Naples beats Ansbach, takes D-2 south crown
Stars and Stripes
NAPLES, Italy - Division II South Conference regular-season champion Naples built valuable momentum Saturday for the approaching postseason with a rugged 35-20 win over visiting Ansbach.
The Cougars entered the weekend among a jumble of teams in contention for the South's second and final spot in the playoffs but saw their hopes dashed with the defeat. Rival Hohenfels gets the bid in their stead and receives the prize of a trip to three-time defending Europe Division II champion Bitburg next Saturday.
The Wildcats, however, stayed above the fray throughout with a perfect 6-0 campaign and now have a postseason for which to prepare. They'll host North conference runner-up SHAPE next weekend, entering the season-defining game with their confidence at its peak after withstanding the persistent Cougars.
"I am very proud of our players," said Naples head coach Dr. Steve Altstiel. "Ansbach gave us a great game."
Naples quarterback Joseph Pitts used all of his extremities to stockpile yardage, gaining 165 yards through the air and 105 more on the ground. Defensively, Zane Zimmerman scooped up a loose ball at the Wildcat 40-yard line and escorted it 60 yards for a touchdown, adding the game-changing play to a workmanlike five-tackle, two-assist outing.
Wildcat linchpins Bryan Pfirrman and Isaiah Wesby, meanwhile, excelled on both ends of the football. Pfirrman collected three passes for 65 yards and a touchdown while adding six tackles and four assists, and Wesby caught three passes for 91 yards and notched a team-high eight tackles.