The Frankfurt Universe will play host to the Marburg Mercenaries Saturday evening at Frankfurter Volksbank Stadion.
This is the first meeting between the number two and three teams in the German Football League South this season. The Universe have built 7-1 record with their only loss coming at the hands of the Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns. Marburg is 6-2, also losing to the Unicorns but dropping a surprising 36-35 decision to the Munich Cowboys.
This is a far different Mercenaries team than the 2016 version that lost both games to Frankfurt by a combined 92-7 score en route to a 2-12 season. Despite losing running back Silas Nacita to Frankfurt, the Mercenaries added running back Andrecus Lindley (486 yards) , quarterback Chad Jeffries (who replaced the injured Emanuel Lewis), linebacker Neal Howey and receiver Robert Johnson (590 yards receiving). Already equipped with a solid German core of players, Marburg has improved from a 2-6 start at this point last year to 6-2. A year ago Marburg had scored 151 points in eight games and given up 303. In the first eight games of 2017 the offense has posted 202 points while the defense has allowed only 148. A vast improvement.
Nevertheless, they are facing a Frankfurt Universe team that has not lost a beat. They are among the top five in scoring and have the stingiest defense. In fact, the Universe defense allows opponents less than 10 points and 167 yards a game.
This will be the first game for Frankfrut running back Silas Nacita against his former team. Nacita has rushed for 824 yards and 10 touchdowns and is averaging 8.8 yards a carry, placing him fourth overall in rushing in Germany. He recorded 138 yards rushing in his last outing against Ingolstadt, scoring two touchdowns. With new quarterback Jaleel Awini also handling rushing duties, Frankfurt boasts a formidable ground game.
With more than half of the German Football League season done, this game definitely has huge implications for the playoffs. A win by Frankfurt and the Universe would be assured of at least second place in the South and home field advantage in the first round of the playoffs. But should Marburg win, the tables are turned.
Kickoff: Saturday July 29, 7 p CEST (1p EDT)