Switzerland’s Helvetic Guards stun Stuttgart Surge, hand them first loss of the season

The Helvetic Guards shocked the European League of Football this past weekend by dominating the previously unbeaten Stuttgart Surge en route to a 31-13 win.

It wasn’t just the fact that the Guards won the game, but it was the way they did it, completely shutting down Stuttgart’s offense in the second half while scoring 16 points of their own in the final two quarters.

There was little doubt as to who the favorites were coming into this one. The Surge had taken down every opponent who stood before them, and Helvetic had earned just their first win the week prior against the Barcelona Dragons.

From the get off however, it was the Guards who seemed to control the game. This began with them throttling the Surge’s running game and forcing newly acquired quarterback Jan Weinreich to try and win it through the air.

Guards punt returner Ken Hike Jr. #2 evading Surge’s Maleka Mbala and Florian Lengauer. Photo: Lars Kauz

The first scores of the game came by way of two Guards’ field goals by Nils Jonkmans, who led his team to victory in their first win last week with five field goals. The Surge did punch back in the second quarter however with a 10-yard pass from Weinreich to Bryce Nunnelly.

The Guards electric Swiss army knife Silas Nacita tagged on a 22-yard touchdown following a PAT return by the Guards defense to bring the score to 15–6 just before the half. The scoreline, already beginning to shock viewers, was quickly remedied on the ensuing drive however as Weinreich connected Darrell Stewart Jr. on a 42-yard bomb straight down the sideline.

The Surge came out in the second half with an uncomfortable 15–13 deficit but were surely confident they could beat one of the lowest ranked teams in the league. However, it was from here that the problems started for the Surge offense.

On just the third play of the second half, Weinreich was sacked and fumbled the ball, giving possession away to the Guards deep within their own territory. The rushing duo that has become Nacita and Tristan Noble, gave a good account of themselves but ended with a short field goal from Jonkmans.

Photo: Lars Kauz

There was a little back and forth on the ensuing drives, but just before the end of the third quarter, Weinreich was picked off by Maceo Beard who took it 80 yards to the house. Now trailing 24–13, the Surge began to get a little careless with the ball as Weinreich threw three more picks in quick succession in the fourth quarter.

Excellent field position and momentum massively in favor of the Guards led to Nacita and Noble teaming up for another score at the beginning of the fourth. With the score now at 31–13 and Weinreich benched, there was little going for the Surge offense to end the game.

Nacita and Noble combined for 160 yards and a touchdown each on the day, with Noble adding a further 137 through the air. But the MVP on the day has to be the Helvetic defense who forced and recovered two fumbles and four interceptions.

Daniel Mackenzie is a Press Association graduate who works in journalism and communications in the third sector. Daniel began playing football for the London Warriors and Team Great Britain and has since played across Europe.