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Bitburg's 29th straight means another title shot

Bitburg running back C.J. Evans stiff arms Hohenfels' P.J. McCune in the first half of the Barons' 56-14 romp over the visiting Tigers.

BITBURG, Germany – Bitburg may not give much mind to its impressive winning streak, but it added one more to its tally Saturday to set up a matchup next week in Baumholder against Naples for the Division II football title.

Taking on surprise contenders Hohenfels, the Barons pounded out 497 yards of total offense – every inch of it on the ground – in a 56-14 romp over the visiting Tigers.

Running back C.J. Evans steamrolled into the end zone twice in the first half, grinding out 185 yards on 21 carries before suffering an ankle injury that sidelined the Bitburg star through the final two quarters. Those scores, along with a Kenny Love touchdown early in the second quarter and a safety by Larry Jackson on Hohenfels’ first possession, had the home team up by 16 at halftime.

The Tigers put 6 on the board in the first half on the legs of freshman quarterback Kordell Craft, who found his way into the end zone even with Bitburg’s Isaac Ramon wrapped around his ankles. Craft scored again in the third quarter, then passed to junior Julian Byles for a two-point conversion.

But by then, Bitburg had already added two more touchdowns to their total – one each from running backs Jackson and Bryson Randall – and were up 36-14.

From there it was all Bitburg, with Randall going on to score two more and Love another. In all, Love had 108 yards on 19 carries, Jackson had 103 yards on 16 attempts and Evan Less had 51 yards on 10 rushes. Randall made the most of his eight carries, rushing for 39 yards and putting up 18 points.

The win put Bitburg within two games of catching Ansbach’s 31-game win streak, a mark Bitburg coach Mike Laue said he’s not paying attention to.

“That legacy doesn’t count for anything if we don’t win,” he said. “Nobody’s going to lay down for us.”

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Hohenfels, despite getting overpowered by Bitburg’s stacked bench of backs, did its best to pummel the defending champs, and left a handful of Barons taped up and limping.

Laue said his team will focus the next week just on getting healthy after the win.

“We got beat up a little bit today, probably more than we have all year,” he said.

“We left our mark on them, “ said Tigers sophomore running back David Vidovic, who had 103 yards on 31 carries and 10 tackles. He said he’d hoped to end the Barons’ streak at 28 games, but will be happy to see the champs go down even if it isn’t at the hands of Hohenfels.

“Hopefully whoever plays them, beats them,” Vidovic said.

millhamm@estripes.osd.mil

 

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