|Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns||0||17||0||12||29||Win|
|Stockholm Mean Machines||0||14||6||7||27||Loss|
The last quarterfinal of the CEFL Championship was also the most dramatic. The defending champion from CEFL Bowl XVI, Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns, have welcomed Stockholm Mean Machines in one of the most exhilarating games in CEFL’s very thrilling history. The score was fluctuating in favor of either team and ultimately the matchup was decided as time expired!
The Unicorns’ made constant progress in the opening quarter before getting intercepted in the opposing end zone by Noah Allsten.
Moving the chains wasn’t an issue for the Mean Machines either, but then home team’s Thomas Kaczocha reciprocated with a turnover on his team’s 1 yard line.
After a scoreless first period, it was raining points in the second. German team’s kicker, Tim Stadelmayr scored first on a 16-yarder, 3-0.
Not losing pace, the visitors have taken the lead over Mark Pappas’ connection with Anton Blomgren for a long gain, before Blomgren scored the first touchdown 3-7.
The champions answered right back with Ian Gehrke’s 50 yard sling to Caleb Schweigart to bring the control back, 10-7.
Responding to the call, Swedes’ signal caller Pappas located Robin Gavelin Miranda for another lead change, 10-14.
There are still 26 ticks left on the clock in the first half but Gehrke is not perturbed by that, tossing to Leonell Fritzen for 17-14.
Following the intermission, visiting team’s Alvin Gustafsson splits the uprights for an equalizer, 17-17.
Their defense shows up as well, with Karl Berg forcing a fumble and Alaudin Azemi recovering, but the offensive unit couldn’t take advantage. Pappas’ pass gets intercepted in the Unicorns’ end zone by Niclas Lux.
The home team has trouble moving the ball on the next drive which ends in a botched punt to boot. Defenders correct for this gaffe by stopping the Mean Machines on the short field and Gustafsson kicks another three-pointer, 17-20.
Next series is a disappointment for the home crowd too as their favorites’ field goal failed. At the top of the last quarter, Stockholmers do even worse, fumbling the ball on their offensive effort.
The hosts profit from this with Gehrke throwing a touchdown pass to Christian Honig to retake the lead, but the point after is no good, 23-20.
Another fumble by the visiting team ends their drive on the opponent’s 5 yard line, but they get one more go after a punt return. This time, Pappas engages with Blomgren and Matthew Retzlaff, and finally flings it to Aaron Rittmeier for a touchdown, 23-27.
There are now just 28 seconds before the expiration of time and a field goal doesn’t help the Unicorns. Still, they never say die.
After a short kickoff, Gehrke gets the ball back on his team’s own 45 yard line with 24 seconds to play. He dials up Honig twice for two first downs, and the receiver steps out of bounds on both catches stopping the time at 18 secs, 21 yards away. Following an incomplete pass, the clock shows 14. Then he goes to Schweigart, who drops the ball in the left corner of the end zone with 10 seconds to left. On the third attempt Gehrke rolls right and hits up Schweigart who steps out of bounds at the 7 yard line with only 3 ticks remaining. Finally, mirroring the incomplete play from seconds ago, Gehrke lifts the ball to Schweigart again to the left side and this time their combination succeeds. The celebration on the field is equal to the one in the stands as the fans roar in amazement at the final score which stands at 29-27!