The Kiel Baltic Hurricanes (0-1) will play their home opener Saturday, May 25 when they face the 0-3 Dusseldorf Panther at Kiel’s Kilia Stadion as the German Football League heads into its fourth full round of play.
The Hurricanes finished out of the playoffs in 2018 for the first time since entering the GFL in 2007. Dusseldorf has returned to the top league in Germany after a three year absence.
Kiel lost their first game of the season to the Dresden Monarchs 42-14. Meanwhile, the Panther have dropped three in a row, losing to the Monarchs 49-13, the Hildesheim Invaders 49-17 and the Potsdam Royals, 34-17.
Hurricanes QB Jake Purichia (Indianapolis) threw for 260 yards and two touchdowns in that opening day loss to the Monarchs but tossed three interceptions. Wide receiver Kwame Ofori caught nine passes for 91 yards in that game and will be needed today. Running back Julian Ampaw had a rough day rushing the ball against Dresden gaining only 27 yards. However, he will not be facing the top rushing defense in today’s game so look for him to have a breakout game.
Dusseldorf has struggled out of the gate in the GFL so far this season.
Quarterback Christian Strong (Seton Hill) has completed 72 of 137 passes for 740 yards and three touchdowns with Féli Manoka as his leading receiver with 261 yards. He has tossed three interceptions however. The running game has improved slightly though as Sergej Kendus has rushed for 183 yards in three games but really had a breakout game against Potsdam rushing for 137 yards and a touchdown.
Dusseldorf head coach John Leijten knew this would be a work in progress in the team’s return to the GFL and there were signs of noticeable improvement against the Royals, particularly in the run game.
This game could go either way.