LIVESTREAM: Germany – Hildesheim Invaders @Dresden Monarchs, Sat. Aug. 31, 3p CEDT (9a EDT)

The 8-4 Dresden Monarchs have a chance to solidify second place when they host the 9-3 Hildesheim Invaders Saturday, August 31 at Heinz-Steyer-Stadion in Dresden.

Dresden enters this game needing to defeat the Invaders to secure second place in the GFL North and get home field advantage in the playoffs. The Monarchs are coming off a surprising 16-13 defeat at the hands of the Berlin Rebels last week while Hildesheim, without injured quarterback Casey Therriault and the team’s leading receiver, Nate Morris, were shut out by the Cologne Crocodiles 14-0.

Both teams have looked vulnerable but Dresden’s loss was the more surprising as starting quarterback Zach Greenlee, the second leading passer in the league, struggled and was replaced by Glen Cuillette.

The week before, the Monarchs had blanked the Kiel Baltic Hurricanes 34-0 after suffering a 19-3 loss to the New Yorker Lions the previous week. 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 still among the top passers in the GFL despite last week’s poor showing.He has thrown for 3.027 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, 272.2. The top receiver for the Monarchs is Kevonn Mabon who has  86 receptions for 1,463  yards and 15 touchdowns and is first in the league in receiving yards per game (121.9 yds/game). Dresden’s running game has returned with starter Glenn Toonga back in the lineup. He rushed for 139 yards in the loss to Berlin and now has 599 for the year.

HIldesheim’s loss to Cologne was the second game in a row that the previously high-flying Invaders had not scored a point. The Invaders were soundly beaten by the New Yorker Lions the week before, getting blanked 37-0. It was not so surprising perhaps given the team’s performance the week before that whey they barely got by the Kiel Baltic Hurricanes 21-7 in a muted performance for their ninth win of the season.  The Invaders had defeated the Berlin Rebels 36-30 the week before  and before that downed the Hurricanes 27-7. Hildesheim came out of the gate fast with six straight wins before being tripped up by the Lions. They had entered that game after their sixth consecutive win,, a 31-27 come-from-behind victory over the Monarchs.

Despite the setbacks, Hildesheim remains the most improved team in the league and won their five opening games by one-sided scores beating the Potsdam Royals 50-28, taking care of the Panther 49-17, downing the Cologne Crocodiles 31-14 and then defeating the Berlin Rebels 56-41 and the Pantheragain, 46-10.

Whether Invaders quarterback Casey Therriault and leading receiver Nate Morris will return to action today is unknown. Before leaving the game against the Lions with a twisted ankle, Therriault had been in excellent form.He has thrown 2,922 yards and a 34 touchdowns on the year while rushing for 388 yards and four touchdowns. Last week, Chris Andrew filled in again but had a tough day throwing for just 89 yards. Sean Richard is the team’s leading rusher with 428 yards but is now being used mainly as a wide receiver. Phillip Gamble is starting at RB and picked up 431 yards rushing and four touchdowns. Morris (1,055 yds, 10 TDs) is the team’s leading receiver followed by  Anthony Dablé-Wolf (690 yds, 13 TDs)

The Invaders without Therriault are a far different team than with him. If he is still out of the lineup, Dresden could avenge the earlier loss to Hildesheim and grab second place.

Watch the game live here. Hildesheim Invaders @Dresden Monarchs, Sat. Aug. 31, 3p CEDT (9a EDT)

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