On Saturday, the Kiel Baltic Hurricanes and Cologne Crocodiles will kick off their new German Football League season. when they face each other at Sportpark Höhenberg, in Cologne.
The Crocodiles finished the 2017 season with a 6-8 record and out of the playoffs in the GFL North while Kiel ended up third reaching the semifinals where they were eliminated by eventual champions, the Schwabisch Hall Unicorns.
The two teams met twice in 2017, Cologne’s first back in the German Football League, and Kiel took both games.
Hurricanes head coach Dan Disch:
“We expect an intense match. Cologne was a tough opponent last year as one of the promoted teams. Their first impression on us is a very good one for this year as well.”
However, Cologne’s offseason wasn’t ideal. They had to deal with the departures of many key players. Newly acquired running back Damion Moore asked for his contract to be terminated due to personal reasons, while quarterback Jimmy Coy had to leave the team during training camp after the sudden death of his father. Linebacker Marc Millan left the Crocodiles as well.
Cologne filled these holes by signing quarterback Bradley Strauss (William Jewell College), running back Shayeen Edwards (McKendree University) and linebacker Tucker Stanley (Eastern Oregon).
The Crocodiles have played a preseason games, defeating the Dutch champion Amsterdam Crusaders 38-22 without their imports. In that game, Jan Weinreich threw three touchdowns to receiver Noah Aarass Benjamin Mentges who last season was the predominant playmaker for Cologne, changed position and scored a fumble return touchdown playing defensive line. Theo Groenendaels added a rushing touchdown and Dominik Gröne kicked a field goal.
The Hurricanes also played a preseason game, defeating the Elmshorn Fighting Pirates (GFL2) 28-7. In that game, new quarterback Clayton Turner threw touchdown passes to Kwame Ofori, Diego Sanchez and Lukas Rehder while Thore Prüße added a rushing touchdown.
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