The 8-5 Marburg Mercenaries, Europe #17, will face off against the 11-2 Frankfurt Universe, Europe #6, Saturday, September 7 in Frankfurt, in the final round of the German Football League regular season.
When these two teams met early in the year, Frankfurt pulled out an exciting 20-14 victory. The Universe are the number two team in the GFL South while Marburg is number three.
Marburg has won seven of their last nine games and one of those losses was a 42-36 decision to the Schwabisch Hall Unicorns. Frankfurt has lost only two games, both to the Unicorns and the second one by a similar score, 42-34.
Frankfurt enters the game without pressure although they were pushed to the limit last week in a close 26-24 win over the Stuttgart Scorpions. The Universe needed a last second field goal by Max Siemssen to get the win. However, they did rest starting quarterback Steve Cluley in the second half and will likely to something similar today. They have clinched second place so the game has no bearing on the standings.
For Frankfurt, Steve Cluley has thrown for 3,326 yards and 33 touchdowns with Antony Brooks (966 yds), Sebastian Sagne (744 yds, 12 TDs) and George Robinson (612 yds), as his leading targets. The latest signing is defensive back Jamarii Milliken from Furman who will no doubt get plenty of playing time. Another recent signing, former Purdue Boilermaker/Philadelphia Eagle Anthony Mahoungou from France, has 25 catches for 427 yards in six games. Running back Justin Rodney now has 867 yards rushing.
The Mercenaries can also play this game without pressure having sewn up third and with no chance of catching Frankfurt in the standings.
Quarterback Jake Sullivan is playing on a high level and leads the league in passing yardage and average yards per game having thrown for 4,280 yards in 13 games, an average of 329.3 yards a game,. Hendrik Schwarz is his leading receiver with 1,052 yards receiving on 60 receptions. He is averaging a league-best 17.5 yards a catch and 80.9 yards a game. Luke Wildung has 58 receptions for 625 yards while Marvin Rutsch has caught 104 passes for 897 yards. Running back Triston McCathem has 851 yards rushing (5th in average with 65.5/game) for the year but he also has 690 yards receiving.
Neither team wants to enter the playoffs after a loss so the juggling of lineups will be an interesting chess match.