Another edition of the big game, CEFL Bowl XVI was played on Saturday. The defending champions from last season, Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns have hosted E-R Parma Panthers. Around 2500 fans have flocked to the Optima Sportpark stadium to experience the spectacle staged by the home team.
The Panthers started the game on a high note, surprising the hosts with an early lead. That was their only score in the first quarter to which they’ve added a 3-pointer in the second. Meanwhile, during the opening 2 periods the home team has put 30 points on the board. After the break the German team managed to score 2 touchdowns countering the visitors’ one. The final tally stood at 42-17.
The Unicorns have opened the game on the offense. After a 3 & out their punt is blocked by Dauson Dales and Panthers’ Rocco Bonvicini recovers. Italians take over on the opposing 31 yard line. Brook Bolles shortens the distance under his own power and then scores through the air with one of his options.
Panthers: Brook Bolles 20 yard pass to Matteo Bonzanni, PAT is good, 0-7
On the second play after the ensuing kickoff the home team scores a long distance touchdown but the Parmigianos’ special team blocks another kick.
Unicorns: Reilly Hennessey 80 yard pass to Tyler Rutenbeck, PAT is no good, 6-7
When the visitors respond with another catch by Bonzanni, he fumbles and Tobias Löffler jumps on the ball to give the German team the short field. Reilly Hennessey then connects with Moritz Böhringer for 42 yards and their team is in front of the goal line. Another pass gets them across it for the first lead.
Unicorns: Reilly Hennessey 7 yard pass to Tyler Rutenbeck, PAT is good, 13-7
The Panthers can’t move the ball and need to punt. As soon as the Unicorns’ offense gets the ball back one more shot play ups the point difference.
Unicorns: Reilly Hennessey 63 yard pass to Moritz Böhringer, PAT is good, 20-7
Another visitors’ drive doesn’t go very far. The Haller now use Rutenbeck on a jet sweep and he sheds tacklers for a 39 yard run that ends within the kicking distance.
Unicorns: Tim Stadelmayr 32 yard field goal, 23-7
Italian team’s offense advance to rival’s territory over Modeste Pooda’s 32 yard rush but they can’t move the chains on 4 downs. Hennessey links up with Aurieus Minton for their own 32 yards but then they stop too. When Dales gets in as the running back for the Panthers he breaks through the defense for an 80 yard rush which is enough for a boot through the uprights.
Panthers: Matteo Felli 24 yard field goal, 23-10
On the next series, Rutenbeck continues his show stiff-arming defenders for 12 and 46 yard catches. A Panthers’ penalty on 4th down helps the home team score.
Unicorns: Reilly Hennessey 8 yard pass to Joshua Haas, PAT is good, 30-10
The visitors respond over Bolles who rushes for 19 yards before lobbing a pass to Dario Zatti for 31 yards. It takes a circus jump into the end zone to lower the score.
Panthers: Dauson Dales 3 yard rush, PAT is good, 30-17
The home team moves the chains with rushes by Lars Kozlowski and Jannis Fiedler, and by Minton hauling in another pass by Hennessey. Finally, the signal caller caps off the drive himself.
Unicorns: Reilly Hennessey 1 yard rush, PAT is no good, 36-17
Both defenses take charge as teams trade punts and the clock winds down. The Unicorns have an advantageous field position when they get the ball back. A rainbow pass from Hennessey to Rutenbeck pushes the ball 40 yards closer and their teammate does the rest.
Unicorns: Maurice Schüle 9 yard rush, PAT is no good, 42-17
It’s the final score of the game and the home team can celebrate their second CEFL Bowl trophy in a row with their fans. Once again the MVP of the final game is Tyler Rutenbeck, after earning the same accolades last year in his team’s win against the Raiders.