Photos by Russell Marwitz/True To The Cru/russellmarwitz.com
ALLGAU, Germany- A high-scoring affair in southern Germany made the professional debuts for UMHB football alums Kyle King and Mikkah Hackett nothing short of thrilling, as the contest came down to the game’s final drive in the fourth quarter.
Though it ended with the Allgau Comets intercepting King’s final pass of the game, sealing a 52-48 win for the hosts over the Saarland Hurricanes, the debuts for the UMHB duo across the Atlantic proved to be nothing short of notable.
King tossed an incredible seven touchdown passes and three interceptions in the contest, completing 28-of-50 passes for 431 yards, while Hackett came up with a number of key tackles, an interception, and a fumble recovery from his spot at middle linebacker.
The Hurricanes opened the contest with a pair of passes on their first drive, both of which were completed by King to the right side of the field. The second pass went for six yards, and resulted in an early 7-0 lead for Saarland, as King connected on the first touchdown pass of his pro career.
Though the score was 7-0 through the first quarter, both offenses went to the air and took flight over the final three quarters. Hackett, the 2021 Stagg Bowl Most Outstanding Player, helped prevent an Allgau touchdown with his tackle of a ballcarrier from behind early in the second quarter, and made his presence known on the defensive end throughout the remainder of the half.
The second drive of the second quarter proved to be one of the longest of the day for either team, as King and the Hurricane offense began on their own 23-yard line and marched 79 yards to the end zone. King, an All-American for UMHB in 2022, completed passes of five and 16 yards before firing a 58-yard strike for a touchdown.
Saarland trailed 24-20 heading into halftime, and King opened the third quarter with his first interception of the afternoon. But the Hurricanes began moving in the right direction midway through the third quarter, after Hackett intercepted a pass from Allgau quarterback Javarian Smith at the Saarland 25-yard line, and returned it across midfield to the Allgau 37.
Just like he did in so many contests as a Crusader, King used the momentum generated by Hackett’s interception to help fuel the offense, tossing a 37-yard touchdown pass on the very next play.
Allgau led 38-28 heading into the fourth, thanks to its late score at the end of the third quarter. But after two running plays opened Saarland’s first drive of the final quarter, King completed a 19-yard pass followed by a four-yard touchdown pass to Marvin Fuchs, cutting the Allgau lead to 38-34.
King tallied touchdown passes on each of the next two possessions, bringing his total for the day to seven passing scores. He added a two-point conversion completion on a well-run out route with just over a minute remaining in the game, putting Saarland in front, 48-45.
Hackett helped set up that go-ahead score, recovering an Allgau fumble that gave the offense a short field to work with, and plenty of time to claim the lead.
A 65-yard touchdown pass with 1:06 left from Smith–a former D-II standout–put the Comets back in the lead, as Allgau sealed its first win of the season.
King and Hackett return to the gridiron in Germany on June 10, battling the Munich Cowboys. We will continue to keep you posted on their progress in their first professional season.