Championship Game: A Closer Look at the Running Backs

Two electrifying backfields will meet in Düsseldorf on Sunday!

September 20, 2021
Tim Hanswillemenke
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minutes : seconds
Galaxy RB/KR Justin Rodney leapfrogging a Surge defender in the regular season. ©Alex Stoll

The European League of Football Championship Game will feature a bunch of electric running backs who have the potential to steal the show in front of thousands of fans on Sunday!

The Frankfurt Galaxy (9-1) have great depth at the running back position whereas the Hamburg Sea Devils (7-3) have a top three running back when it comes to overall rushing yards.

Frankfurt Galaxy (9-1)

9 Rushing Touchdowns | 1114 Rushing Yards | 101.3 Rushing Yards Per Game

The Frankfurt Galaxy (9-1) distribute the ball to a lot of different playmakers offensively. It is the same with their running backs as three of their rushers recorded at least 60 rushing attempts and over 350 net rushing yards. In total, the Galaxy have four active running backs on their roster: Gerald Ameln, Gennadiy Adams, Justin Rodney, and Florian Schneikert.

Frankfurt rushed for 1469 yards and 16 total touchdowns as a team. However, only nine of those 16 rushing scores stem from the Galaxy running backs. The other seven touchdowns were run in by the athletic Galaxy quarterbacks.

The young All-Star running back Gerald Ameln led the Galaxy backfield this season with 83 rushing attempts and 385 net rushing yards. This resulted into 4.6 rushing yards per attempt and two rushing touchdowns.

Despite an injury that sidelined fellow running back Gennadiy Adams for almost half the season, he still locked in 61 rushing attempts and 354 net rushing yards. Adams had a team-high 5.8 rushing yards per attempt and a team-high of four rushing touchdowns and the longest run of the season which went for 60 yards. He recorded all those stats while only being active in six out of eleven possible games.

The presumably most electric runner out of the Galaxy backfield is Justin Rodney. The former Ninja-Warrior possesses blazing speed with which he ran for 300 net rushing yards on 79 rushing attempts. He recorded two rushing touchdowns on top of his 3.8 yards per rushing attempt. Rodney also returned two kick-offs which resulted into one touchdown on a 99-yard return that ended with a back-flip in the endzone. What out for him to be a threat on special teams this Sunday!

Hamburg Sea Devils (7-3)

9 Rushing Touchdowns | 1326 Rushing Yards | 120.5 Rushing Yards Per Game

The Hamburg Sea Devils (7-3) running backs rushed for 1326 yards and nine total touchdowns which is a similar outcome compared to the Galaxy rushing attack. Just like Frankfurt, the Hamburg has four running backs on their roster: Xavier Johnson Jr., Julian Ampaw, Simon Homadi, and Jóhann Gísli Hummel. However, the Sea Devils offense has a true number one running back instead of going with a running back committee like the Galaxy.

Ranking in the top three of rushing yards this season, Sea Devils running back Xavier Johnson Jr. recorded 864 net rushing yards and seven rushing touchdowns over the course of nine games played. This results into 96 rushing yards per game and a team-high 5.8 yards per rushing attempt. Johnson had the most carries on his team as well with a total of 149.

Julian Ampaw is a powerful runner who stepped in when Johnson was injured and often comes in on short-yardage situations as he is the heavier back of the two. Ampaw recorded 317 net rushing yards on 74 rushing attempts and one rushing touchdown over the course of the season. He averaged 4.3 rushing yards per attempt and is a solid option behind leading running back Johnson.

When it comes to the passing game, both teams targeted their running backs almost identically. The Frankfurt Galaxy completed 9.5% of all passes to their running backs and the Sea Devils 10.4%.

If you would like to see all running backs in action at the Championship Game on Sunday, you still have the chance to purchase tickets via Ticketmaster.

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