Germany: Unicorns QB Reilly Hennessey discusses return to action and upcoming 1st place duel with Munich Cowboys

After a month since his last appearance on the field due to injuries and personal issues,  Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns’ quarterback Reilly Hennessey is getting ready to lead his team back on the field in the German Football League as they prepare to face their chief rivals for the GFL South crown, the Munich Cowboys.

The Central Washington University (Div. II) alum has been enjoying his first full season in Germany after joining the team late in the 2021 season. Previously, he had led the Parma Panthers of the Italian Football League to their first Italian crown since 2013. His Unicorns seem to be headed towards yet another undefeated regular season and another German Bowl appearance or victory.

Hennessey joined the Unicorns following the end of the season in Italy last year. He was brought late in the season and saw action in the German Bowl when starter Alexander Haupert went down late in the first quarter with an injury.

In this exchange, Hennessey discusses his return to the football field as well as this Saturday’s matchup against the Cowboys.

AFI: How has the adjustment been over the past year from Parma to Schwäbisch Hall?

Hennessey: There hasn’t been much of an adjustment. Coming from one quality program who runs things at a very high pace and with driven athletes, right into another well established forward focusing program has been an easy transition. The cultures of the countries are certainly quite different but that is to be expected with a move like this.

AFI: You have been out since mid-June. How does it feel to return to action?

Hennessey: I cannot wait to get back out there. The timing worked out perfectly with the season schedule, as well as a small injury bout, to allow me to get home for a wedding and family event. We are in the home stretch of the season where everything counts from a day to day basis so I am excited and energized to put our team in the best position to have as much success in the second half of the season as we did in the first.

AFI: You have the highest completion percentage in the league, much higher than in Italy. To what do you attribute this?

Hennessey: I truly attribute this stat to my teammates. In Italy I had a lot of success and played with some top tier talent, but there is no secret the weapons that the unicorns possess are in the top percent of all of Europe. From the guys upfront giving me time to the guys catching it, they allow me to do my job just that small degree better, which turns up in completion percentage.

AFI: On paper, Munich will be your toughest challenge so far this season. The Cowboys have the GFL’s top defense in terms of points and passing yardage allowed and second in overall yardage allowed. How do you prepare to face them?

Hennessey: Munich is a hard-nosed, aggressive, relentless defense. I give them lots of credit and respect for the numbers they have been able to put up defensively thus far. When it comes down to it, we trust our scheme and everyone on our side to do their 1/11th on every play. In games like this, my job becomes very simple – get the ball to the athletes. If I can get our guys the ball with some space, I feel good about our chances no matter who is lining up on the other side.

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