Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns advance to 7th German Bowl in 8 years

The defending German Football League champion Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns are headed to the German Bowl for the seventh time in eight years after defeating the Dresden Monarchs 23-7 in the German Football League semifinals at Optima Sport Park in Schwäbisch Hall.

The Unicorns recorded a record 33rd straight win (they have not lost since  German Bowl XXXVIII in 2016 when they were beaten by the Braunschweig New Yorker Lions) in reaching Germany’s title game again.

Unicorns quarterback Marco Ehrenfried threw two touchdown passes while running back Danny Washington added a rushing touchdown. Ian Gehrke and  Nathaniel Robitaille each caught a touchdown pass while the defense forced a two-point safety.

For Dresden, running back Glen Toonga scored on nine yard run.

Schwäbisch Hall delighted the 3,200 hometown fans on hand by taking a 14-0 first quarter lead with Ehrenfried his usual efficient self, tossing a five yard touchdown pass to Gehrke capping an 11 play, 66 yard drive.  Then, on their very next possession, Robitaille  found a seam and hauled in a 42 yard touchdown pass from Ehrenfried, upping the score to 14-0 before the end of the opening period.

Unicorns defense forces a two-point safety Photo: Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns

Dresden’s defense finally got the stop they wanted in the second quarter with a tremendous goalline stand, halting a Unicorns drive on the Monarchs two-yard line. However, it was Schwäbisch Hall that capitalized, trapping Monarchs quarterback Trenton Norvell for a two-point safety, giving the Unicorns a 16-0 lead at the break .

Dresden came out with a vengeance to start the second half, as Norvell engineered a 75 yard drive, finishing it by handing off to Toonga who scampered in from nine yards out to close the gap to 16-7, with plenty of the time in the game.

Momentum seemed to slide towards the Monarchs following an interception of an Ehrenfried pass by Dresden defensive back Tim Hagmann. But Schwäbisch Hall returned the favor, as both Raheem Wilson and Alexander Kreß picked off Norvell on back-to-back Dresden possessions.

That paved the way for Washington’s final, game-deciding touchdown midway through the fourth quarter.

 Schwäbisch Hall head coach Jordan Neuman:

“It was a tough game against a very well-coached team. Our defense has performed very well and had the right plan to almost completely eliminate the league’s best receiver, Mitchel Paige.”

Schwäbisch Hall advances to German Bowl XL on October 13 where they fill face the Frankfurt Universe who defeated the Braunschweig New Yorker Lions 20-17 in overtime. This will be the first time two teams from the GFL South have played in the German Bowl since 1981.

 

AFI
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