KIT Footbaler German University Champion
The KIT SC Engineers have achieved their first big goal of the season. At the adh-Open American Football in Mannheim last weekend, the team beat the HSU Snipers from the Helmut-Schmidt University of the Federal Armed Forces Hamburg and the Mannheim Knights. With now a total of nine championships, the KIT SC Engineers are still record title holders of the competition.
When department head Jonas Lohmann raised the trophy on Sunday around 4:30 p.m. Mannheim local time, the exuberance and relief of all Karlsruhe players, coaches and support staff were clearly visible. After two days, four games, far too short nights and probably the longest weekend of the year, the team was able to take the trophy back to the fan city for the fourth time in a row.
After the two visiting teams arrived on Friday evening, the tournament started on Saturday morning with the KIT SC Engineers playing the HSU Snipers. The KIT SC Engineers started with a lot of momentum into the match, visibly benefiting from the fact that they were well-rehearsed as a team through regular league play. After a couple of good plays, running back Cató Zoua made his way through the Hamburg defense for the first time and scored the first touchdown of the game.
The defense also got off to a good start and was able to send the HSU offense right back off the field after one play. Linebacker and USA returnee Fabian Falter intercepted a pass from the Hamburg quarterback, ending the offensive series early.
The offense managed to add to the score when quarterback Jonas Lohmann broke out of the backfield after a long drive and carried the ball into the end zone. With the 14:0 it went then also into the break. After the break, the Snipers got into the game better and got the KIT SC Engineers defense into trouble again and again with their well-functioning option system. After a long drive at the beginning of the second half, the Hamburg running back reached the end zone with a good run and thus reduced the deficit to 14:6.
However, the KIT SC Engineers were not impressed by this and restored the original lead directly on their next offensive series. Jonas Lohmann perfectly served his wide receiver Thomas Thorn with a pass to the right side, who was able to easily cover the last meters to the end zone and thus to 21:7.
After that, the Hamburg team did not give up and came back to the KIT SC Engineers with a second touchdown at 12:21. However, a safety caused by a failed snap and an interception by defensive back Fabian Pünder ended the Hanseatic team's comeback dreams and the game ended 23:12.
Defensive battle against Mannheim
The second game was played by the KIT SC Engineers against the Mannheim Knights, who have also been active in regular league play since the current season. Before the eyes of the numerous spectators on the sidelines, a very tough game developed in which neither team could decisively assert itself offensively. The KIT SC Engineers were also plagued by bad luck with injuries, as their starting running back, their starting wide receiver, as well as several offensive and defensive lineman were out during the course of the game. This was all the more significant because the team had already arrived at the tournament with a very thin squad.
Nevertheless, the score remained 0-0 for a long time until two defensive actions decided the game. First, the Mannheim returner managed to carry a punt back into the KIT SC Engineers end zone, before the same player intercepted a pass from Jonas Lohman on the next KIT SC Engineers offensive series and carried it over the goal line for the 14-0 final score.
The third game of the day was a bit surprisingly won by the HSU Snipers against the hosts with 35:21 after the course of the tournament so far, so in terms of results the clocks were more or less set to zero for the second day.
Equal opportunities for day two
Sunday started again with the game of KIT SC Engineers against the Snipers. Right from the start, the green-whites seemed fresher than the day before and were able to fall back on a large part of the players who had had to sit out Saturday's game against Mannheim.
Accordingly, the team of head coach Falco Böllhoff went to work full of energy and left no doubt early in the game what goal they had set for the end of the day. Once again, the KIT SC Engineers benefited from their very successful running game via Cató Zoua, who had fortunately recovered from his injury the day before. The running back repeatedly spread fear and terror among the defensive backs with his powerful runs through the middle, and they were soon rather hesitant in their tackle attempts. Fittingly, it was also Zoua who scored the first two touchdowns of the game with runs through the middle.
Even after that, the KIT SC Engineers were clearly the better team and scored two more touchdowns with a run by Jonas Lohmann and a pass from Lohmann to Thomas Thorn.
The defense also played very consistently and gave the Hamburg offense only a few chances to play their own game. Defensive back Maximilian Wolf shone with two interceptions, each of which prematurely ended promising drives by the Snipers.
Despite all this, the Hamburg team fought bravely until the end of the game and deservedly scored a touchdown, ending the game with a score of 28:07.
The signs for the second leg against the Mannheim Knights were clear: a win would mean winning the tournament, while a defeat would have required a deep look into the rules on the subject of points difference and direct comparison. But fortunately, it was not to come to that.
Strong second half brings tournament victory
Driven by the possibility to secure the tournament victory early by their own efforts, the KIT SC Engineers started the game highly motivated and put the first offensive exclamation mark directly on their first drive. Once again, it was the Lohmann to Thorn combination that helped them score a touchdown and take a 7-0 lead. However, the Knights confirmed their performance against the KIT SC Engineers from the day before in the first half and answered promptly. On not one but two consecutive plays, the Green and White's defensive backs were hit with long passes, the second of which went all the way into the end zone. The Mannheim team then even secured a 10:7 halftime lead with an additional field goal.
After the break, however, the KIT SC Engineers played themselves into a real frenzy and dominated the game on both sides of the ball. Offensively, the lead was restored by another touchdown run by Cató Zoua, while defensively, the Mannheim offense completely shut down the game.
Another touchdown pass from Jonas Lohmann to Thomas Thorn then increased the lead to 21:10 before the defense provided the last big highlight.
Wide receiver Hannes Löffler, who had been playing cornerback for the entire tournament due to personnel shortages and already had two interceptions to his credit at this point, intercepted another ball from the Mannheim quarterback and carried it back 60 yards into the Knights' end zone.
With the score 28-10 the game as well as the tournament were decided, the hosts secured the second place in the last game with a 25-8 win against the HSU Snipers.
After the award ceremony and the presentation of the trophy to Jonas Lohmann and the sporting director of KIT SC Engineers, Lukas Grünhaupt, it was back to the sleeping place of the last two days, from where all belongings were carried into the bus ready for departure, which then brought the players safely back to Karlsruhe. There, the festivities are rumored to have continued deep into the night, but this is not known from official sources.
The KIT SC Engineers would like to thank all those who made the tournament so special and unforgettable again this year. To all the organizers, players, coaches, cheerleaders, spectators and whoever else was involved in any way in the great weekend. It was a ton of fun and we are really looking forward to next year!