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A lopsided defeat
What looked to be a close contest in the early stages of the EFL group game between the Marburg Mercenaries and their in-country rivals from Kiel, turned into an easy win for the visiting team from the baltic sea. The final score of 67:10 does not necessarily reflect the balance of power during all four quarters, it does however show emphatically that the far better side won.
The game started well for the team from Hesse, currently still looking for their first victory in any competition, when Safety and Kicker Danijel Katusic connected on a field goal from roughly 30 Yards. (3:0) The contest remained a close affair for the larger part of the first half, even though admittedly the „Canes“ always looked like the stronger squad, continuously able to score at will. Blake Bolles, last year with the Munich Cowboys, was the first to score on a quarterback keeper at the beginning of the second quarter, followed by another touchdown of the ever dangerous Tyler Davis. (3:14) Marburg fought back, showing signs of improvement on offense, when German Quarterback Bastian Berghaus connected with Wide Receiver Philip Prohaska from 15 Yards out on a „Corner Route“. (10:14) Despite the fact that the Mercenaries then conceived another score via Bolles (10:21) the overall performance in the first half was consistent and far better than some people had anticipated prior to the fixture. However, the last play of the quarter was an indication of what was yet to come, when Bolles threw a „Hail Marry Pass“ into Marburgs endzone which Davis snatched out of the air, despite the fact that three defenders were in better position to make the play. (10:27).That being said, the Mercenaries Defense was also able to intercept two Bolles Passes, one each by Danijel Katusic and Lorenz Petri during the first two quarters. The second half then brought the painful perception, that the hosting team simply could not run with their oponents anymore. Kiel imposed its will on a suddenly tired looking Marburg team, which in their defense was rattled by major injuries, including all three starters at the linebacker position. In addition many of the import players were not eligible due to EFL regulations. An interception-return-touchdown by Thiadric Hansen as well as three passing touchdowns from Bolles to Davis, Schulz and Harms later, the score was 10:54 and the game far out of reach for the home team. Kiel now gave everyone playing time and scored yet another two times on a run by Mohamed Arfaoui as well as an interception return by Sharif Bsharat, making it 67:10 to close out the contest. While The Baltic Hurricanes move on the the EFL Final, the european adventure for the Mercenaries is over. They can now fully concentrate on the German Football League in what looks to be a difficult year for the team from Hesse.