ELF: Rhein Fire keep postseason hopes alive with last second win over Frankfurt Galaxy

This past Sunday, the Rhein Fire kept their season alive by kicking a last second field goal to defeat the Frankfurt Galaxy 23-21 as the European League of Football regular season nears its end. With over 12,000 fans in attendance, the game was full of excitement and more than a little controversy.

The Fire got off to a rough start when quarterback Jadrian Clark was intercepted on the first offensive play of the game. However, the Rhein defense managed to hold Frankfurt to a field goal.

Each team scored twice in the second quarter with the Fire scoring a pair of touchdowns while the Galaxy kicked two field goals. The Fire took a 13-9 lead into the break.

Rhein controlled the third quarter, scoring a touchdown to extend their lead to 20-9. However, Frankfurt made good adjustments and took over in the fourth quarter on both sides of the ball. A touchdown at the beginning of the fourth quarter made the score 20-15 (with a failed two-point conversion). After getting the ball back, Frankfurt drove down the field as the clock ticked down. With only about 28 seconds on the clock, Galaxy quarterback Jakeb Sullivan found receiver Reece Horn for a go-ahead five yard touchdown pass. The two point conversion was once again unsuccessful, making the score 21-20 with little time on the clock.

The Fire got the ball back in search of a miracle – and they got it. In a crazy play, Clark found receiver Timothy Knuettel for a 75 yard touchdown pass with two seconds left on the clock. And this is where the controversy kicked in. The Fire were called for a false start on the play, erasing the touchdown. However, Galaxy head coach Thomas Kösling rushed onto the field during the play for some reason and was called for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. Although the Fire’s touchdown was negated, the 15 yard penalty call gave them the ball in much better field position. Clark needed one pass to move his team into field goal range and with a couple of tics on the clock kicker Rene Hanssen booted a 43 yard field goal to win the game.

Outside of that interception at the start of the game, Jadrian Clark had a great game, completing 15 of 25 passes for 308 yards and three touchdowns. The top Fire receiver was Harlan Kwofie, who caught four passes for 151 yards and a touchdown, which was a 75 yard strike in the second quarter. For Frankfurt, Jakeb Sullivan completed 29 of 41 passes for 313 yards and two touchdowns along with an interception. He also carried the ball 18 times for 72 yards on the ground. Reece Horn led the way receiving with six catches for 111 yards and the go ahead touchdown late in the fourth quarter.

Next week, the Fire travel to Cologne to take on the 2-8 Centurions on Saturday, while the Galaxy have a massive game when they host the 7-3 Tirol Raiders on Sunday. Both the Fire and the Galaxy are in a group of four teams competing for the last playoff spot. They will be playing their hearts out the rest of the season with the goal of making the postseason

A current student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Carter played football in high school and has been a lifelong avid football fan.