GFL Bowl features battle between fierce playoff rivals as the Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns and Potsdam Royals clash again

The German Football League winds up the 2023 season this weekend as the two top teams in the GFL, the Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns and Potsdam Royals, face each other Saturday, October 14 in the GFL Bowl at Stadion an der Hafenstraße in Essen, in a rematch of the 2022 title game.

This will be the ninth straight trip to the final for Schwäbisch Hall who topped the Royals in last year’s championship, beating them convincingly 44-27.

This year, however, the situation is decidedly different. The Unicorns are in fact surprise finalists after losing two of their first three games of the season with a team that many predicted might not even make the playoffs following the departure of head coach Jordan Neuman and other staff members and roughly half the team. Under new head coach Christian Rothe and local quarterback Ian Gehrke, Schwäbisch Hall turned things around, going on a roll winning eight straight games before succumbing to the Saarland Hurricanes in a shootout late in the season, winding up with a 9-3 record. They finished first in the GFL South and faced the GFL North fourth place team in the quarterfinals. the Berlin Rebels, defeating them 17-7. Their biggest test of the season then awaited in the semifinals as the powerful Dresden Monarchs were the opponents, and again the Unicorns prevailed, this time 36-30.

The Potsdam Royals, who were only founded in 2005, have advanced to the championship game for the second straight year and are definitely on a roll. They marched through the regular season like a juggernaut to an 11-1 record steamrolling most opponents while averaging 50 points a game. They experienced one hiccup though, dropping a 59-45 decision to the Dresden Monarchs in late June. They atoned for that surprise loss by trouncing Dresden 57-21 two months later. As first place finishers in the north, winding up with an 11-1 regular season record, they faced the GFL South #4 team, the Ingolstadt Dukes, in the quarterfinals, pummeling them 54-0. Potsdam then took on the GFL North third place finishers, the Braunschweig New Yorker Lions and turned them away 41-28.

Now the Royals will face the team that has become somewhat of a post season nemesis for them. Not only did the Unicorns beat Potsdam in last year’s title contest but they defeated them the year before in the semifinals, 28-18.

Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns vs Potsdam Royals

Oct. 14, 17:00 CET (5 pm, 11 am EDT)

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