Bitburg stays perfect heading into playoffs
BITBURG, Germany - An unstoppable running game and an immovable defense have Division II powerhouse Bitburg on the verge of history on multiple fronts.
The Barons on Saturday finished off an undefeated regular season and notched the program's 28th consecutive victory with a convincing 44-0 shutout of visiting AFNORTH. |
Dominant running back C.J. Evans posted five touchdowns for the second Saturday in a row, breaking off four scoring runs of at least 37 yards and finding the end zone on half of his 10 carries. He extinguished any AFNORTH optimism with three early scores and capped the first quarter with a point after, catching a pass from Evan Less to tack on to Kenny Love's 15-yard touchdown run. The heralded senior scored twice more in the third quarter to wrap up a prolific 203-yard afternoon.
Continuing a trend, Bitburg handed the bulk of its offense off to the team's capable corps of foot soldiers. Love finished with 22 yards on 6 carries, while Bryson Randall and Larry Jackson contributed three carries apiece for 28 and 18 yards, respectively. Love and Jackson added point-after runs to Evans touchdowns in the first quarter.
While Evans and his backfield colleagues carried the day, Bitburg's sturdy defense stood its ground. Marcel Hardy's eight tackles paced the unit, while Randall, Jackson and Justin Martel had six apiece, Less added five and Colton Engelmeier made four. Jackson played the point man, piercing the AFNORTH line for a sack and a tackle for loss.
The win brings the Barons to within three wins of the all-time mark for consecutive victories. The imperiled current record is Ansbach's 31-game winning streak stretching from 2006 to 2009.
Of more immediate concern for Bitburg is the dawning 2012 postseason. The 6-0 Barons enter the playoffs a heavy favorite to collect their fourth straight European Division II championship; they'll host a semifinal game against Hohenfels next Saturday to launch the effort.
AFNORTH finishes its season at 1-5 despite a strong passing game from quarterback Daniel Cordova, who completed 7 of 22 pass attempts for 139 yards.