Germany: Frankfurt Universe get by Munich Cowboys

The Frankfurt Universe had to withstand a furious fourth quarter comeback and hold on to defeat the stubborn Munich Cowboys 24-17 Sunday in German Football League action at PSD Arena in Frankfurt.

This game was not supposed to be that close. And for three and a half quarters it looked as if the Universe would march to a comfortable win.

But Munich, trailing 17-3 with seven minutes left in the game, scored two late touchdowns, the second one with just over a minute to go, to close the gap to 24-17. But the expected onside kick attempt failed and Frankfurt came away with their third straight win.

Universe quarterback Steve Cluley threw for 214 yards and two touchdowns and ran for another 47 yards. Running back Oscar Nevermann had 12 carries for 54 yards and a touchdown while wide receiver Sebastian Sagne hauled in five passes for 40 yards and two touchdowns. Marcel Duis kicked all three extra points and a field goal.

For the Cowboys,  Brady Bolles completed 14 of 26 passes for 177 yards and two touchdowns with Kai Silbermann catching one and Anton Cheresminskiy the other. Robert Werner kicked both PATs and a field goal. However the run game was almost non existent as the Cowboys as a team gained only six yards total.

It was Munich that dominated the game in the early going though, keeping the Universe trapped in their own end while Bolles marched the Cowboys into field goal range. Werner kicked a 28 yard field goal and Munich took a 3-0 lead heading into the second quarter.

Frankfurt DB Fermando Lowery getting an arm on Munich RB Jan Peters Photo: KarlHeinz Herbert

Cluley engineered a 72 yard drive down to the Munich one yard line early in the second quarter but a fumble gave the ball back to the Cowboys.

Frankfurt returned the favor on the next series, picking off a Bolles pass and regaining possession at the Cowboys 26 yard line. This time Frankfurt took advantage as seven plays later, Cluley hit Sagne from two yards out to take a 7-3 lead into halftime.

Cluley opened the second half by marching the Universe down to Munich’s five yard line and Duis kicked a 22 yard field goal to extend the lead to 10-3 midway through the third quarter.

And then the fourth quarter fireworks erupted.

First Frankfurt moved out in front 17-3 after Cluley tossed a seven yard touchdown pass to Sagne with seven minutes left. The way the Universe defense had been playing, it looked like that would be enough.

However, the Cowboys came back with Bolles finding his rhythm. He hit Jaylen Zachery for a 35 yard gain and then found Silbermann for a 22 yard touchdown strike and the score was narrowed to 17-10 with plenty of time left.

Cluley answered on the next series as first Fernando Lowery gave the Universe excellent field position with a 37 yard kickoff return. Then, six plays later, Nevermann, who had been a workhorse, punched the ball in to again extend the lead, this time to 24-10.

The Cowboys weren’t done as Bolles drove his team 75 yards in less than two minutes, throwing a 16 yard touchdown pass to Cheresminski  to close the gap to 24-17 with a minute and a half to go.

But Frankfurt WR Anthony Brooks pounced on the onside kick and Cluley ran out the clock for the win.

With the win, the Universe improve to 3-0 and occupy third in the GFL South standings behind the Schwabisch Hall Unicorns and the surprising Stuttgart Scorpions. 

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