Germany: Allgäu Comets’ unlikely journey to the semifinals

The German Football League has had many surprises and first times through the years, but one that even longtime fans might never have expected was the Allgäu Comets defeating the Braunschweig New Yorker Lions on the road in the quarterfinals.

To start, this was the first time a third-place team from the GFL South defeated a second-place team from the GFL North in the postseason. And second, this is the first time in GFL history that two GFL South teams face each other in the semifinals.

How did the Comets get to this point?

Going back to last season, following a quarterfinals loss to the eventual German Bowl champions, the Dresden Monarchs, Allgäu began upgrading their roster. Their biggest signing was quarterback Kenyatte Allen Jr. from the Bismarck Bucks of the Indoor Football League.

The Comets started off the season 1-3, with their only win coming against the Ravensburg Razorbacks, who ended up finishing 1-1-8 for the season. To be fair, their three losses were against the Straubing Spiders, Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns and Munich Cowboys, who all finished their season as playoff teams. Also, their losses to the Spiders and Cowboys were both only by one point, which proved, if nothing else, that they can at least compete with the other playoff contenders.

The other six games were definitely easier on paper. If the Comets took care of most of them, they would be back in the playoffs for the season year in a row. And that is exactly what what they did. They won five of their last six to finish the season 6-4, good enough for the playoffs.

Their two biggest wins were a 43-7 blowout road victory against the Straubing Spiders and a narrow 43-42 win over the Saarland Hurricanes in the last regular season game that locked up the final playoff spot. Not only that but due to that final win over Straubing, the Comets finished third.

In the playoff game against the Lions, the Comets were able to control Braunschweig’s offense for much of the game. Then the Comets offense struck at exactly the right time. With less than a minute to go, and trailing 10-7, Allen threw the game winning touchdown pass to wide receiver Tomiwa Oyewo, putting the game away 14-10 and executing the upset.

The Comets were moving on to the semifinals for only the second time in their history.

Next week, the Comets face their toughest battle of the season, as they will take on the Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns for the third time this season. Although they lost by double digits in both the previous encounters, perhaps third time’s the charm.

A recent graduate of Hofstra University in New York. He is currently a sports freelance journalist and podcaster