Germany: Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns quietly finish their regular season perfect yet again

The Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns have finished yet another German Football League regular season without a blemish winning all 10 games in the GFL South and in dominant fashion.

Schwäbisch Hall has been the epitome of a model of success in the league, winning their 12th South division title in 13 seasons. Before the season began, they were projected to win the German Bowl by a 75% chance, in a league of 16 teams.

As for what makes the Unicorns tick, you have to look at their head coach, Jordan Neumann. Since taking over from Siegfried Gehrke before the 2017 season, they have yet to lose a game in the regular season, winning 62 consecutive regular season games as well as reaching the German Bowl four times and winning it twice. His philosophy as a coach and team leader has kept the Unicorns as a perennial title favorite.

QB Reilly Hennessey #11 and RB Mikey Alfieri #22 Photo: C. Götze

As has been the case for their dynasty, the Unicorns had an exceptional offense. They topped the GFL South in virtually every category (4,286 yards, 1,509 yards rushing, 2,777 yards passing, 7.4 yards per attempt, 58 touchdowns, 428.6 yards per game and 437 points for the season).

When it came to leading their offense, the team used two quarterbacks to get the job done, Reilly Hennessey and James Slack. Hennessey was the main starter for the season, starting six games, andhe  had the slightly more efficient season (1,524 yards, 73.1% completion rate, 18 touchdowns, and 205.5 efficiency rating). Slack on the other hand was the backup. He appeared in nine games and started four and was good on his own as well (1,253 yards, 68.3% completion rate, 19 touchdowns, and 182.7 efficiency rating).

While wide receiver Tyler Rutenbeck and running back Mikey Alfieri each only played seven games for the season, they were the Unicorns main contributors on the ground and in the air. Rutenbeck was the main pass catcher for the Hennessey and Slack duo, with 34 receptions for 670 yards, 11 touchdowns and 4.9 yards per game. Alfieri was the driving force behind the league’s third best rushing offense. He had 77 carries for 480 yards and seven touchdowns, averaging 6.2 yards a carry for the season. Teammate Lars Kozlowski is not far behind with 65 carries for 460 yards and five scores.

RB Lars Kozlowski #15 Photo: M. Löffler

Defensively, they are the best overall in the GFL, allowing the fewest number of points in the league with 148 and boasting a league-best 289 point differential (2,428 yards, 4.4 yards per play, 20 touchdowns, 242.8 yards per game). While they did their best work as a collective unit, their best force individually came from linebacker Giuseppe Della Vecchia who had 38 total tackles in eight games played. He missed the final two games of the season so his participation in the playoff game is unknown.

This Sunday will mark Schwäbisch Hall’s 13th straight playoff appearance with their quarterfinals game against the Berlin Adler. Will this season culminate in their fifth German Bowl victory proving the odds in their favor?

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