They say that defenses win championships. Then get set for a true defensive battle this weekend as the top two defenses in Germany go head to head in German Bowl XL in Berlin on October 13.
The Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns (16-0) will attempt to go undefeated for the second year in a row and capture their fourth German Football League title when they face the Frankfurt Universe (14-2) who are playing in their very first German Bowl game.
Schwäbisch Hall reached the championship game by beating the Cologne Crocodiles in the quarterfinals, and then downing the Dresden Monarchs in the semifinals.
The Universe’s road to the final took them through a rain-drenched win over the Berlin Rebels, and then a double overtime victory over the Braunschweig New Yorker Lions.
In the first German title game since 1981 in which both teams are from the GFL South division, defenses will definitely rule. These two teams boast the top two defenses in Germany in virtually every category.
A battle of defensive titans looms this Saturday.
In other words, do not expect a high scoring game.
Frankfurt gave up the fewest overall yards in Germany this season, 1,964 or an average of 291.8 yards per game. They also surrendered the fewest points, 165. The Unicorns were a close second in both categories. Schwäbisch Hall had the best defense against the rush but the fourth best against the pass. The Universe’s defense was the second best rushing defense but the leading pass defense.
Tackles, sacks, interceptions
Breaking down the statistics individually shows how close these two teams are. A total of 28 tackles separate Frankfurt and Schwäbisch Hall after 16 games. The top two tacklers for each team, Nick Alfieri (74)and Christian Koppe (57) for the Unicorns, and the Silva Gomez pair of Jhonattan (77) and Sebastian (67) from Frankfurt, top their respective teams. The only category where one team has a decided edge is team sacks. Schwäbisch Hall sacked opposition quarterbacks 43 times during the season while the Universe recorded 22 sacks.
The leading tacklers from both teams, Nick Alfieri from the Unicorns who had 74 and Frankfurt’s Jhonattan Silva Gomez with 77 total tackles, have similar numbers over the course of 16 games. Alfieri had a slight edge in solo tackles with 37 compared to 32 for Silva Gomez. On the other hand, the Universe linebacker had 14 tackles for loss as compared to four for Alfieri.