The 12-0 Braunschweig New Yorker Lions will play their second last game of the German Football League regular season in Düsseldorf as they face the 0-12 Düsseldorf Panther.
Last week, Braunschweig destroyed the hapless Panther 70-14 with Lions running back Chris McClendon running a muck, rushing for 245 yards and four touchdowns in less than three quarters of play. His backup, Meril Zero had 112 yards rushing and another touchdowns. Whether Lions head coach Troy Tomlin will play his starters as much this week remains to be seen.
The winless Panther, with two games left, are already facing a relegation playoff series against the Elmshorn Fighting Pirates at the end of the regular season so they will need to gain some momentum in this one.
Panther quarterback Christian Strong (Seton Hill) has not played in the last two games with wide receiver Trevor Vasey stepping in as his replacement. Vasey threw for 165 yards and one touchdown against the Potsdam Royals in a 17-10 loss and last week against the Lions threw for 189 yards and two touchdowns.. It is not known who will start today. Strong has thrown for 2,061 yards and 13 touchdowns, but tossed a league-worst 21 interceptions. Féli Manoka is the leading receiver and against the Lions had three catches for 117 yards and two touchdowns. Sergej Kendus is the team’s leading rusher and has rushed for 499 yards in 12 games.
The Lions offense is highly effective with QB Brandon Connette throwing for just 1,838 yards in the 12 games. McClendon has 1,294 yards rushing so far and leads the league spearheading the top rushing offense in Germany averaging 221.6 yards a game.
Wide receivers Nicolai Schumann (458 yds) and Christian Bollmann with 402 yards receiving lead the team.
How much heart Dusseldorf will be able to muster for this game is tough to predict. Head coach Tim Johnson is optimistic but realistic:
“The first leg in Braunschweig came at the right time. We now know where we stand and how the best team in the league plays. This helps us to better prepare for our upcoming opponents.”