving touchdowns. Nico Barrow was a standout performer on the ground, rushing for 157 yards.

Read the full recap here:

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

Braunschweig New Yorker Lions edge Allgäu Comets 36-34 in double overtime thriller

The closest game of the four took place in Allgäu, as the visiting Lions came away with a nail biting 36-34 victory. After the Comets took an early lead, the Lions took off, scoring three unanswered touchdowns. Momentum shifted towards the home team, who leveled the score with a Terrence Shambry passing touchdown late in the final period.

The teams headed to overtime where both teams found the endzone and split the uprights on conversions. In the second overtime, the Comets opened up with a touchdown, but failed the two-point attempt, giving an opportunity to the Lions. Karé Lyles led the offense to the endzone, followed by a successful two-point attempt to win the game and advance to the semifinals.

Read the full recap here:

Germany: New Yorker Lions defeat Allgäu Comets in double overtime to advance to GFL semis

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.