The Braunschweig New Yorker Lions have definitely hit their stride at the right time. Saturday, they spotted the stubborn Kiel Baltic Hurricanes a 14-7 lead and then kicked into a higher gear scoring four straight touchdowns to go on to a 38-21 semifinal victory in front of 4,000 wildly cheering fans at Braunschweiger Eintracht-Stadion in Braunschweig.
The win clinched their fourth straight German Bowl berth where they will face the same opponent as the last two, the Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns, in German Bowl XXXVIII on October 8, 2016 in Berlin.
Quarterback Casey Therriault threw four touchdown passes on 16 of 27 passing and 250 yards and running back Chris Smith ran for another as the Lions left no doubt that they are contenders to win their fourth straight German title.
Receiver Christian Bollman led the Lions with three receptions for 78 yards and two touchdowns. Jan Hilgenfeldt and Niklas Roemer added a touchdown apiece in the win. Smith piled up 119 yards rushing to lead all rushers in the game.
Kiel quarterback Logan Schrader completed 15 of 25 passes for 195 yards and two touchdowns but could not find his rhythm after taking a 14-7 first quarter lead. He scored himself in the first quarter on a brilliant halfback option pass from running back Chris McClendon.
But the Braunschweig defense rose up after that and the Hurricanes did not find the end zone again until midway through the fourth quarter. Schrader was held to 62 yards passing in the second half while running back Chris McClendon only gained a total of 78 yards rushing all game, well off his regular season average of 114 yards a game.
This was the first trip to the semifinals for Kiel since 2013 and Braunschweig eliminated them then too.