The Dresden Monarchs who finished second in the German North, will play host to the third place team from the South, the Saarland Hurricanes Sunday at Heinz-Steyer Stadium in Dresden in the Monarchs ninth straight trip to the playoffs.
Dresden, the highest scoring team in the German Football League this season will be facing a Saarland team who needed to eke out a close win against the Allgau Comets in the final game of the regular season to qualify.
The Monarchs have relied on their high-powered offense this season and have topped the league in points (708), touchdowns (101) and total yards (7,041), passing yards (4,506) and passing touchdown (65).
The Hurricanes finished the season with a 7-7 record and are making only their second appearance in the playoffs since returning to the German Football League in 2011.
They will have to find a way to slow down Dresden’s offensive juggernaut. The Saarland defense finished in the middle of the pack in most categories but their pass defense finished fourth in Germany. This could be a key to the game. If the Hurricanes can trip up the Monarchs passing game they could find a way.
The Hurricanes have proven they can score. Quarterback Alexander Haupert threw for 2,457 yards and 26 touchdowns this year. He also led his team in rushing with 591 yards. His main target was Todd Harrelson who caught 37 passes for 647 yards.
Behind the throwing arm of quarterback Brandon Connette, the Monarchs have led the German league. Connette topped the German league in passing yardage with 4,384 yards and in passing touchdowns with 63.
His favorite targets have been Finnish receivers Sebastian Sagne and Micky Kyei. Sagne caught 58 passes for 1,067 yards and 17 touchdowns. Kyei was close behind with 1,019 yards in receptions and 16 touchdowns on 72 catches.
Saarland head coach Tom Smythe will have his hands full Sunday trying to find ways to stymie the Monarchs high-powered offense. His counterpart with Dresden, John Leijten, has to make sure he does not look past this game. That could prove costly.