LIVESTREAM: Germany – Allgäu Comets @Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns, August 18, 5p (11a ET)

In perhaps the most intriguing matchup of the weekend in the German Football League this weekend, the top ranked and unbeaten Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns (11-0), Europe #1, s will play host to the Allgäu Comets (6-4) at Optima Sportpark in Schwäbisch Hall.

The first time these two teams played each other in early May, the Unicorns waltzed to an easy 55-14 victory. Since then, Schwäbisch Hall has marched through the GFL South with relative ease. The Comets on the other hand, have mixed superlative performances with lackluster showings. The situation came to a head just before the end of the four week break when the entire coaching staff resigned.

This game will be a true litmus test for Allgäu folloiwng their stirring victory last week against the Marburg Mercenaries, their first following the departure of the coaches. Allgäu seemed to respond well to the turmoil defeating the Mercenaries 28-25 in a true team effort. Quarterback Justin Sottilare hrew for 277 yards (far off his 430 yard average of a month ago) and four touchdowns with Jordan Paul leading all receivers with seven catches for 108 yards and a touchdown. Feli Manoka hauled in six passes for 79 yards and two touchdowns while Jonatan Gihl had eight receptions and a touchdown. Gihl, who converted to running back, rushed  for 42 yards, the single, highest one game total for the season for Allgäu.

Photo: Manfred Löffler

Sottilare is still the leading quarterback in the GFL having thrown for 3,689 yards and 38 touchdowns. His receiving corps of Jordan Paul, Martin Emos, Jonatan Gihl and Féli Manoka are among the top 15 in Germany.

Schwäbisch Hall displayed their firepower last week in handing the Ingolstadt Dukes a 44-13 thrashing. The week before they notched a gritty 12-9  come-from-behind win over the Frankfurt UniverseFrankfurt took a 9-0 first half lead but the Unicorns clawed their way back into the game taking a 10-9 lead in the third and sealing the win with a two-point defensive safety.

Schwäbisch Hall quarterback Marco Ehrenfried is the 5th leading passer in the GFL averaging 219.5 yards a game. . He has a bevy of excellent receivers led by Christian Hafels with 503 yards receiving and Nathaniel Robitaille  who has 42 catches for 514 yards and six touchdowns as well as . Running back Jerome Manyema has rushed for 443 yards and eight touchdowns in eight games. However, in the win against Ingolstadt, Maurice Schüle led all rushers with 12 carries for 70 yards and a touchdown. In the Frankfurt game, Danny Washington carried the load with 88 yards rushing.

The Unicorns are the epitome of steady and all round. They can beat you with an explosive offense if need be, or grind it out with a tough-as-nails defense. However, they are facing an opponent this week that is a bit of an unknown.

Although the Comets personnel has not changed, the coaching staff has and clearly the new team structure has not had a negative impact. It remains to be seen though if Allgäu can continue the trend against a team that has not lost a game since October 8, 2016. In fact, Schwäbisch Hall has not lost a regular season game since July 5, 2015 when, ironically, the Comets beat them in Kempten, Germany 34-28. The last time the Unicorns lost a home game was May 24, 2014 when Marburg edged them 27-24.

This will be a fun game to watch.

Watch the game live here. Allgäu Comets @Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns, August 18, 5p (11a ET)

AFI
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