Preview: In Germany the Stuttgart Scorpions And the Allgäu Comets Face Each Other in Key South Division Battle

The feature matchup of the week in Germany this Sunday pits the 9-2 Stuttgart Scorpions against the 9-2 Allgäu Comets in a game which could well determine second place in the GFL South Division. There is not much separating these two teams this year as the Comets have scored 399 points while giving up only 132 while Stuttgart has almost identical numbers scoring 395 points while allowing 146.

The Comets have been the surprise of the German league this season and with good reason. They came out of the gate winning their first six games of 2015 (including EFL play) before being brought back down to earth by the Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns and then losing a tough one to Stuttgart 17-14. Since then they  have gained momentum and reeled off six straight wins in the GFL including a 34-28 win over Schwäbisch Hall in early July.

Germany - Allgau - Cody Smith

Cody Smith

Head coach Brian Caler has been with the Comets for seven seasons but this year has seen the team take a huge step forward.

“The win against the Unicorns in late June was a major turning point for this club, easily one of the biggest victories in team history.

We have been fortunate in bringing in such a versatile quarterback as Cedric Townsend who not only throws well but also leads the team in rushing.”

Townsend is one of the most prolific passers in Germany having completed 164 passes of 285 attempts for 2,581 yards (3rd in the GFL) and 31 touchdowns (also 3rd). He is also deadly on the ground as well with 130 carries for 689 yards and another six touchdowns.

His favorite target is Matthew Green who leads the league in reception yardage with 1,136 yards while scoring 12 touchdowns.

Defensive coordinator Michael Wood has his squad playing “lights out” football. The Comets have allowed the fewest points per game of any team in Germany (12) and are close to the top in every defensive category. Linebacker Niall Padden has been tough on opposing offenses recording 69 tackles and a sack so far this year. Defensive back Cody Smith leads the league in interceptions with 8 in total taking two back for touchdowns.

Stuttgart head coach Jemil Hamiko has also assembled an outstanding squad with quarterback Dylan Potts and crew scoring an average almost 36 points per game. Since taking over as the starting quarterback in mid June for the departed Tom Schneider, Potts has become one of the top 10 rushers and passers in Germany. Linebacker Jermaine Guynn who also steps in at running back is second on the team in rushing with a total of 346 yards for the year. The Scorpions receiving corps, including Fabian Weigel, Daniel Balazovic and Jan Eisenbraun, has caught 2,164 yards in passes from two different starting quarterbacks so far this year.

Germany - Stuttgart - Drew Fisher2

Drew Fisher Photo: Gamma Sigma Sport

Stuttgart enters the game as the top defensive team in the GFL giving up no more than 210 yards total offense every game. They are tops against the run allowing a mere 13.7 yards per game adopting a swarming defense with no one player in the top 20 in tackles. Defensive back Drew Fisher leads the team in tackles with 41 with linebacker Hans Stecher close behind with 35.

The Scorpions defensive line – Sergey Souleymanov, Jermaine Guynn, Corey Chapman and Simon Gavanda – is formidable.

These two teams are as evenly matched as possible. This game is too close to call. The last time they played each other, Stuttgart’s ground game was the difference. But the game was in Stuttgart. This one is in Allgäu’s home park in Kempten, where the Comets have not lost a game all year.

However, the Scorpions are fired up for another reason. Adding fuel to the fire in an already heated rivalry, Stuttgart’s former quarterback, Tom Schneider, who started the season with the club, left in June after a mutual disagreement and has now signed on with the Comets and is serving in an offensive coaching capacity. There is no question that sparks will fly in this game.

Allgäu’s home field advantage may be a factor, but there is no doubt that Stuttgart is coming into this game as fired up as they can be.

 

Feature image: Gamma Sigma Sport

Roger Kelly
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.
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