LIVESTREAM CEFL: Örebro Black Knights @ Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns, May 7, 17:00 CET (5 pm, 11:00 am ET)

The defending Central European Football League champions, the Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns, enter the 2022 CEFL tournament facing the reigning Swedish title holders, the Örebro Black Knights.

Two weeks ago, Örebro dispatched the Copenhagen Towers 56-25 to qualify for this quarterfinal matchup. The Unicorns were automatic quarterfinalists after winning the title in 2021.

The Unicorns have one game under their belt so far this year, a 46-0 thrashing of Finland’s Helsinki Roosters in a preseason exhibition game. Meanwhile, Örebro, in addition to the CEFL win over the Towers, has played three games in the Swedish Superserien, winning one.

The Unicorns enter this game with new quarterback Reilly Hennessey at the helm. The Italian-American looked impressive in his debut game against Helsinki after making one appearance for the Schwäbisch Hall last season, starting in the German Bowl loss to the Dresden Monarchs, filling in for injured starter Alex Haupert. Now Hennessy is the full-time quarterback and is determined to help the Unicorns defend their CEFL title and also return to the German Bowl this year, finishing the season by hoisting the trophy.

Former Oregon State (NCAA D1) running back Micky Alfieri, younger brother of linebacker Nick Alfieeri, along with last year’s starting tailback John Santiago, gives Schwäbisch Hall a formidable backfield. Ex NFL tight end Moritz Bohringer, who did not play in the game against Helsinki, returns to the lineup along with receiver Tyler Rutenbeck. A veteran offensive line led by Allesandro Vergani and Lucas Maier aim to be able to get the offense in rhythm against a physical Black Knights defense.

Defensively, the Unicorns will rely on the older Alferi along with veteran safety Cody Pastorino. New faces in the secondary include Italian national team defensive back Giuseppe Della Vecchia and former CFL safety Mitch Fettig.

For the Black Knights, quarterback Trevor Vasey is the key. The 6’7″ signal caller has thrown for 598 yards and seven touchdowns in the three games in Sweden and against the Towers tossed three touchdown passes and scored two more on the ground himself. Basically, he is a dual threat and will present problems for the Unicorns defense. Running back Tim Göransson scored two touchdowns in the rout of Copenhagen and is a punishing runner although he will be facing perhaps the most physical defensive front seven he has seen this year. Another weapon for Vasey is wide receiver Johannes Lindeus, his “go to” target. Lindeus has 258 yards receiving and two touchdowns in Swedish play and against the Towers he had two more touchdowns. Younger brother Jesper Lindeus is also dangerous both as a receiver and returner. He scored once in Copenhagen but has been another key target for Vasey during the Swedish campaign.

Defensively, the front seven is anchored by linebackers Jonathan Armendariz and Filip Jönsson while defensive linemen Martin Jäppinen and 6’3″, 307-pound Tristen Cox, along with Team Sweden’s Sebastian Nilsson, make for an impressive unit.

Although Örebro is coming off an impressive performance against the Towers, the Unicorns are a formidable opponent, especially playing at home in Optima Sportpark.

Watch the game live here. Örebro Black Knights @ Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns, May 7, 17:00 CET (5 pm, 11:00 am ET)

CEFL Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns vs. Örebro Black Knights from Baden-Wü on Vimeo.

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