LIVESTREAM: Germany – Game of the Week – Dresden Monarchs @Braunschweig New Yorker Lions, Sept. 9, 3p (9a ET)

First place in the GFL North and home field advantage throughout the playoffs are up for grabs as the 11-2 Dresden Monarchs and 11-2 Braunscwheig New Yorker Lions get set to face each other in the final game of the 2018 German Football League season for both clubs Sunday, September 9 in Braunschweig, Germany.

In the only other meeting between the two teams this year, the Lions came out on top 44-24, in Dresden. The last time the Monarchs beat Braunschweig was a last minute 27-26 victory in 2015 in Braunschweig.

The Lions lead the North with a 11-2 record with the second place Monarchs hot on their heels, also with an 11-2 record. The Berlin Rebels are third at 10-3 but have two wins against the Lions and a decisive victory over the Monarchs.

Dresden, Berlin and Braunschweig took care of business last weekend, winning their respective games. The Lions defeated the Kiel Baltic Hurricanes 22-14 while Dresden had no trouble beating the Hildesheim Invaders 40-3. Berlin downed the winless Hamburg Huskies 24-7.

So the winner of this game will finish with a 12-2 record and in sole possession of first. The Rebels play the Hildesheim Invaders and should they win (and they should) they will then finish second, no matter who wins the Lions-Monarchs game. The loser of this game will drop to third and lose home field advantage in the opening round of the playoffs.

Braunschweig downed the Kiel Baltic Hurricanes last week 22-14 in a surprisingly tough contest after suffering their second loss of the season, to the same team, the Berlin Rebels.That loss had been preceded by a five-game winning streak. The Lions had beaten the Cologne Crocodiles twice in a row as well as the Monarchs and the Potsdam Royals two times in comfortable fashion. In their only other loss this year, Braunschweig were surprised by the Rebels in mid June, losing 24-21.

Braunschweig has the second highest scoring offense in Germany averaging 38.3 points a game, while their defense allows just 11.5 points a game, good for second in the GFL.

Jadrian Clark of the Lions is one of the most efficient quarterbacks in the country having completed 206 of 345 passes for 2,957 yards and 37 touchdowns against nine interceptions. His favorite target is Justus Holtz who has 696 yards receiving while big  Nicolai Schumann has 520 yards receiving although Schumann did not see action in the game against the Hurricanes last week.

The Lions have the highest rushing offense in Germany with 2,140 yards in total team rushing but with only one player in the top 10 in overall yardage, the injured Sean Richard who has 921 yards rushing.  However, Chris McClendon returned from injury four games ago and has rushed for 368 yards in four games.

The Braunschweig defense is anchored by linebackers Roni Salonen and Anthony Darkangelo as well as defensive backs Tim Unger, Tissi Robinson and Darius Robinson and team sack leader Jakob Schridde. They allow an average of 71.9 yards against the run and 130.8 against the pass, second best in the league. However, against the Rebels two weeks ago, Braunschweig gave up 255 yards rushing, 168 to Berlin quarterback Terrell Robinson.

Dresden’s only two losses came at the hands of the Berlin Rebels and the Lions.

The Monarchs have won their last four games and looked impressive so far in 2018. They have the third highest scoring offense in Germany averaging 36.8 points a game and the defense is fifth allowing 19.9.

Trenton Norvell of the Dresden Monarchs is the 2nd leading passer in Germany with 3,721 yards and a league best 43 TDs. His leading receiver is Mitchell Paige who leads all receivers in Germany and has caught 114 passes for 1,777 yards and a league-leading 22 TDs.

Linebacker AJ Wentland of the Monarchs is a tackling machine and in the last five games he has recorded 52 tackles. In the loss to the Lions in late June, he had 22 tackles. He  tops the GFL by a wide margin with 169 tackles in 13 games.

So two of the best teams in Europe face each other in the final game of the season for first place. Get the popcorn out and sit back and enjoy.

Watch the game live here. Dresden Monarchs @Braunschweig New Yorker Lions, Sept. 9, 3p (9a ET)

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