The 8-3 Dresden Monarchs will try to solidify their third place position in the German Football League’s North conference when they travel to Berlin to face the 6-5 Berlin Rebels Sunday, August 25.
This is the first meeting between these two teams this year who fill face each other again in the final game of the season. A win by the Rebels in this one would clinch fourth place in the GFL North and a playoff berth
Berlin is coming off of a pair of wins after beating the Cologne Crocodiles last week 43-22 and the Potsdam Royals 14-7 the week before.
The Rebels’ had lost 36-30 to Hildesheim in the last minute of play three 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 beaten 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 begun to find a rhythm and looked good in the win over Cologne throwing for 22 yards on 21 of 30 passing.Since coming to the team he has thrown for 1,531 yards and 18 touchdowns against only two interceptions. TJ Esekielu as the leading receiver with 48 catches for 656 yards and seven touchdowns. Jason Harris now has 342 yards receiving while Naji El- Ali has 379 yards. Running back Andreas Betza finally had a breakout game rushing for 190 yards and two scores against Cologne last week boosting his totals to 587 yards for the year and 10 touchdowns placing him sixth overall in the GFL.
Dresden enters this game needing to defeat the Rebels to secure third place in the GFL North and avoid facing the Schwabisch Hall Unicorns in the first round of the playoffs.
The Monarchs are coming off a 34-0 blanking of the Kiel Baltic Hurricanes last week but had lost to the New Yorker Lions the week previous 19-3. Dresden had beaten both the Potsdam Royals and the Dusseldorf Panther in the previous two weeks by identical 38-7 scores.
The Monarchs had rebounded from their two losses in early June to Hildesheim and Braunschweig by beating the Potsdam Royals 33-13 after getting a 42-7 win over the Cologne Crocodiles. They had been on a two-game losing streak. They were beaten by the Invaders 31-27 after leading most of the game. They lost their first game of the year two months ago, dropping a narrow 34-31 decision to the Braunschweig New Yorker Lions. The Monarchs had won three straight, including 49-13 over the Dusseldorf Panther, 42-14 over the Kiel Baltic Hurricanes and a 17-0 shutout of the Cologne Crocodiles.
Monarchs quarterback Zach Greenlee is the second leading passer in the GFL this season having thrown for 2,923 yards and 28 TDs. He missed one game being replaced by Glen Cuiellette in the loss to Hildesheim. Greenlee is second the GFL in yards per game, 292.3. The top receiver for the Monarchs is Kevonn Mabon who has 86 receptions for 1,348 yards and 14 touchdowns and is first in the league in receiving yards per game (122.5 yds/game). Dresden’s running game returned to a semblance of normal last week with the return of starter Glenn Toonga who rushed for 45 yards giving him 460 for the year.
Dresden boasts the stingiest defense against the pass so the Rebels will have to look for Betza to have another game like he did last week in ripping up the Crocodiles.