Bitburg sets record for consecutive wins
By GREGORY BROOME | STARS AND STRIPES Published: September 14, 2013
BITBURG, Germany -- Bitburg won its 32nd consecutive game Saturday, breaking the all-time DODDS-Europe record for consecutive football victories with a rousing 42-6 defeat of visiting Baumholder.
Head coach Mike Laue’s Barons, who haven't lost a regular-season or playoff game since 2009, passed Ansbach to establish DODDS-Europe's longest unbeaten streak. Marcus George led Ansbach to 31 consecutive victories starting in 2006; Bitburg ended Ansbach's streak in the 2009 Division II European championship game.
There was no celebration at the end of Saturday’s brutal blowout of the Bucs, with the outcome a foregone conclusion within minutes of the opening kickoff. Laue, who deflected discussion of the streak while pursuing it, indulged only slightly once it was secured.
“We’ll talk about it one time, today,” Laue said. “Then we’ll move on and do other things later down the road. We have other stuff to do.”
While the game was defined by Bitburg's pursuit of DODDS-Europe history, it also carried a compelling subplot as a battle of reigning champions.
Bitburg won its fourth straight Division II European title last season, surviving a title-game scare from Naples. Baumholder dipped into the Division III ranks in 2012 and ran the table en route to the small-school championship.
DODDS-Europe's summer realignment placed the Bucs back in Division II for 2013, leaving both reigning champs pursuing a common title.
While perhaps interesting on paper, the game didn't come close to meeting those expectations.
The notoriously hard-hitting Barons overwhelmed Baumholder from the beginning, building an immediate lead that ticked ever higher as the first half proceeded.
The onslaught paused only when Bucs players needed medical attention. The second extended delay, coming with 6 minutes, 57 seconds to play in the first half and the Barons up 42-0, compelled game officials to declare an early halftime.
The second half was played under a running clock in accordance with DODDS-Europe’s courtesy rule.
That was plenty of time for the Barons to rack up impressive stat lines.
Larry Jackson carried 14 times for 108 yards and scored five of Bitburg’s six touchdowns. Kenny Love carried six times for 31 yards and a touchdown.
Devin Billups led the defense with seven tackles; Love and Ian Alexander added five apiece. The Barons recovered six fumbles on the day.
Senior linebacker Billups, a four-year Baron veteran who has never tasted defeat on the high school gridiron, summed up the philosophy behind Bitburg’s continuing dominance of DODDS-Europe football.
“We don’t underestimate nor overestimate the teams that we go against,” Billups said. “And we try our best not to make any mistakes. If we do make mistakes, we don’t dwell over them the next play. That’s how we’ve been doing it these past four years.”
Baumholder finally found some purchase in the third quarter when Holden Giefer found a streaking Demonte Fisher down the left sideline for a 65-yard score, the only points of the second half for either side. Giefer completed both of his pass attempts for 75 yards after starting quarterback Isaiah Wilson went down with an injury.
“The kids didn’t give up,” Baumholder coach BJ Walker said. “We got beat up a little, but we’ll come back.”
The Barons improve to 2-0 after opening their season Sept. 7 with a 66-14 rout of Alconbury. They'll travel to International School of Brussels next weekend, their first game against a returning Division II opponent.
The Bucs take a 1-1 record on the long trip to Rota on Saturday.