LIVE STREAM & PREVIEW: Braunschweig New Yorker Lions Face The Allgäu Comets in German Semis

The German semifinals loom this weekend and the defending champion Braunschweig New Yorker Lions will face a new semifinal opponent as the Allgäu Comets became historic by reaching the second round of the playoffs for the first time ever.

Saturday September 26, 4 PM

Braunschweig New Yorker Lions v. Allgäu Comets

Germany - Braunschweig - Therriault-Townsend 2pic

Despite the upsurge of the surprising Allgäu Comets, this game would seem to favor the Lions as they led the league, or were close to the lead, in almost every statistical category. In the quarterfinals against the Saarland Hurricanes, they put the game away early, scoring a touchdown on the opening kickoff (David McCants) taking a 27-0 first quarter lead and rolling up 496 yards of offense to win going away 57-14.

Head coach Troy Tomlin has his 2014 German Bowl winning quarterback Casey Therriault playing almost flawless football. Against the Saarland Hurricanes, he threw for 228 yards and three touchdowns on 18 of 25 passing (72%) while also scoring one himself on the ground. Receiver Anthony Dable was the recipient of  eight of those passes for 159 yards and two touchdowns.

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Chris Smith

The ground game is just as daunting with the two pronged attack of David McCants and Chris Smith. Against Saarland, Smith gained 98 yards on 13 carries while McCants rushed eight times for 83 yards and a score. The Lions rushed for 2,437 yards on the year.

The Braunschweig defense is just as formidable. It held the Hurricanes to 209 yards of offense, much of that after the game was already out of hand. The Lions led the league in passing defense giving up only 130 yards a game and a total of only seven touchdowns on the year. Tissi Robinson is one of the league leaders with five picks in 2015.

The Allgäu Comets enter this game as underdogs. But head coach Brian Caler and his squad have been in this position virtually all season in big games and still managed to find a way to win. Against Kiel in the quarterfinals, they were outgained on offense by a good margin but created four big turnovers converting three of them into touchdowns. Quarterback Cedric Townsend threw for only 176 yards but for three touchdowns while taking one in himself. Receiver Matthew Green had six receptions for 109 yards and two touchdowns averaging almost 20 yards a catch.

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Matthew Green Photo: Holger Salmen

Townsend is also one of the top 10 rushers in the league.

Allgäu’s defense is opportunistic. They led the league in number of turnovers created with 38 and this could be a key. Defensive back Cody Smith grabbed two more interceptions against Kiel, giving him 11 on the season, tops in Germany. Even though the Comets had the ball only half of the time Kiel did, they still scored 39 points. This will be the key to this game.

Bruanschweig has no clear weaknesses while Allgäu’s rushing attack is less reliable relying mostly on Townsend’s legs. But if the Comets can stay out of penalty problems and continue to force turnovers they have a chance.

Kickoff Saturday September 26, 4 PM (10 AM EDT)

Photo credits: Allgäu player intro – Sabine Sykora

Roger Kelly is an editor and a writer for AFI. A former PR Director the B.C. Lions of the Canadian Football League for 7 years, he now lives in Sweden writing about and scouting American Football throughout the world.