LIVESTREAM: Germany – Kiel Baltic Hurricanes @Potsdam Royals, Sat. Aug. 24, 4:30p CEDT (10:30a EDT)

The Potsdam Royals (3-7-1) will be trying to salvage part of their season Saturday, August 24, when they play host to the 2-8-1 Kiel Baltic Hurricanes as the German Football League heads into the final three weekends of play.

The two teams faced each other earlier in the season in a game which ended up in a 28-28 tie.

The Royals earned one of their only three wins of the season last week, getting by the lowly Dusseldorf Panther for the second time this year, this time by a score of 17-10.  The other win over the Panther was a more solid 34-17 victory. Potsdam also downed the Berlin Rebels 30-17 earlier this season. Potsdam had gone winless since May 18 when they beat Dusseldorf 34-17.

Before losing to the Berlin Rebels two weeks ago, 14-7, Potsdam dropped a 38-7 decision to the Dresden Monarchs the week before, and Cologne 26-14 before that. The Royals had been coming off  a 33-13 loss to the Monarchs following a 28-28 tie with the Kiel Baltic Hurricanes which saw them rally to score late in the game to earn the tie. They had suffered back-to-back losses to the Braunschweig New Yorker Lions, 35-14 and 46-7. Potsdam had  dropped their opening game to the Hildesheim Invaders, losing 50-28, but rebounded in beating the Berlin Rebels 30-17.  They then downed the Dusseldorf Panther 34-17 before losing to Braunschweig.

Potsdam continues to struggle with quarterback injuries resulting in a true revolving door at that position. Starter Sam Straub has been sent home after suffering a concussion. Last week, wide receiver Timothy Knuttel was called upon again along with Pual Zimmerman. The duo combined for 38 yards passing with Zimmermann suffering a knee injury. For today’s game, it looks like Enrico Stiegermann may get the nod. Naturally, with the quarterback spot being in a constant state of flux, the receiving corps has struggled. Picking up the slack has been running back Gennadiy Adams who rushed for 163 yards and two touchdowns last week.  He is the second leading rusher in the GFL with 937 yards and  will be heavily relied on today.

LB Dustin Illetschko who anchors the front seven, has recorded 115 tackles in 10 games, fifth overall in the GFL.

Kiel simply cannot find the win column, at least not very often as they try to get through losing season. They were blanked 34-0 by the Dresden Monarchs last week after losing 21-7 the week before to the Hildesheim Invaders. In the loss to Hildesheim,  the defense kept them in the game limiting the powerful Invaders offense to two touchdowns. The third score was a pick six. The week before though , they were soundly beaten 49-21 by the division-leading Braunschweig New Yorker Lions.

The Hurricanes have definitely had a tough year although they got by the Dusseldorf Panther 20-10 just before the break. Before tying the Potsdam Royals 28-28 they were tripped up by the Cologne Crocodiles 13-12 despite holding the lead the entire game, giving up the tying touchdown late in the fourth quarter. They had dropped a 33-14 decision to the Berlin Rebels before losing 48-28 to the Crocodiles. Kiel lost their first game of the season to the Dresden Monarchs 42-14 and then downed the Dusseldorf Panther 37-17 in the other game.

Hurricanes QB Jake Purichia has thrown for 2,058 yards and 15 touchdowns but tossed nine interceptions in 10 games. Wide receiver Kwame Ofori 359 yards in seven games while Mark Castle is the go-to receiver for Purichia and now has 510 yards and six touchdowns. Lukas Rehder has also become a key target and has 486 yards. However, Kiel’s running game has disappeared. Against Dresden last week, as a team the Hurricanes rushed for 43 yards.  Fritjof Richter has been starting but has only rushed for 237 yards total. In fact, as a team the Hurricanes are averaging 65.5 yards a game, third worst in the GFL.

With Potsdam suffering without a true starter at quarterback, Kiel might have the edge in this game even though they are on the road.

Watch the game live here. Kiel Baltic Hurricanes @Potsdam Royals, Sat. Aug. 24, 4:30p CEDT (10:30a EDT)

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