Braunschweig New Yorker Lions Claim EUROBOWL XXIX Title

Defending German title holders, the Braunschweig New Yorker Lions, got a lead and held onto it defeating the Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns 24-14 in EUROBOWL XXIX.

Braunschweig, Germany

After a 47-9 win over the Unicorns in the 2014 German Bowl, the New Yorker Lions went before the 5,068 spectators as favorites. EUROBOWL XXIX was played at Eintracht-Stadion in Braunschweig.

Until half-time the match was one-sided in favor of the home team, and Braunschweig had clearly set the tone. Although their offense had some problems with the tremendous pressure from the Unicorn defense on QB Casey Therriault, the Americans found the gaps. Both team made mistakes and had numerous penalties, just the Lions seemed to make fewer.

Schwäbisch Hall QB Marco Ehrenfried;

“The difference with the German Bowl was that we made ​​fewer mistakes and played better. But there were still too many mistakes. The first half, our attack almost completely slept through.”

The Lions offense came out of the locker room clicking. On their first offensive drive kicker Tom van Duijn capped off a long drive with a 34 yard field goal giving his team the early 3-0 lead.

On the next Schwäbisch Hall drive, the Lions forced a turnover and when QB Ehrenfried lost the ball straight into the arms of Lions’ defender Jacob Schridde. A few plays after this gift, Lions’ QB Therriault found WR Niklas Römer for a 24 yard TD pass. Lions 10 Unicorns 0.

The Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns finally got on the board with an incredible pitch and catch. WR Patrick Donahue finished a 30-yard pass from QB Ehrenfried with a 40 yard sprint for a touchdown (PAT T. Rauch). The Lions lead was now only 3.

The score, however, did not stop the Lions offense. After perfect passes to WR Römer and WR Christian Bollmann and a few of his own runs, Casey Therriault led his team to the Unicorn’s 9 yard line. From there the American playmaker took advantage of a gap in the defense an snuck in to increase the score to 17-7 (PAT T. van Duijn).

Unicorns high-powered offense held in check / Photo: Florian Schellhorn

Unicorns high-powered offense held in check / Photo: Florian Schellhorn

The Unicorn’s offensive woes continued, and they gave the Lions the ball back just before halftime. Therriault had enough time to put a drive together, and ended it with a 19 yard pass to Evan Landi (PAT T. van Duijn).

Going into halftime with a 24-7 lead and home field advantage the second half was the Lion’s to lose. However, the Braunschweig coaching staff was aware of the weapons on the Unicorns offense and was sure to kept their club focused.

Braunschweig New Yorker Lions HC Troy Tomlin;

“Schwäbisch Hall is always dangerous and very explosive. We never had the feeling that we have the game safely won. Even with 20 seconds before the final whistle.”

This made ​​itself particularly clear in the second half. Schwäbisch Hall began their season with the motto ‘Challenge Accepted’ after the defeat in the German Bowl last season. And after the game it can be said the defense of the Unicorns has shown that it was ready for the Lions. The Lions offense scored no second half points. Again and again, the defense of the Unicorns was successful with their aggressive play.

The Unicorn offense did show a moments of brilliance. Starting from their own 40 yard line, the Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns fought forward yard by yard, and after two long catches by national WR Aurieus Adegbesan, found themselves on the Lions’ 12-yard line. Two further catches by WR Patrick Donahue, the last 9 yards, help the Unicorns shorten the lead to 24-14 (PAT T. Rauch).

This was however the last scoring of the match. The Lions’ offense held on the ball nearly the entire 4th quarter as runs by Therriault and RB Mike Andrew kept the clock moving and the ball out of the Unicorns hands.

Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns HC Siegfried Gehrke;

“The Lions have won and deserved it. They should be now rightly be regarded as the best club in Europe.”

This is the Lions first EUROBOWL title in 12 years. MVP of the match was quarterback of the New Yorker Lions, Casey Therriault.

There is now a summer break for both teams and the Lions won’t have another match until they face the newcomer to the GFL North Hamburg Huskies at the end of July.

Eurobowl XXIX Champs / Photo: Florian Schellhorn

2015 Eurobowl XXIX Champions / Photo: Florian Schellhorn

John McKeon is a former professional and collegiate American Football player and coach now living and working in New York. His goal is to spread news, information, and opinion on the global growth of the sport he loves.