Bitter 20:41 defeat against the Comets before a record crowd
The Saarland Hurricanes were clearly beaten by the Allgäu Comets 20:41 (0:14/7:7/0:6/13:14). Before a record crowd of 1,650 spectators the hosts could only compete in phases. For the Saarlaenders it was a tough day! Not much went together for the Hurricanes. Despite the support of 1650 fans, the players of head coach Tom Smythe could only rarely determine the game. The defense had big problems to put the opponent’s playmaker Cedric Townsend under pressure. The opposing playmaker usually got from his O-Line so much time that he could turn and make the plays alone. And if the line once collapsed, Townsend could rely on his own legs to cover the necessary yards. The home side far too rarely succeeded in stopping the offense of the guests. On the other side of the ball, the offense of Canes did not bring enough to the party to put pressure on the Comets. This meant the guests from Bavaria were able to quickly take the lead. The offense of the whirlwinds started the game and they almost reached a first down on the first attack but the play ultimately ended with a punt (without a first down). The Comets were from the outset on top of the game and scored points in their first drive. To make matters worse for the home side, the guests got hold of the ball on the next drive, thanks to a turnover in the Canes half. The Comets made use of the good field position to race to a 14:0 lead. But the Hurricanes did not want to leave the field without a fight. At the end of the 1st Quarter they also achieved several first downs. They came into the Comet’s Red zone. On the fourth play the ball was caught at the goal line but not close enough. With a turnover on downs, ball possession swapped to the 1-yard-line of the guests. The ends were changed and the Comets marched on again. The defense could not find a cure against the attack. At this time Matthew Greene was the favorite receiver of the ball from Townsend. So at the end of this drive, the guys from Kempten took a 21:0 lead. But the Canes now came more into the game. Although they had not yet managed to get any points on the board, they were able at least to gain some yards. The defense also stopped for the first time a drive from the Bavarian. During the 2 minute warning the attack machinery of the Canes began to function. Kevin Johnston bagged the first points for the home side to make the score 7:21 at halftime. The defense seemed to have found a way to block the Comets because they did not add to their score. The break seemed to have benefitted the Comets more. They had to punt after 3 tries, but on the other side they forced the same. And on the fourth Canes tried to pass the ball when they should have punted. The snap was a little too high, forcing Alexander Haupert to dodge to the right side. Fleeing from the opponents, he decided to throw the ball instead of to kick it. This high risk play was not rewarded, as the ball was not caught. The guests on the contrary, punished this error, immediately with another touchdown. The score stayed 7:27 for the rest of the third quarter. The last quarter was a lively little game that brought each side two touchdowns. The Allgäu Comets were deserving winners. The home side could only repeat parts of the game as they had done against Stuttgart before the World Cup break. It has become clear that everyone must give 100% of their power and may be a little bit more in order to beat a team from the top third of the table. At times the Saarlaender were equal to their opponents, which in turn gives encouragement for the upcoming matches. The team must work in the coming weeks to find their rhythm again. If this is successful, they may even resent being referred to as an underdog against one of the top teams. The positions in the table have not really altered. The Unicorns still have only lost two points; Stuttgart, Kempten and Saarbrücken have all dropped four. Each of the four teams can still be champions in the South. At the weekend Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns are waiting for the Hurricanes at the Hagenbach Stadium. It will be the last game for the Hall at this sports ground. The Canes plan to gatecrash this party and kidnap the points from the Unicorns. Of course we hope for the support of the PubliCanes who are increasing in number at the away games too.
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