LIVESTREAM CEFL Semifinal: Thonon Black Panthers @ Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns, June 3, 17:00 CET (5 pm, 11 am EDT)

The Thonon Black Panthers travel to Schwäbisch Hall, Germany to face the Unicorns in the Central European Football League semifinals, June 3.

Both teams had to battle in their quarterfinal matchups to advance to today’s game. The Unicorns scored a touchdown on the final play of the game to defeat Sweden’s Stockholm Mean Machines in the quarterfinals while Thonon broke a 14-14 halftime tie to defeat Italy’s defending champions, the Firenze Guelfi 27-14 in their quarterfinal game. They had to play a wild card game as well against Switzerland’s Calanda Broncos. The Swiss powerhouse pushed the Black Panthers but Thonon finally prevailed 38-35.

Unicorns quarterback Ian Gehrke tossed four touchdown passes in the win over Stockholm, two to Caleb Schweigart, including the game winner as time ran out, and one each to Leonell Fritzen and Christian Honig. These three receivers will no doubt be a key today. With the return to the lineup of star receiver Tyler Rutenbeck, Schwäbisch Hall will be a dangerous opponent. They dropped their season opener last week in the German Football League to the Potsdam Royals so will be looking to redeem themselves.

For Thonon, who are undefeated in the French DI Elite league heading into the playoffs, running back Nicolas Khandar is the key. He had touchdowns in the wins over Firenze and Calanda and was a constant threat out of the backfield. Quarterback José Tabora has other weapons as well including receiver Jack Pilkerton who caught a touchdown pass against the Guelfi.

This game is a toss up but the Unicorns will be playing in front of a wildly cheering crowd in Schwäbisch Hall and that could be the difference.

Thonon Black Panthers @ Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns, June 3, 17:00 CET (5 pm, 11 am EDT).

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