In front of more than 5,000 enthusiastic football fans, the New Yorker Lions won the finals of the BIG6 European Football League, Eurobowl XXIX, with 24:14 (10:7/14:0/0:7/0:0) against the Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns. It is the major competition for club teams in Europe and it was the first final victory for the Lions since 2003 in a game that was marked especially in the second half by the defenses.
After an unsuccessful first attack of the Unicorns the hosts scored by a field goal from kicker Tom van Duijn from 35 yards in its first series for a 3:0 lead.
For Hall the second drive was also not successful. A pass from quarterback Marco Ehrenfried was blocked, Braunschweig secured the loose ball and scored shortly afterwards by a touchdown pass from playmaker Casey Therriault to Niklas Römer and the ensuing extra point to 10:0.
However, this time, Hall reported back impressively. After initial difficulties in the first plays, Ehrenfried served his favorite pass station Patrick Donahue with a pass over 71 yards for a touchdown. After the extra point by Thomas Rauch it was only 10:7.
In the second quarter the New Yorker Lions scored again for the old distance. After a good mix of successful plays from running and pass the home side fought right up to the 9-yard line of the Unicorns.
From there, the American playmaker Therriault took advantage of a gap in the defense of the Unicorns and increased the score to 17:7 personally including the good extra point by van Duijn.
Before the break, Hall had the opportunity to make some points after an outstanding punt return by Donahue, but the field goal attempt of 47 yards from Rauch got too short, so the Lions again had the opportunity to extend their lead.
The reigning German champions took the advantage of the ball possession. Therriault found Evan Landi after a successful drive with a 19-yard pass into the end zone. After the extra point it was 24:7. Because the Lions stopped the last attempt of the Unicorns by an interception of Tissi Robinson, there were no more points in the first half.
The second half began promisingly for the guests. After the first unsuccessful offense series of the New Yorker Lions, two long catches of Aurieus Adegbesan brought the Unicorns near to the Lions´ end zone. Again, it was Donahue reserved to catch the decisive pass by Ehrenfried. After the extra point of Rauch and the resulting 24:14 the hope of the guests lived again.
But the Defense of the Lions allowed no additional points. The own offense controlled the clock, but also for Braunschweig there was nothing countable, so that the 24:14 had existed until the end of Eurobowl XXIX.
With this victory, the New Yorker Lions got their third European title.
The coaches showed their respect for each other after the game. Lions Head Coach Troy Tomlin. “The defense of the Unicorns did a great job today and has made it very hard for our offense.”
“The Lions have deserved the victory very well and see themselfs as the best club teams in Europe from now on,” summed Unicorns Head Coach Siegfried Gehrke.
For the MVP the quarterback of the New Yorker Lions, Casey Therriault, was elected.
- 03:00 35 yard field goal Tom van Duijn
- 10:00 24 yard TD pass C. Therriault on N. Romans (PAT T. van Duijn)
- 10:07 71 yard TD pass M. Ehrenfried on P. Donahue (PAT T. Rauch)
- 17:07 9 yard TD run C. Therriault (PAT T. van Duijn)
- 24:07 19 yard TD pass C. Therriault on E. Landi (PAT PT van Duijn)
- 24:14 11 yard TD pass M. Ehrenfried on P. Donahue (PAT T. Rauch)