LIVESTREAM: Top Game in Germany as Dresden Monarchs and New Yorker Lions Clash

In a key game to determine playoff positioning in the German North division, the Dresden Monarchs host the division leading Braunschweig New Yorker Lions at Heinz-Steyer Stadium in Dresden Saturday.

This is a classic matchup. The country’s top offense in the Dresden Monarchs facing the best defense in the New Yorker Lions.

The two teams met earlier this season with the Lions prevailing 33-26 in a game which saw three lead changes.

Dresden enters the contest averaging 50.6 points a game with a spectacular passing attack. Quarterback Brandon Connette has thrown for 3,973 yards and 54 touchdowns in 12 games while only tossing four interceptions. Receivers Micky Kyei and Sebastian Sagne are both among the top 10 in receptions per game and receiving yardage.

However, the Monarchs will be facing the toughest defense in Germany as the Lions allow an average of only 10.5 points per game with a pass defense that also leads the league. Braunschweig surrenders just 123 passing yards per game and has picked off 17 passes in 12 games, four for touchdowns.

This game could well be determined by the Lions ground game. In early June, Braunschweig outgained Dresden on the ground 243 yards to 87 and relied largely on their rushing attack to put the game away in the second half.

The Lions rushing tandem of David McCants and Chris Smith are a deadly pair combining for 1,886 yards total rushing and 27 touchdowns between them. Smith is averaging 9.3 yards a carry on 1,111 yards while McCants has gained 775 yards on 101 carries.

The Monarchs did make a change at running back in their last win over the Berlin Rebels adding last year’s starter Donald Russell. Russell was Dresden’s leading rusher against the Rebels. Joseph Bergeron was slated to start but Russell stepped in at game time.

Therriault returns

Braunschweig has thrown a wrench into Dresden’s plans though. The Lions have announced that German Bowl winning quarterback Casey Therriault (2013, 2014 and 2015) has returned to replace Grant Enders who has been out of the lineup for the past three games due to concussion issues. Evan Landi has filled in well for Enders winning the past three games but with the Lions facing two tough games and the playoffs they brought Therriault back.

Therriault was a key component in the Lions march to the German Bowl championships in 2015 after stepping to replace Enders. This will definitely have the Monarchs coaching staff rethinking their defensive schemes.

A win by the Monarchs would vault them into first in the division while a Lions victory would virtually seal first place in the North for them.

Kickoff Saturday August 27, 3 PM (9 AM EDT)

Roger Kelly is an editor and a writer for AFI. A former PR Director the B.C. Lions of the Canadian Football League for 7 years, he now lives in Sweden writing about and scouting American Football throughout the world.