This one was exciting from opening kick to final whistle. But in the end, the Leipzig Kings edge the Hamburg Sea Devils 18-17.
This was the final regular season game for Hamburg, who had already locked in their playoff spot. A win today would’ve gone a long way I to deciding if they got the #1 seed or not. But it wasn’t in the cards
Leipzig, however, needed the win to keep their hopes alive. They got it, but will it be enough with Wroclaw also coming up victorious? We get to see it next week, when they square up.
But that’s the future. Let’s talk about now.
Because Hamburg was locked in the postseason, QB2 Salieu Ceesay got the start. But it was the running game that got the ball going.
RB Julian Ampaw came out with a monster 40+ yard run to help the Sea Devils get into scoring range, and he later punched it in for their first score.
The Kings had good chances to keep this one close throughout the first half. Big plays by WRs Anthony Dable-Wolf and Yoshihito Omi kept key drives alive. But they couldn’t capitalize on them.
This gave Hamburg the opportunity to open up a 17-0 lead capped by a record-breaking 59-yard field goal by Phillip Friis Andersen.
WR Tobias Nill added the 2nd TD.
This goes in, because it needs to, but Andersen had 2 field goals – one in each half – that looked good, called missed. That’s 6 points that Hamburg could’ve had.
Big 3rd quarter plays by Dable-Wolf and WR Alpha Jalloh got the Kings on the board, including a TD on a pitch from QB Michael Birdsong. Jalloh ran it hard, making it tough for the Hamburg defense to bring him down.
This made it 17-6, with the missed point after.
Leipzig WR Timothy Knuettel came up monstrously when called upon. He was on the receiving end of the TD from Birdsong that got them within 5, and he’ll get another mention later.
Omi came up big again on the final drive in the 4th for the Kings. He made a drive-saving catch that put the Kings in scoring range.
Birdsong also made a big play, but not with his arm. On 4th and 6, the QB sacrificed his body to get 7, and pick up the much-needed 1st down.
But it was Knuettel again that got the game-winning TD with less than 2:00 to go. Hamburg couldn’t mount a comeback drive, so Leipzig scores 18 unanswered points to leave with the win, keeping their playoff hopes alive for 1 more week.
The Kings improve to 5-4, and will take on the 5-4 Panthers Wroclaw next week.
This ends the regular season for Hamburg. They finish 7-3, and lock in the #2 seed, giving the Galaxy the top spot.