The Samsung Frankfurt Universe, second place finishers in Germany’s South division, will host the Kiel Baltic Hurricanes who finished third in the German North, in perhaps the most intriguing matchup of the Germany Football League’s quarterfinal round this Saturday.
Two weeks ago, Frankfurt had the largest crowd of the season in Germany – 7,400 – on hand as the Universe lost a close decision to the Schwabisch Hall Unicorns. Expect more of the same incredible crowd support Saturday evening in Frankfurt.
The Universe have enjoyed an outstanding season as newcomers to the German Football League. Amid plenty of fanfare Frankfurt has won the EFL crown and lost only two games in 2016.
They are at the top or among the leaders in most statistical categories and sport the league’s best defense surrendering only 217.7 yards per game and giving up 54 yards rushing a game.
They are the runaway leaders in interceptions with 27 or almost two picks per game.
The Universe offense is scoring at a 39 points per game clip. Quarterback Marcus McDade has thrown for 2,580 yards and 33 touchdowns this year and is among the top four in passing efficiency with a rating of 163.2.
McDade’s favorite target is Guatemalan receiver David Giron who had 1,032 yards and 12 touchdowns on the season on a league-leading 78 receptions. Running back Jesse Lewis led Frankfurt’s rushing attack with 1,034 yards on 151 carries. He gives the Universe a balanced offense.
The Kiel Baltic Hurricanes have consistently been among the leaders in both offense and defense all season. The offense has been averaging 405 yards a game good for third while the defense gives up 300 yards a contest, also putting them third.
Kiel quarterback Logan Schrader has thrown for 2,932 yards and 32 touchdowns but also tossed 10 interceptions. He will have to be on alert against Frankfurt’s ball-hawking secondary. His leading receiver is Xavier Mitchell who has caught 55 passes for 799 yards and nine touchdowns.
Kiel relies heavily on the run though with running back Chris McClendon providing punishing running. He finished the season with 1,623 yards and 17 touchdowns but in his last four games he averaged 220 yards rushing per game with a high of 339 yards and five touchdowns against the Hildesheim Invaders.
The game may well be won on the ground. Kiel’s potent rushing attack against Frankfurt with the stingiest defense in the league against the run.
Two areas which might give Frankfurt a slight edge. They have the second best turnover margin in Germany averaging 1.21 per game. And they have the toughest red-zone defense.
Other quarterfinal games
This could be the tightest game of the quarterfinals. In the other game Saturday, the Schwabisch Hall Unicorns (South #1) host the Berlin Rebels (North #4). Sunday’s games feature the Dresden Monarchs (North #2) at home to the Saarland Hurricanes (South #3) while the Braunschweig New Yorker Lions (North #1) face the Allgau Comets (South #4).
Frankfurt Universe v. Kiel Baltic Hurrincaes – Saturday, September 17, 7p CET (1p EDT)
Photo credits: C-Sportspics, Mark Seefeldt