Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns move on to German Bowl XXXIX, beat Kiel Baltic Hurricanes

The Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns advanced to their fourth straight German Bowl final, and sixth in seven years, in beating the Kiel Baltic Hurricanes 33-11 Saturday night at OPTIMA Sportpark in  Schwäbisch Hall, Germany.

As a capacity crowd of 2,700 looked on in the rain, the Unicorns spotted Kiel a 5-0 lead in the first quarter and then scored 27 straight points and then held on in the fourth quarter to secure the win.

Schwäbisch Hall head coach Jordan Neuman:

“Because of Kiel’s strong defensive line, we had to make sure that Marco Ehrenfried got enough time to throw the ball. This is when our offensive line did a great job and Tyler Rutenbeck stepped up. We also kept the running game of the Hurricanes in check, which was also an important contribution to today’s success.”

Unicorns quarterback Marco Ehrenfried threw five touchdown passes, four to wide receiver Tyler Rutenbeck and one to Aurieus Adegbesan and Tim Stadelmayr kicked three PATs to account for the scoring.

Wide receiver Xavier Mitchell caught a 25 yard touchdown pass from Jared Stegman while Tim Albrecht kicked a 35 yard field goal and the Kiel defense forced a two-point safety.

The German Football League’s leading rusher, Hurricanes running back Chris McClendon was held to 78 yards while Stegman was sacked three times and all six fourth down attempts by the Hurricanes were stopped by the Unicorns defense

Nevertheless, Kiel opened the scoring on Albrecht’s 35 yard field goal as the Hurricanes defense kept Ehrenfried & co. bottled up in the first quarter. Then, Kiel’s Aaron Boadu tackled Ehrenfried in the end zone for a safety giving the Hurricanes a 5-0 lead.

Then the Unicorns offense began to click.

Ehrenfried began finding time to throw and tossed touchdown passes of 21 and 19 yards to Rutenbeck as Schwäbisch Hall took a 14-5 lead at the half.

The Unicorns stunned Kiel on the opening drive of the third quarter with Ehrenfried finding Rutenbeck again, this time ona beautiful 48 yard  pass, and then connecting with Adegbesan from 16 yards out extending the lead to 21-5. With the  Schwäbisch Hall defense now playing excellent football, Rutenbeck struck again, taking a five yard pass from Ehrenfried and racing 54 yards to the end zone to up the lead to 27-5, still in the third quarter.

Xavier Mitchell finally found the end zone for Kiel early in the fourth, hauling in a 25 yard touchdown pass from Stegman to narrow the lead to 27-11. And then Hurricanes defensive back Xazier Murry picked off Ehrenfried in the end zone. But it did not help as Rutenbeck again punished the Kiel secondary with a 52 yard touchdown reception to round out the scoring.

Kiel head coach Marcus Herford:

“We knew that it would be difficult to play this team. In the second half, we made too many mistakes to win against a team like the Unicorns.”

So for the fourth year in a row, Schwäbisch Hall will face the Braunschweig New Yorker Lions in the German Bowl,  the first battle of unbeatens in the title game since 1987. The Lions edged the Frankfurt Universe 23-21 in the other semifinal.



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