LIVESTREAM GERMAN BOWL XLII: Dresden Monarchs vs Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns, October 9, 18:00 CET ( 6 pm, 12 pm ET)

After a hard-fought season in the German Football League, the long-awaited German Bowl XLII is finally here.

The Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns make their seventh straight appearance in Germany’s title game looking to hoist the trophy for the fifth time in the storied club’s history.

Across the field, Dresden Monarchs will play their first championship since their one-point loss back in 2013. Since then, many of their playoff runs have been cut short by their opponent today, the Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns. This time they’ll face their familiar post-season opponent in the title game, looking to bring the German Bowl Trophy to Dresden for the first time in the club’s history.

Dresden Monarchs @ Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns, October 9, 18:00 CET ( 6 pm, 12 pm ET)

Defensively the Monarchs have one of Germany’s strongest linebacking corps. German Florian zur Neiden along with Americans AJ Wentland and Apeulu Kaulana (Oregon NCAA D1) are three athletic defenders who can play both the run and pass equally well. The secondary of the Monarchs faces an athletic group of Unicorns receivers. However, expect Swiss safety Tim Hagmann, leading tackler Andrew McElroy (Marist NCAA D1 FCS), and Texas A&M (NCAA D1) product Charles Oliver to slow down the GFL’s highest-scoring offense. At the line of scrimmage, the Monarchs get back French defensive end Yoann Miangue. Miangue is a former NFL IPP player who missed most of the season with an injury. However, the 6’6 NFL prospect bounced back in the semi-finals making two tackles in his return to the field.  Monarchs veteran linebacker commented AJ Wentland on facing a familiar opponent in the German Bowl:

“We are more than excited for the opportunity to play in the German Bowl against a worthy opponent. Hall is a great team, who is very disciplined at all levels and well-coached. I personally get excited whenever I have a chance to the lineup against Hall because you know what to expect, a football game played the right way. It will be a chess match. We have to focus on executing our game plan and make adjustments when needed. We’ve always had a strong team, but now we feel like we’re ready to finish the job playing them at a neutral sight”

Offensively, the Monarchs air raid attack is one of the most in-sync units in Europe. The crisp passing of  KJ Carta-Samuels has helped this offense rack up 44 points a game. The former Colorado State (NCAA D1) passer has put on a dominant performance this season passing for 3,816 yards and 52 touchdowns, leading the league in both categories. One of the strengths of the potent passing game has been its versatility. The Monarchs have three receivers that are above or flirting with the thousand-yard mark. Former Michigan State Spartan (NCAA D1) Darrell Stewart Jr leads the way, followed by German Robin Wilzek, and Czech talent Radim Kalous.

Despite their prolific passing game, Dresden may have tonight’s best running back suiting up for them. Former Arkansas Razorback (NCAA D1) Devwah Whaley has rushed for over 100 yards a game since joining the Monarchs late in the season. If the Unicorn’s defense concentrates too much on stopping the pass, expect Whaley to use his elite speed reach the endzone often tonight.

While the Monarchs offense is talented and statistically impressive, the Schwäbisch Hall defense more than matches up. The Unicorns gave a mere 10.1 points per game this season. Turnovers were the catalyst for their smothering of opponents as the Unicorns boast of the German Football League’s best secondary. The statistics speak for themselves as  Schwäbisch Hall has racked up 26 interceptions while allowing only seven passing touchdowns in 12 games. Cornerback Monteze Latimore (Central Missouri NCAA D2) leads the way with seven interceptions of his own, while team captain Cody Pastorino adds three himself.

Schwäbisch Hall’s leading tackler linebacker Nick Alfieri (Georgetown NCAA D1 FCS) will look to stop the Monarchs run game and underneath routes as the long-time Unicorn looks to hoist the trophy once again. At the line of scrimmage, veteran defensive end Devin Benton returns looking to disrupt a high-flying Dresden passing attack. Benton and German talent Daniel Bartmann are eager to get to Dresden’s quarterback to rattle the league’s best passer. With the bright lights and formidable opponents across the field, Unicorns head coach Jordan Neuman instructs his team to block out the distractions and take care of business on the field:

In addition to an extremely strong opponent, the biggest challenge at a German Bowl is not to let the special framework conditions distract you from the concept and concentration. We have to hide it all and just play football like we have been doing all season.”

Offensively, the Unicorns go into the championship game with a few question marks. Injuries may hold back the leagues top scoring offense as quarterback Alex Haupert injured his knee in last week’s semi-final. The German national team passer is listed as questionable going into the championship game. If Haupert is unable to play, expect the Unicorns to trot out recently acquired Italian Bowlwinning quarterback Reilly Hennessey. Hennessey is a former All-conference quarterback at Central Washington University (NCAA D1) who led the Parma Panthers to a perfect season in Italy’s top league this summer. Another option could be backup passer Ian Gehrke who has thrown for 17 touchdowns this season.  One player who has been ruled out is former XFL running back John Santiago. Schwäbisch Hall’s leading rusher tore his ACL in last week’s win and will not play in the championship game. German running backs Jannis Fielder and Sebastian Giel will see more carries in Santiago’s absence. The two running backs have combined for 732 yards and eight touchdowns this season, averaging 6.8 yards per carry.

Whoever is playing quarterback for the Unicorns has plenty of weapons to throw to in Schwäbisch Hall’s offense. Former NFL tight end Mortiz Boehringer, Austrian standout Yannick Mayr, and veteran Tyler Rutenbeck have all been fantastic playmakers this season. Coach Jordan Neuman has gotten creative giving the Boehringer the ball in the red zone using end-around plays. Boehringer‘s size and speed make him tough to tackle in open space. Expect the former Minnesota Vikings draft pick to shine tonight as he’s been one of Europe’s most clutch players all season.

These two teams have had plenty of epic playoff matchups over the years. This year however, the Monarchs look better than ever as they’ve put together an 11-game win streak to reach the German Bowl. The experienced Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns team has waited two years since their bitter loss in the 2019 German Bowl and is eager to hoist the trophy for the third time in four years. Fans can anticipate another thrilling German Bowl game under the lights in Frankfurt’s Deutsche Bank Stadium.

LIVESTREAM GERMAN BOWL XLII: Dresden Monarchs @ Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns, October 9, 18:00 CET ( 6 pm, 12 pm ET)

Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns roster

Dresden Monarchs roster

Alex is a former professional American football player who is now studying in London. His goal writing for AFI is to stay involved with the game that has given him so much. Alex enjoys covering leagues and players and sharing different football