Braunschweig New Yorker Lions Advance to 4th Straight Final Four in Germany

The Braunschweig New Yorker Lions took their place among Germany’s Final Four playoff teams by defeating a surprisingly stubborn Allgäu Comets squad 30-6 Sunday.

The game, played at Eintracht-Stadion in Braunschweig with a crowd of 3,200 looking on, saw the Comets surprise the Lions early on. But the depth and consistency of Germany’s defending champions wore Allgäu down.

This is a Braunschweig team that is playoff savvy. They do not get rattled easily. In the 2015 semifinals, the Comets played even with the Lions for the first 30 only to watch as the unrattled Lions pulled away in the second. Although the Comets are not the same team as last year, that veteran calm was still apparent in Braunschweig head coach Troy Tomlin’s squad.

Braunschweig quarterback Casey Therriault threw for 248 yards and two touchdowns and running back Jabari Johnson had 21 carries for 128 yards, 107 in the first half alone.

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Lions RB Chris Smith heading into end zone

Receiver Jan Hildgenfeldt made life difficult for Allgäu’s secondary with eight catches for 120 yards and a touchdown. Evan Landi added 63 yards on five receptions and Nicklas Roemer caught three passes for 59 yards and another touchdown.

Allgäu quarterback Cedric Townsend struggled all game under relentless pressure from the Braunschweig front seven completing just eight of 19 passes for 72 yards and the Comet’s lone touchdown. Daniel Conroy led all Comets rushers with 91 yards on 11 carries.

In a first half marred by sloppy play, penalties and turnovers, Braunschweig took a 17-6 lead, managing to overcome their miscues better than the Comets.

Lions running back Chris Smith scored the game’s first touchdown following fumbles by both teams. Then he himself fumbled to lead to Allgäu’s only touchdown. A Braunschweig field goal by Tobias Goebbel with no time left on the clock rounded out the first half scoring.

In the second half, Braunschweig’s consistent pressure simply allowed the Comets to room to maneuver. Allgäu’s offense struggled to penetrate Lions territory while Therriault, finding his championship form, was using his weapons wisely. The Lions added two more touchdowns from Roemer and Smith, the final scored with less than two minutes remaining.

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So Braunschweig enters the semifinal round in Germany to face the Kiel Baltic Hurricanes. This is the fourth year in a row the Lions have made the semis as they prepare to defend a title they have won for the past three seasons.

Photos: Braunschweig New Yorker Lions

 

Roger Kelly
Roger Kelly is an editor and a writer for AFI. A former PR Director the B.C. Lions of the Canadian Football League for 7 years, he now lives in Sweden writing about and scouting American Football throughout the world.
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