LIVESTREAM: German Quarterfinals – Hildesheim Invaders @Frankfurt Universe, Sat. Sept. 21, 8p CEDT (2p EDT)

The GFL South#2 ranked Frankfurt Universe (11-3) will face the GFL North #3 Hildeheim Invaders (10-4) on Saturday, September 21 at PSD Bank Arena in Frankfurt as the German Football League quarterfinals continue.

The Universe finished the regular season with an 11-3 record scoring 478 points,. Hildesheim stumbled, losing three of their last four, dropping into third in the North with a 10-4 record.

The Universe have qualified for the playoffs for the fourth straight year having reached the semifinals once and quarterfinals once while making it to the German Bowl in 2018 where they lost in a tight game 21-19 to the Schwabisch Hall Unicorns. For the Invaders on the other hand, this is their first trip to post season play.

This may be the most closely contested of the four GFL playoff games this weekend and the play of the quarterbacks, naturally, is the crucial factor.

The two quarterbacks took two very different routes to get here. Universe starting quarterback Steve Cluley is in his second year with the team but the first time as a full time starter all year after suffering a season ending injury early in 2018. Meanwhile, Casey Therriault is a returning veteran with a sparkling record including four German titles under his belt with the Braunschweig New Yorker Lions who had spent a year away from the game before returning this season with the Invaders.

Cluley finished second in the GFL in overall yardage with 3,563 and fourth in average per game, (254.5), right behind Therriault who averaged 261.4. Their numbers are similar with almost the same average yards per completion, with 13.7 for Cluley and 14.3 for Therriault. They threw for almost the same number of touchdowns. Cluley had 35 touchdown passes in 14 games while Therriault tossed 34 in 12. Their NCAA QB ratings were also almost identical with Cluley’s 165.4 fourth best behind the third best (172) of Therriault.

The only major category that separated them was rushing. Therriault was far more effective using his legs, rushing 87 times for 353 yards and four touchdowns. Cluley rushed 73 times for only 86 yards.

And that could be the difference in this game. If Therriault is completely healthy. He had foot problems which kept him out of a couple of games late in the year, one of them a loss. He also re-injured the foot once in a loss to Dresden. His backup, Chris Andrews, proved in the final game for the Invaders, a solid 24-7 victory over the Potsdam Royals, that he is more than capable of stepping in. The starter for this game will likely be a game time decision for head coach Gerritt Meister depending on Therriault’s health.

With running back Justin Rodney healthy and a receiving corps led by Anthony Brooks, Sebastian Sagne (if healthy) and Anthony Mahoungou , the Universe could give the Hildesheim secondary some problems.

Therriault has plenty of targets for this game as well with the trio of Nate Morris, Anthony Dable Wolfe and Jaleel Awini extremely dangerous.

Frankfurt has the fourth best offense and defense in the GFL but the Invaders are not far behind, sitting in sixth on both categories.

This could be the game to watch in the GFL playoffs this weekend.

Watch the game live here. Hildesheim Invaders @Frankfurt Universe, Sat. Sept. 21, 8p CEDT (2p EDT)

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