LIVE STREAM: German Semifinals – Frankfurt Universe @ Braunschweig New Yorker Lions Sat., Sept. 23 6p CEST (12noon EDT)

The Braunschweig New Yorker Lions face the Frankfurt Universe, Saturday, September 23 at Eintracht Stadion in Braunschweig, in their fifth straight German Football League semifinal.

The Lions enter the game as the heavy favorites to win it all again. They easily defeated the Ingolstadt Dukes in the quarterfinals and they are facing a Universe team that has reached this far for the first time in only its second year in the GFL but who downed the Dresden Monarchs in a physical showdown.

The two teams met earlier in the year in the Eurobowl final with Braunschweig earning a lopsided 55-14 win. However, this is a much improved Frankfurt team since that game in early June. The addition of quarterback Jaleel Awini seems to have given the Universe a boost.

This is a game pitting the two best defenses in Germany against the two best offenses.

Frankfurt led the league in defense allowing just 9.2 points a game during the regular season with the Lions second at 9.4. Braunschweig boasted the best offense scoring an average of 43.7 points every game with Frankfurt second at 40.9.

Key position comparisons

Quarterbacks

Lions quarterback Casey Therriault has been one of the elite quarterbacks in Germany since he first came to Braunschweig in 2013 and coincidentally the Lions have won the last four German titles with him behind center. He threw for 3,722 yards and 47 TDs during the regular season against only five interceptions, making him the most efficient quarterback in the league. His counterpart, Jaleel Awini was a late arrival and brought a different dimension to the Universe as he proved against Dresden in the semifinal. He only threw for 88 yards in the semifinal win, but he rushed for a game-high 95.

Running backs

This will be a fun duel to watch with the third (New Yorker Lions RB David McCants) and fourth (Frankfurt Universe RB Silas Nacita) leading rushers in the league going head to head. McCants is a veteran of European play and in his fifth straight season with the Lions. He has been among the elite running backs in Europe throughout his career and proved it again this season with 1,585 yards rushing and 15 touchdowns. Nacita came to Germany last season and immediately made an impact. He is averaging 90.1 yards rushing a game and has also scored 15 touchdowns on the ground. Both are explosive and elusive.

Wide Receivers

Nathaniel Morris has emerged as one of Casey Therriault’s favorite receivers in the absence of Nik Romer. He is averaging a league-best 100.6 yards a game and has scored 17 TDs in his 10 games. Guatemala’s own David Giron has been the “go-to” receiver in Frankfurt for the past two seasons and while his numbers are down with the heavy emphasis on the run game in Frankfurt he is always dangerous. He had 1,142 all-purpose yards this year.

Linebackers

The two top defenses in Germany are anchored by linebackers with Roni Salonen from Finland as Braunschweig’s top tackler and Dustin Illetschko from Austria leading the Universe in tackles. Both lead true team defenses with neither among the top 20 in tackles.

Watch the game live here.

LIVESTREAM: German Semifinals – Frankfurt Universe @New Yorker Lions, Sat. Sept. 23 – 6p CESt (12noon EDT)

Photos: Carsten Wolf

AFI
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