Hamburg Sea Devils clinch victory in overtime against Wroclaw Panthers

The Hamburg Sea Devils have clinched a 26-23 victory over the Wroclaw Panthers in the European League of Football’s first ever overtime period.

As has been the case in previous weeks, Hamburg’s defense played a vital role in their victory over the Panthers. They harried newly acquired Wroclaw quarterback Slade Jarman into two interceptions, one being returned for a touchdown, and a game-winning fumble.

The game began with a heavy dose of Sea Devils running back Glen Toonga after an explosion of yardage in the second half of last week’s game. He ran effectively but was often bottled up due a lackluster passing game from German quarterback Salieu Ceesay leaving them far too predictable.

On the other side of the ball the Panthers came out with Jarman slinging it. The sheer volume of passes the former Fan Controlled Football league quarterback threw ended in a pair of touchdowns to end the first quarter.

In the second quarter the Hamburg defense came alive. Their pass rush and sheer depth of talent began to force turnovers as the steady rushing of Toonga led to field goal after field goal.

The Panthers came out in the second half leading 13-9 but were quickly upended with a pick-six from Hamburg defensive back Justin Rogers putting the Sea Devils out in front 16-13. The third quarter offered very little as stingy defenses on both sides forced a total of just 50 yards combined on offense.

Both teams were able to get back to it in the fourth however with Jarman driving 74 yards to put his field-goal unit into perfect position to tie the game up. On the following drive, he connected with import receiver Malik Stanley on a 52-yard bomb to take the Panthers back in the lead.

With two minutes to go, Ceesay fired back with a shot of his own to former NFL receiver Lamar Jordan II to even the score at 23 apiece taking the game to ELF’s first ever overtime.

Hamburg began with the ball and Toonga went straight to work ripping off two 15-yard rushes, placing kicker Eric Schlomm in prime position to take the Sea Devils up 26-23. Toonga finished the game with 29 carries and 135 yards.

And with no better way to end it for Sea Devils’ fans, the defense stood up. The defensive line had been harassing Jarman all day, but it was German linebacker Ambroise Mati who managed to get a strip sack giving Hamburg their third win of the season.

Despite the loss, Jarman finished the game 21-44-2, 259 yards and three touchdowns, giving an admirable opening-week performance against arguably the best defense in the league.

Daniel Mackenzie is a Press Association graduate who works in journalism and communications in the third sector. Daniel began playing football for the London Warriors and Team Great Britain and has since played across Europe.