Germany: Saarland Hurricanes win season opener in Munich

Hurricanes Defense and Special Teams dominate in opener at Munich; producing three takeaways, two touchdowns, and a safety to support an Alex Haupert 2 TD performance.

Tom Smythe’s Saarland Hurricanes traveled to Dante Stadion in Munich on Saturday to play the Munich Cowboys and came home with their first win of season, defeating the Cowboys 29-14.

Saarland quarterback Alex Haupert scored two touchdowns while linebacker Charles Clay scored on a punt return and defensive back Lamar Hall added an interception for a touchdown.

Munich quarterback Ben Wilkerson threw two touchdown passes in the loss.

The ‘Canes defense and special teams dominated the day in Munich to support the offense which had trouble stringing together first downs throughout the game. The Hurricanes defense produced three interceptions (Raphael Kopp, Charles Clay, Lamar Hall (pick six)) and the special teams unit forced a safety for the first score and later again on a Charles Clay punt return for a touchdown.

Defensive and special teams coordinator, Paul Motzki:

“We started slow on defense and special teams, some mental mistakes and bad tackling led to their 2 scores early. I am proud we didn’t panic and got it corrected at half. We were able to stay clean in the 2nd half and got the big plays we wanted.”

Photo: Peter Roth

Quarterback Alex Haupert and the Canes offense struggled to piece together drives and completions, having two scores called back on holding and blocking in the back. On the third drive of the game the offense had a short field to work with after a great kickoff return following a safety. Haupert scrambled into the end zone after protection broke down and scored from 22 yards out. The offense was able to construct one more scoring drive early in the start of third quarter, which also ended on a Haupert run into the end zone.

Asst. Offensive Coordinator, Cory Goodman:

“We are starting to see some individuals step up. Our blocking was also better upfront and we are definitely on the right path to success later on in the season.”

Photo: Peter Roth

Charles Clay made his presence in the GFL known and there is no doubt the waves of his GFL debut will be on the top of opposing coaching staff’s minds when preparing to face the ‘Canes. After setting up the first touchdown on a kickoff return and taking a punt return to the house, Clay ended the Cowboys chances to get back into the game with an interception in the fourth quarter.

Charles Clay:

“It was a great game because we saw some adversity early and were able to bounce back from that. It was also encouraging to see people stepping up to make plays when we needed them. Coach Paul called an amazing game and Lamar made a big time play on his pick six.”

With a huge win in the first game of the season Saarland now starts preparing for their home opener next week against the Stuttgart Scorpions.

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