Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns get past stubborn Munich Cowboys to stay undefeated

The Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns remained unbeaten in the German Football League after battling to defeat the Munich Cowboys 20-7 in front of a raucous crowd in Munich this past weekend.

The Unicorns were facing a Munich Cowboys team determined to do outgoing head coach Garren Holley proud in his final game patrolling the sidelines for the Bavarian squad. Holley has accepted a job as special teams coordinator and defensive line coach at Carroll University in Waukesha, Wisconsin.

On the other sideline, Schwäbisch Hall head coach Jordan Neuman was simply trying to puzzle together a full team with his top three running backs still out of the lineup and a trio of 20-and-unders stepping in. The Munich defense and in particular the secondary, caused all kinds of problems, getting consistent pressure on Unicorns quarterback Alexander Haupert who time and again had to rely on his legs after finding no receivers open. He was also sacked three times.

Nevertheless, after eight minutes, Schwäbisch Hall found the end zone as Haupert first connected with wide receiver Joshua Haas for 17 yards and then found Moritz Böhringer for a 49 yard gain before finally handing off to Sebastian Giel for an eight-yard touchdown to give the Unicorns a 7-0 lead.

Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns RB Sebastian Giel #47 battling for yards Photo: Peter Roth

The Cowboys managed to reach just past midfield to open the second quarter but a poor punt gave Schwäbisch Hall the ball at their own 30. Haupert marched his team down to the Cowboys’ four-yard line but a suddenly intense Munich defense held the Unicorns to a field goal to widen the gap to 10-0.

Then, Munich quarterback Justin Sottilare threw the first of his two interceptions on the day with Unicorns defensive back Monteze Latimore snagging a slightly underthrown ball at midfield, returning it to the Cowboys 32. Haupert then marched his team down to the four-yard line only to be picked off himself on the goalline.

It didn’t help Munich though as they were forced to punt and the Unicorns took over at their own 43. Haupert again moved his team into field goal range and with no time left on the clock, Stadelmayr booted a 41 yarder to increase the lead to 13-0.

Turnovers were the bane of both teams on this day as Unicorns’ returner Junior Nkembi fumbled a Cowboys punt return on the first drive of the third quarter but Munich coughed the ball up right away with their own fumble.

Neither offense could move the ball consistently and it wasn’t until early in the fourth when Haupert engineered an 89-yard drive helped by a 31-yard pass to Yannick Baumgaertner taking the Unicorns into Munich territory. Then, from the 43, Haupert hit Böhringer streaking down the sideline for a touchdown upping the score to 20-0 with the PAT.

Munich Cowboys RB Brandon Watkins #8 Photo: Peter Roth

Both defenses stiffened but with just over three minutes left, the Cowboys found new life on offense. Brandon Watkins rushed twice, moving Munich out to their own 36. Then, backup quarterback, Luca Raue found wideout Micah Quick for a 16 yard gain and on the very next play tossed a bubble screen to Watkins who broke four tackles before finally being brought down at the Unicorns 12. Raue went right back to Quick who found a soft spot in the zone to score, narrowing the lead to 20-7.

Despite recovering the onside kick, Munich had left it too late with only a minute on the clock. They finished the game stranded on the Schwäbisch Hall 35 yard line.

Cowboys quarterback Justin Sottilare threw for 112 yards on 15 of 29 passing with Kai Silbermann his favorite target with eight catches for 77 yards. Micah Quick caught six passes for 77 yards while Brandon Watkins had three for 28 yards. Running back Maximillian Mayer led the Cowboys with 43 yards rushing while Watkins carried the ball 10 times for 26.

For Schwäbisch Hall, Haupert completed 15 of 24 passes for 244 yards and one touchdown with Böhringer catching six of those passes for a game-best 135 yards and a touchdown. Sebastian Giel had 11 carries for 58 yards and a touchdown while Christian Dietrich carried the ball nine times for 45 yards.

With the win, the Unicorns improve to 4-0 while Munich drops to 3-3.

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