Jun 23rd 16:30, by Alex Malchow

Rhein Fire pull off a thrilling comeback win in Berlin

Aileen Uzoma

Jun 23rd 16:30, by Alex Malchow

Rhein Fire pull off a thrilling comeback win in Berlin

Berlin Thunder jump out to an early lead

In a highly anticipated matchup between two of the more talented teams in the ELF, fans were not disappointed as the Rhein Fire and Berlin Thunder duelled in a thrilling back-and-forth game, in front of a ruckus crowd. The home team Thunder struck first as Ludvig Myren snagged an interception off of Rhein Fire quarterback Jadrian Clark. A few plays later, Berlin receiver Aaron Jackson stepped in as a wildcat quarterback and scrambled 8 yards for the game's first score. 

The 2023 champions answered as Glen Toonga plunged into the endzone following a long drive that fed him heavily. On the next series, Berlin responded as Thunder quarterback Jakeb Sullivan found speedy Robin Wilzek down the sideline connecting for a 41-yard touchdown.

Following a poor punt from Rhein Fire punter Sebastian van Santen, the Thunder scored again as running back Albert Wiesigstrauch dragged several defenders into the endzone with a powerful 11-yard run, making the score 21-7 for Berlin at the half.

Rhein Fire shake off a slow first-half

The Rhein Fire started off the second half with a bang as safety Till Jansen intercepted a ball off the hands of a Berlin receiver on the first play from scrimmage, giving them prime field position. Glen Toonga and his squad capitalized as the All-Star running back scored his second touchdown. However, Berlin's Alex Spillum blocked the extra point, making the score 21-13.

Berlin's special teams once again made a big play, as former NFL kicker Dominic Eberle hit a 45-yard field goal giving them an 11-point lead. The next series, it was a different Rhein Fire running back that found the endzone as Sergej Kendus broke loose for an 18-yard score cutting the lead to 24-19 for the Thunder.

Jim Tomsula's defense steps up in crunch time 

Former defensive player of the year Kyle Kitchens made a clutch sack in the beginning of the fourth quarter forcing a Rhein Fire punt. Marius Kensy and the Rhein Fire defense stepped up and made a clutch stand forcing Berlin to punt as well. Punt returner Omari Williams showed off his agility scampering for 30-yards to set up the Rhein Fire in plus territory. Glen Toonga shook off an ankle injury and found the endzone from 9-yards out giving the Rhein Fire a 27-24 lead after Harlan Kwofie converted a two-point conversion. 

The Berlin Thunder were able to convert a clutch fourth and one on a tush push quarterback sneak.  A few plays later the Thunder were faced with a do-or-die 4th & 9, but were stopped by the Rhein Fire defense. Toonga and the Rhein Fire running attack ran out the remaining two minutes to give them the win. Toonga finished the day with an impressive 175 yards and 3 touchdowns. 

The win moves Jim Tomsula and the Rhein Fire to a 4-1 record, good for second place in the Western Conference. Berlin suffers a heartbreaking loss for the second week in a row falling to a 2-3 record. 

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