GFL Semifinal – Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns vs Dresden Monarchs: QB Battle – Ian Gehrke vs Steven Duncan

Saturday will see the German Football League semifinals kickoff, starting with a highly anticipated matchup between the Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns (1) and the Dresden Monarchs (2).

Led respectively by quarterbacks Ian Gehrke and Steven Duncan, the game will undoubtedly showcase some of the best offensive play in the GFL. Let’s take a look at both teams’ passers andsee who has the edge through the air.

Gehrke is one of the premier German passers, but he is not a quarterback by trade. He spent the majority of his career, including two years in the US high school system and a season with the Berlin Thunder, playing receiver. In 2022, Gehrke caught 13 balls for 212 yards and a touchdown for the Thunder, with over 100 of these yards coming in one single matchup against the Leipzig Kings. In 2023, he made his return to the Unicorns, this time as the signal-caller replacing the now Stuttgart Surge quarterback Reilly Hennessey.

Schäbisch Hall Unicorns QB Ian Gehrke Photo Sarah Philipp

The 2023 season has been a mixed bag for the Unicorns’ offense, ranking in the bottom half of the league in total offense. While Gehrke has put up solid numbers with 2,120 yards and 21 passing touchdowns, his 18 interceptions leave a lot to be desired. Despite his impressive athleticism, he has not showcased his rushing ability this season, failing to pick up any significant yardage with his legs.

Gehrke’s best performance came in a 36-13 win over the Munich Cowboys, seeing him put up an impressive four touchdowns to complement his 150 yards on 68.2% completions.

Dresden’s Steven Duncan’s season could not have gone much better as far as individual performance goes. Duncan was the top passer in the league and arguably one of the best the GFL has ever seen at the quarterback position. The ex-Tarleton State quarterback has a huge frame at 6’6 245 pounds, and an elite arm.

His debut season in the GFL has been outstanding, as he leads passers with a mind-boggling 4,281 yards and 56 touchdowns through the air. His 67.4% puts him second in terms of accuracy.

Dresden Monarchs QB Steven Duncan Photo: Jm eyes

Duncan has had countless impressive games this year, including six games with five or more passing touchdowns. His most notable performance came in a week seven win over the Saarland Hurricanes where Duncan broke the GFL single-game touchdown record with nine scores. Not only did he have an impressive performance scoring, but he also had an incredibly clean and efficient day, completing 91.4% of his passes and not turning the ball over with any of his 35 attempts. Duncan actually threw three times more touchdowns than incompletions, which is a stat you are unlikely to see again.

The two passers will face off on Saturday as the Dresden Monarchs will look to dethrone the reigning GFL Champions in the Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns’ back garden.

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.