Razorbacks host Monarchs in quarterfinal|
veröffentlicht am 17.Sep.2003 @ 16:59:51 von MEB
The Rhein Main Razorbacks of Coach Mike Wyatt will be hoping to do something they have never done as a GFL team when they meet the Dresden Monarchs on Saturday, September 20 at 16:00 at Stadion am Sommerdamm in Rüsselsheim. They will be hoping to get their first playoff win in the GFL.
Under Wyatt, the Hogs have been to the quarterfinal all 6 years of his coaching tenure, but have failed to advance. Five of those games have been in Rüsselsheim.
In defense of the Razorbacks, the only time they were the favorite to win the quarterfinal game was last season, when they fell behind the Berlin Adler 23-21 with only 17 seconds to go in the game. A J.D. Graves 54 yard field goal attempt would have sent the Razorbacks on to the semi-finals, but the kick fell just under the goalpost crossbar.
"We are due to get a playoff win, but as I have explained to the players on many occasions, when you get in a playoff game, it isn´t always who has the best players, but rather who plays the best that day." stated Wyatt.
The Razorbacks, 9-3 and GFL South Conference Champions will host the Dresden Monarchs 6-6 and the fourth place team in the GFL North Conference. The Razorbacks have the GFL´s top offense, scoring 517 points while the Monarchs rank 8th in scoring in the 12 team league with a total of 269 points scored.
"The point totals can be deceiving. Dresden´s point totals are down some because they are more of a ball control offense that keeps the football in hand and doesn´t allow the opponent many opportunities to put up points." Wyatt noted.
Defensively, the Monarchs rank 4th in the GFL in points allowed at 296 points while the Razorbacks rank 6th with 304 points allowed.
The game should pose an interesting match-up. The Dresden defense has been good at stopping the run, but have been hurt some in the passing game, which is the Razorbacks forte. The Razorbacks defense has has some problems with opponent´s running game and that is the Monarchs strength.
"Like most playoff games, it will come down to field position, turnovers and general mistakes. But, it should be an exciting game for the fans to see." added Wyatt.
The Razorbacks will look to recent roster acquisition, Daniel Benetka, the Frankfurt Galaxy star defensive lineman to help shore up their defense. He will be joined by US import defensive lineman Alex Luna, the former University of Arizona star and Marcus Richter, a former Frankfurt Galaxy defensive lineman. Andy Petek, a member of last year´s Razorbacks and the Big Sky Conference Defensive Player of the Year from the University of Montana has also joined the Razorbacks for their playoff run.
The Monarchs will counter with Ricky Brown, the former University of Texas and Berlin Thunder star running back. Brown was allocated to the Thunder by the Cincinnati Bengals after having been a star for the University of Texas and the lead blocker for Heisman Trophy winner Ricky Williams, now a star with the Miami Dolphins.
"Ricky Brown will be a load for our defense to stop. He has the ability to run with power and he can also make tacklers miss with his moves. We have to keep him from having a big day in order to be successful." Wyatt supposed.
The Razorbacks offensive attack features the skills of another running back from the Big 12 Conference in former Kansas State star Mike Lawrence. Lawrence ran away with the GFL scoring title scoring 176 points on 28 touchdowns. He is also one of a trio of Razorback receivers to catch a thousand yards in passes in 2003 joining Marcel Duft and Eddie Larkins who led an offense that put up a European record 5788 yards in total offense.
The key for the Razorbacks offensive success will be in the hands of quarterback Clay Groefsema who has passed for 4224 yards and 47 touchdown in 2003, while completing 63.5% of his passes.
"There is no question that we are a quarterback driven offense, but we can also run the football, if need be. Most people don´t realize it, but we averaged 6.9 yards per carry running the football in 2003." Wyatt offered.
Playoff games sometimes produce opportunities for different players to take control of the game. The Razorback offense has a multitude of weapons that could grab the spotlight. Receivers Filip Pawelka and Slawomir Rybarczyk have had big games and could be clutch performers for the Hogs. Ronnie Brookins and Douglas Hacker are also capable of making a significant contribution at running back and tight end Florian Bambuch has the potential to make big plays, as well.
Game time is set for 16:00 in Rüsselsheim´s Stadion am Sommerdamm.
Rhein Main Razorbacks
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