LIVESTREAM: Germany – Berlin Rebels @Kiel Baltic Hurricanes, Sat. Aug. 31, 4p CEDT (10a EDT)

The 7-5 Berlin Rebels will head to Kiel, Germany Saturday, August 31 to face the 2-9-1 Kiel Baltic Hurricanes in the second last game of the German Football League season for both teams.

Berlin clinched the fourth and last playoff spot in the GFL North last week when they defeated the Dresden Monarchs 16-13. Meanwhile, the Hurricanes lost their fifth straight, a 29-0 shutout at the hands of the Potsdam Royals.

Kiel is suffering through a second consecutive losing season. They have not scored a point in two games after being blanked 34-0 two weeks ago by the Dresden Monarchs. They had dropped a 21-7 decision to the Hildesheim Invaders. In the loss to Hildesheim,  the defense kept them in the game limiting the powerful Invaders offense to two touchdowns. The third score was a pick six. The week before though , they were soundly beaten 49-21 by the division-leading Braunschweig New Yorker Lions.

The Hurricanes have definitely had a tough year although they got by the Dusseldorf Panther 20-10 just before the break. Before tying the Potsdam Royals 28-28 they were tripped up by the Cologne Crocodiles 13-12 despite holding the lead the entire game, giving up the tying touchdown late in the fourth quarter. They had dropped a 33-14 decision to the Berlin Rebels before losing 48-28 to the Crocodiles. Kiel lost their first game of the season to the Dresden Monarchs 42-14 and then downed the Dusseldorf Panther 37-17 in the other game.

Hurricanes QB Jake Purichia had a dismal game last week throwing for 87 yards over three quarters before giving way to young Henrik Wolk. He has thrown for 2,145 yards and 15 touchdowns but tossed 10 interceptions in 11 games. Wide receiver Kwame Ofori 428 yards in eight games while Mark Castle is the go-to receiver for Purichia and now has 533 yards and six touchdowns. Lukas Rehder has also become a key target and has 501 yards. However, Kiel’s running game has disappeared. Against Potsdam last week, as a team the Hurricanes rushed for -19 yards.

Berlin is coming off of a three wins in a row. Before downing Dresden last week, they had beaten the Cologne Crocodiles 43-22 and the Royals 14-7 the week before.

The Rebels’ had lost 36-30 to Hildesheim in the last minute of play five weeks ago was their second in a row after the break. They had dropped a 34-9 decision to Braunschweig the week before after earning their fourth straight win right before the break, blanking the Crocodiles 27-0. The week before, they had beaten the Dusseldorf Panther 55-13 after downing them 55-20. They had defeated the Kiel Baltic Hurricanes 33-13 after suffering through a dismal opening to their 2019 season losing all three games, which they have not done since 2015 when they lost their first three games of the year en route to a 4-8 season.

The Rebels were downed 30-17 in their opening game by the Potsdam Royals in Potsdam, and then they dropped a 29-12 decision to the Braunschweig New Yorker Lions. In late May, the Hildesheim Invaders proved too much for the 2018 German quarterfinalists, beating them 56-41.

Berlin’s quarterback, Kurt Palandech, has stepped up and was solid in the win over the Monarchs throwing for 153 yards and a touchdown .Since coming to the team he has thrown for 1,684 yards and 19 touchdowns against only three interceptions. TJ Esekielu as the leading receiver with 52 catches for 694 yards and seven touchdowns. Jason Harris now has 390 yards receiving while Naji El- Ali has 402 yards.  Running back Andreas Betza is finding his rhythm and has rushed for 295 yards in two games and now has 692 yards on the year and 11 touchdowns, placing him sixth overall in the GFL.

Although Kiel has nothing to play for other than pride, it is the final home game of the year for them so they will have huge fan support. For Berlin, this game is critical. A win sets up a battle for second place next week against Dresden.

Watch the game live here. Berlin Rebels @Kiel Baltic Hurricanes, Sat. Aug. 31, 4p CEDT (10a EDT)

AFI
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