The 4-8-1 Potsdam Royals head to Hildesheim to play the 9-4 Hildesheim Invaders Saturday, September 7 in a German Football League game that has key implications for the Invaders on the final weekend of the regular season.
These two teams met in the opening game of the season and the Invaders came away with a 50-28 win. But Hildesheim is on a skid and has lost three in a row including a 31-14 decision to the Dresden Monarchs last week.
Basically, Hildesheim needs to win this game and have the Monarchs lose to the Berlin Rebels to regain sole possession of second place in the GFL North and home field advantage in at least the first round of the playoffs.
The GFL North’s second place team after this weekend will face the third place team in the GFL South, the Marburg Mercenaries while the third place team takes on the Frankfurt Universe, GFL South #2 in the first round of the playoffs. The fourth place team will have the honor of playing Europe’s #1 team, the Schwabisch Hall Unicorns, who have not lost a game in almost three years.
Here’s the scenario:
If Dresden beats Berlin and Hildesheim wins over Potsdam, then the Monarchs finish second, the Invaders third and Berlin fourth. If Dresden wins and Hildesheim loses, again the Monarchs are second, Invaders third and Rebels fourth. Invaders have won the head-to-head with Berlin.
This is where it gets interesting.
If Berlin wins and Hildesheim also wins, the Invaders finish second with a 10-4 record with the Rebels (9-5) third and Dresden (9-5) ending up fourth. (Berlin would have won both games against Dresden).
If Berlin defeats the Monarchs, and the Invaders lose to Potsdam, that creates a three-way tie for second. Berlin, Dresden and Hildesheim would then all have 9-5 records. So the score of the Berlin-Dresden game becomes crucial. The first tie breaker is the head-to-head meetings between the three. Berlin has beaten Dresden 16-13 and lost to Hildesheim twice, 56-41 and 36-30. Dresden has lost to Hildesheim 31-27 and defeated them 31-14. Hildesheim has the two wins over Berlin and one against Dresden. A Berlin win and Hildesheim loss would then lead to the second tie breaker which is the points differential between the three teams. As of right now, Dresden has the edge with a +16. Hildesheim is +8 and Berlin -18.
The Invaders are in a three-game losing skid and fired their head coach Matt LeFever and both the offensive and defensive coordinators. Whether this creates even more turmoil remains to be seen.
Invaders quarterback Casey Therriault and leading receiver Nate Morris returned to action last week but to no avail. Therriault had only 215 yards passing while Morris caught two passes for 57 yards. Chris Andrew stepped in after Therriault left the game at the end of the third quarter. As a team the Invaders rushed for -3 yards.
Potsdam lost to the Cologne Crocodiles last week 22-8 as another converted quarterback, David Saul, was behind center. Saul threw for a total of two yards and unless Potsdam can fix their quarterbacking woes in this, the final game of the year, this will be an easy win for Hildesheim, even as poorly as the Invaders have performed lately. Running back Gennadiy Adams, who has been the only bright light on offense in recent games, rushed for 48 yards last week. In fact, Potsdam mustered a mere five first downs all game.
With the Invaders having so much at stake and playing in front of their home crowd, the edge in this one has to go the Hildesheim.