It wasn’t easy for the Schwabisch Hall Unicorns to repeat, but they rallied from an early 13-0 deficit in the fourth quarter to defeat the Frankfurt Universe 21-19 in front of 15,213 fans in Berlin to win German Bowl XL.
The Unicorns had a 14-play, 80-yard drive in the fourth quarter capped by a two-yard touchdown pass from Marco Ehrenfried to Nathaniel Robitaille to take their first lead of the game, 14-13.
Frankfurt quarterback Andrew Elffers led the Universe offense down the field to the Unicorns’ 39 but fumbled the ball when he was sacked. The loose ball was picked up by Nikolas Knoblauch who took it 42 yards for the touchdown to increase the lead to 21-13 with six minutes left.
With less than two minutes left, the Universe scored on a 12-yard touchdown pass from Elffers but failed on the two-point conversion attempt.
On the ensuing onside kick attempt, Unicorns’ receiver Joshua Haas fumbled the ball and the Universe pounced on it giving Frankfurt another chance with a minute and a half to go.
Elffers took his team down to the 15 yard line with four seconds left. Marius Duis missed wide left sealing the win for the Unicorns.
Ehrenfried threw for 146 yards and two touchdowns for the Unicorns. Elffers completed 33-of-53 passes for 309 yards and touchdowns for Frankfurt.
This was the second straight German title for the Unicorns who finished the season undefeated at 17-0 and their fourth overall title. The Unicorns defeated the Cologne Crocodiles 37-14 and Dresden Monarchs 23-7 in the GFL playoffs.
Schwabisch Hall is located northwest of Stuttgart in Southern Germany.
The Universe finished the season at (14-3) and defeated the Berlin Rebels 6-5, Braunschweig New Yorker Lions 20-17 in double overtime before falling short to the Unicorns for the title.