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Cologne Centurions Outlast the Wroclaw Panthers, 33-31

In a rematch from Week 1, the Wroclaw Panthers traveled to Cologne to take on the Centurions. Slow start, but we did see a little scoring in the first stanza. 

After a big play from Lukas O’connor to Jakub Mazan, Bartosz Dziedzic got into the endzone for the Panthers. PAT was no good, so they led by 6. 

The two traded punts, until Wroclaw pitted Cologne deep in their own territory. Centurions RB Madre London broke out a huge run, 86 yards down inside the 5. Two plays later, London ran it in for the touchdown. PAT was good, so Cologne took the lead, 7-6.

That wouldn’t last long, though, as the Panthers, on a methodical drive led by O’Connor, was able to get WR Przemyslew Banat involved with a big gain inside the 10. RB Mark Herndon took it the rest of the way in for the TD. PAT was good, so the Panthers retake the lead 13-7.

I have mentioned the kicking game, because it was a big part of this matchup. Neither team have a consistent specialist, so more than a few times both teams would go for it on 4th down, and PAT’s were not guaranteed. Field goals were almost nonexistent.

That being said, Panthers’ newly signed kicker, former The Spring League specialist Tadgh Leader was able to hit on a 38 yard field goal late in the 2nd quarter to extend their lead 16-7 going into the half. 

The Wroclaw Panthers started with the ball in the 2nd half, and CB/KR Darius Robinson gave the Polish team a short field to deal with, as he returned the half opening kickoff to the Centurions’ 40. 

Big plays by Herndon, and a defensive pass interference call that was a little sketchy, put O’Connor and Co in a great spot to find Banat in the endzone for a TD. PAT was no good. The lead was extended to 22-7.

Cologne had issues getting going early in the 3rd quarter, punting on their first 2 possessions. The Wroclaw pass rush, and the rain making the pass game difficult for the Centurions. 

The defense for Cologne was able to capitalize on 2 straight turnovers by Wroclaw, as Paul Steffen returned an interception for a TD. On the next Panther possession, RB Mark Herndon fumbled and 1 play after, Madre London had yet another big TD run, from 35 yards out. The 2 point conversion was no good. Panthers still lead 22-20.

This is yet another 200+ yard game for London. 

Both teams traded punts for the rest of the 3rd quarter.

Big plays by the Panthers’ Herndon, and WR Adrian Grodecki got the offense within the 15 yard line, but only came away with a field goal, lead 25-20.

On the next drive by the Centurions, London and WR Quinton Pounds were key for getting in scoring range. But penalties almost killed the drive. Two straight false starts on the offensive line, and then a sack, made it 4th and 20. On that play, Weinreich hit WR Paul Lenhardt for 22 and a drive-saving first down. Next play, Madre London gets in for his 3rd TD of the game. PAT was no good, but they take the lead, 26-20.

Wroclaw’s Herndon coughs up the ball yet again, and Cologne recovers. A few plays later, London is back in the endzone for the 4th time today. Centurions lead 33-25.

To come to Mark Herndon’s defense, they do not do replay in the ELF. Had they, it’s highly likely that both of the fumbles today would’ve been called down by contact.

On a drive that was aided by penalties, Herndon makes up for what might’ve been mistakenly 2 turnovers, and gets Wroclaw back in the endzone. The 2 point conversion was no good, Cologne still leads 33-31.

Big return by the Centurions, and another monster 60+ yard run for London, they’re back in scoring range with under 2:00 to go.

Cologne takes their time, gets within the 5, but is stopped on 4th and goal. Wroclaw takes over with 0:29 to go.

Time ran out on the drive, Cologne wins this one, 33-31.

Wroclaw falls to 3-3, face the Frankfurt Galaxy next week.

Cologne goes to 4-2, and will play the Dragons next week.

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