Germany: Schwabisch Hall Unicorns win battle of defenses, beat Frankfurt Universe

The  6-0 Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns, Europe #1, may have the most explosive offense in the German Football League, but it was the defense that stepped up when the offense struggled as they defeated the previously unbeaten 4-1 Frankfurt Universe, Europe #5, 17-7 in front of 3,000 roaring fans at Optima Sports Park in Schwäbisch Hall.

On a day when both offenses combined for a total of 212 yards and the powerful rushing attack of the Universe was held to -37 yards, it was clear that defenses ruled. The Unicorns managed just five first downs all game.

Unicorns quarterback Marco Ehrenfried completed just seven of 23 passes for 101 yards and a touchdown but he was picked off twice. Nathaniel Robitaille caught five passes for 83 yards but one of those was an 82 yard touchdown pass. Running back Danny Washington could find no running room rushing for 26 yards on 10 carries. The Schwäbisch Hall defense scored the first touchdown of the game as Raheem Wilson recovered a Max Siemssen fumble in the end zone.

For Frankfurt, Sonny Weishaupt threw for 134 yards but also had two interceptions. Running back Andreas Betza scored the lone Universe touchdown on a one yard run.

It was a game of costly turnovers.

Siemssen fumbled the ball on Frankfurt’s first possession and Wilson pounced on it for a touchdown.

Schwabisch Hall gave Frankfurt RB no room to run Photo: Löffler

From then on, neither team was able to move much past midfield.

Early in the second quarter, a poor Unicorns punt gave Frankfurt the ball on the Schwäbisch Hall 32 yard line. But three plays later, Weishaupt was picked off in the end zone. Then  on the next series, Ehrenfried found Robitaille streaking past his defender for an 82 yard touchdown increasing the lead to 14-0.

Two series later, Siemssen fumbled again, this time on a fourth down on his own four yard line. But all the Unicorns could muster was a field goal by Tim Stadelmayr as time expired in the first half giving them a 17-0 lead.

Frankfurt got another golden opportunity early in the third quarter as Tristan Bart intercepted another Ehrenfried pass taking it down to the Unicorns three yard line. But despite seven attempts with a pass interference penalty giving them the extra four, the Universe could not get past the one yard line.

The third quarter ended with the Unicorns still leading 17-0.

Weishaupt finally began marching the Universe to open the final quarter driving them from their own 36 yard line down to the Schwäbisch Hall nine yard line. And the drive stalled there.

Ehrenfried was picked off by Nils Weisse on the next Unicorns possession returning the ball to the one yard line. This time, Betza made no mistake, pounding the ball in to close the gap to 17-7.

Frankfurt outplayed the Unicorns the rest of the way, but Weishaupt and the offense could not capitalize on good field position as the Unicorns defense stiffened when they needed to.

A last gasp Weishaupt pass with time running out was picked off by  Quade Chappuis  on his own 11 yard line to seal the win.



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