Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns Defeat Berlin Rebels To Qualify For German Semifinals

The Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns used a dominant first half performance to defeat the Berlin Rebels 24-14 Saturday at Optima Sports Park in Schwäbisch Hall, Germany with a crowd of 1,800 looking on. With the win, the Unicorns move on to the German semifinals for the sixth year in a row and the seventh time in their history.

The Unicorns scored three unanswered touchdowns in the first two quarters of the game and then held on as the Rebels running game got untracked in the second half.

Schwäbisch Hall quarterback Marco Ehrenfried threw for 192 yards and two touchdowns, 158 of those yards in the first half, and rushed for the third one himself. Receivers Tyler Rutenbeck and Patrick Donahue had a touchdown reception apiece. Thomas Rauch kicked a 21 yard field goal in the third quarter.

Berlin running back Lawrence McCoy started slow mustering only 29 yards rushing in the first half, as the Unicorns defense gave him no room to move. But the Rebels blocking improved in the second and McCoy ran for another 111 yards and two touchdowns. It wasn’t enough though.

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Schwäbisch Hall defense swarming Rebels RB Lawrence McCoy Photo: Manfred Löffler

The first half was dominated by the Unicorns who had 171 yards in total offense compared to 42 for Berlin. Schwäbisch Hall scored on the game’s opening drive as Ehrenfried was masterful in engineering a six play 55 yard drive, on four of four passing.

With Patrick Donahue’s kick and punt returning giving the Unicorns excellent field position, the Unicorns scored again early in the second quarter. Then in a sequence which may have decided the game, Berlin punter Ben Hermann saw his punt blocked and the  Unicorns Christian Koeppe recovered it on the five yard line. Three plays later Ehrenfried punched the ball in giving the Unicorns a 21-0 lead with 14 seconds left in the half.

Despite McCoy’s second half heroics, scoring two touchdowns, and a defense which kept the Unicorns in check for most of the half, Schwäbisch Hall was able to hang on and move on to the semifinals this weekend.

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They will face the Kiel Baltic Hurricanes Saturday September 24 in one semifinal while the Braunschweig New Yorker Lions take on the Dresden Monarchs in the other.

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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