May 26th 17:30, by Alex Malchow

Sunday Recap Week 1: Panthers win a shootout, Stuttgart makes a statement

May 26th 17:30, by Alex Malchow

Sunday Recap Week 1: Panthers win a shootout, Stuttgart makes a statement

Wrocław Panthers win in a shootout in front of 15k+ fans

The Wrocław Panthers took on their rivals the Berlin Thunder in Tarczyński arena in front of a ruckus crowd of over 15 thousand fans. These loyal fans were treated to an exciting and high-scoring game that saw the home team Panthers win 49-39 in an offensive showcase. New Wrocław quarterback Steven Duncan had five total touchdowns throwing four and rushing for one as the Panthers offense marched up and down the field. Yet, the best pass of the game may have come from another Wrocław player, as receiver Daniel Bender took the ball on a reverse and found tight end Adria Botello Moreno for the game-sealing score with under two minutes remaining.

Helping overcome an excellent game from Berlin, Wrocław running back Gennadiy Adams scored three touchdowns in his return to the ELF, while All-Star linebacker AJ Wentland made his presence known with a sack, interception, and several clutch tackles. The high-scoring back-and-forth affair between two talented teams featured 784 yards and a total of 88 points.


Rhein Fire show they are still the league's top team

Head coach Jim Tomsula along with reigning MVP Jadrian Clark and the rest of the Rhein Fire showed they are still ELF's top team in an impressive win. The defending champions defeated the Cologne Centurions in Tivoli Stadium in Aachen by a score of 42-12. Fans were treated to a competitive first half as the Centurions led two scoring drives making the score 21-9.

However, the Rhein Fire's defense allowed only three points to Cologne in the second half as homegrown stars such as Flamur Simon and Aaron Donkor swarmed to the ball, suffocating the Centurions offense. On the other side of the ball, the Rhein Fire offense scored three times in the second half pulling away from their rivals in the third quarter. The game featured several exciting plays from Rhein Fire stars such as 2023 MVP Jadrian Clark who had three total touchdowns, new wide receiver Kelvin Mckight Jr, and of course All-Star running back Glen Toonga who reached the endzone twice. 


Hamburg starts 2024 with a dominant win

The Hamburg Sea Devils went on the road to the Czech Republic and defeated the Prague Lions 31-21. New Sea Devils quarterback Javarian Smith led an efficient day on offense with three touchdown passes, finding Swedish receiver Theo Landstrom for two scores. Perhaps the highlight of the game came following a clutch forced fumble by the Hamburg defense at the goal line, leading to a 99-yard touchdown pass as Smith found receiver Jarvis McClam down the sideline. On the ground, Hamburg's young running back Lucas Harting Candido ran for over 100 yards including an 87-yard touchdown run in the first half.

The Sea Devils defense was able to contain the Lions offense for most of the second half holding them to 0 points in the third quarter. However, following a rain delay at the beginning of the fourth quarter, the Lions cut the lead to 31-21 with consecutive touchdown drives. The Hamburg defense ended any hope of a comeback with a clutch turnover on downs with 1:22 remaining to seal the win.


Stuttgart makes a statement with a commanding performance

The Stuttgart Surge debuted their new black uniforms with a 27-5 win over the Munich Ravens in front of a passionate crowd at Prezero Arena. Both teams exchanged field goals to start the game in a physical and defense-focused first half of play. The Surge gained the lead with a 51-yard field goal from kicker Lenny Krieg, followed by an impressive two-minute drive before the half, that culminated in quarterback Reilly Hennessey finding Jan Peitsch for a receiving touchdown with only seconds remaining before the break.

The Surge built on that momentum in the second half as they took their first possession down the field and ended the drive with a touchdown pass from Hennessey to Yannik Mayr. After a safety and two points to the Munich Ravens, the Surge defense stepped up as Mitch Fettig made a leaping interception. Just a few plays later, Hennessey found receiver Louis Geyer in the endzone as the Surge extended their lead to 27-5. From there, the home team held onto the lead with a fantastic defensive performance limiting the Ravens offense too only three points for the game.

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