Sep 19th, 2023 15:00, by Dominik Krauss

Road to Duisburg - Stuttgart Surge

Fiona Noever

Sep 19th, 2023 15:00, by Dominik Krauss

Road to Duisburg - Stuttgart Surge

The Stuttgart Surge completed their unlikely way from 0-12 in 2022 to making the Championship Game this season. Jordan Neuman’s turnaround of the franchise is a story for the ages. Here is how their season went:

A turnaround regular season

After two disappointing seasons with a combined two wins, the Stuttgart Surge hired renowned head coach Jordan Neuman to take the franchise to the promised land. The Surge started the season hot, going 5-0, including wins over Paris, Tirol, and Munich, before surprisingly tripping in Week 7 against the Helvetic Guards. But the team was able to shake the loss off, going on to win five out of the next six games, only losing by two points to the Munich Ravens, and finishing the regular season with a 10-2 record as the Central Conference champion.

First steps in the playoffs

Thanks to a balanced, well-producing offense, combined with a defense that found its grove late in the season, recording a single-season record of 19 interceptions, Stuttgart went into the Wildcard round as the favorite. Jordan Neuman’s team hosted the Wrocław Panthers with running back sensation Dawid Brzozowski, and dominated the game right from the start, securing a comfortable 37-14 win at home. The first playoff victory in franchise history was achieved, but there was an even bigger challenge waiting for the Surge. The reigning ELF champions coached by Chris Calaycay were the next in line. 

Master vs. Apprentice

The matchup against the Vienna Vikings featured not only a duel of two of the best football teams in Europe but also many intriguing storylines. A turnaround franchise versus the perpetually successful Vikings, that have never been beat at home in the ELF. Jordan Neuman facing his former team coached by close friend and mentor Chris Calaycay. With a Championship Game ticket on the line, stakes could not have been much higher. And the Surge delivered. After an offensive firework with many turnovers from both teams, Stuttgart prevailed, taking the lead with just under four minutes to go and forcing a fumble to seal the deal. 

Just one step away

The Surge, who are already the biggest underdog story in league history, are now just one more step away from making the Cinderella story reality, potentially going from 0-12 to champions in just one year. But standing in their way is the toughest opponent there is. Led by MVP frontrunner Jadrian Clark, Jim Tomsula’s Rhein Fire is just one win away from completing a perfect season and winning the ELF Championship Game at their home stadium. The first seed has been looking unstoppable all year long, winning every game except one by at least two scores and outscoring their opponents by 341 points. But the Surge are ready to take on Goliath. Will Stuttgart be able to shock the world and crown themselves champions? Find out on Sunday!

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