The 4-8 Ingolstadt Dukes pay a visit to Munich, Germany Saturday, August 31 to face the 2-10-1 Munich Cowboys in a game with huge implications for both teams as the German Football League winds down.
The Dukes are battling to reach the playoffs while Munich is fighting to stay out of the basement.
Last week, Ingolstadt downed the Cowboys 28-11 to move closer to a playoff berth. The Dukes sit sixth in the eight team GFL South with the Allgau Comets and Stuttgart Scorpions in front of them with fourth place still up for grabs. A win today and then again next week over Stuttgart by five points or more, would give them the final playoff spot provided that Allgau loses their two games against the defending champion Schwabisch Hall Unicorns and Stuttgart loses to Frankfurt today.
Munich badly needs to win this game, their last of the regular season, in order to avoid a relegation playoff series and the risk of being demoted to the GFL2 for the first time.
Munich is coming off eight straight losses after losing to Ingolstadt last week and suffering back-to-back lopsided shut outs at the hands of the Marburg Mercenaries, 52-0 and Frankfurt Universe, 46-0. The Cowboys had suffered a 48-14 defeat at the hands of the Schwabisch Hall Unicorns the week before. Before that, they dropped a 31-24 decision to the Stuttgart Scorpions after losing 19-18 to the Kirchdorf Wildcats which had followed a very tough 21-19 loss to the Scorpions the week before that. The week before they were beaten 41-29 by the Marburg Mercenaries following back-to-back wins over the Allgäu Comets, downing them 21-18 and 31-16.
The Cowboys have been without the services of QB Brady Bolles for the past three games and in his stead, Manuel Engelmann and Jari Koperski have been pressed into service. If Bolles returns today, the outcome is wide open. Bolles had been averaging 286 yards passing before getting hurt so his absence has had a dramatic impact.
Head coach Garren Holley is experiencing a nightmare season of injuries with his team. If he can pull out a win in this game against the Dukes, the Cowboys will avoid a relegation series.
Before last week’s victory against Munich, Ingolstadt was coming off back-to-back wins over the Kirchdorf Wildcats. They won the second game 37-27 after blanking Kirchdorf 24-0 in the first encounter.
Going into those games, Ingolstadt had come off a 40-33 loss to the Marburg Mercenaries after celebrating their first win of the season the week before, a 31-21 decision over the Allgäu Comets.
Ingolstadt were soundly beaten by the Schwabisch Hall Unicorns 51-0 just before the break and the week before 63-13 by the Frankfurt Universe. They dropped the tough 28-26 decision to the Comets just prior to that. They had lost 43-13 the week before that to the surging Mercenaries after losing 37-13 to the Universe the week prior to that. They had dropped 24-0 decision to the the Unicorns to open their 2019 season. But they then suffered a disappointing 37-30 loss to the Stuttgart Scorpions.
The Dukes have had solid quarterbacking for the last seven games with Cory Benedetto behind center. Although he was replaced in the second half by Jake Sisson, Benedetto is expected to start today. He now has 1,647 yards passing and 17 touchdowns in eight games. His chief target has become Anthony Mella who has caught 47 passes for 692 yards 12 touchdown passes. Normen Schumm has 686 yards receiving on 48 catches. The running game has begun to improve the Dukes are averaging 106.8 yards a game with Philipp Ponader the leading rusher with 347 yards after rushing for 91 yards in last week’s win over Munich.