SHAPE forces costly fumble, squeaks by ISB
Stars and Stripes
BRUSSELS, Belgium – Two contending football teams determined to keep pace in the Division II standings produced a wild finish Friday night.
Visiting SHAPE seized a 49-42 victory from the host Raiders, overcoming a 21-point fourth-quarter deficit. But the comeback very nearly fell short.
SHAPE scored a touchdown and a two-point conversion with under two minutes to play to take a 43-42 lead. ISB responded with an efficient drive, leading to a third-down opportunity on the 2-yard line with 11 seconds to play. But the potential game-winner went haywire, as a fumbled ISB snap fell into Manning’s hands and the Spartan star ran 98 yards the opposite way for a game-sealing score.
The dramatic game-ender capped a brilliant day for Manning, who carried 17 times for 165 yards and three touchdowns and added 70 receiving yards.
Quarterback Brett Cain completed six of 12 attempts for 94 yards and ran for 21 yards and a score. Elimad Ismail and Seth Cain added rushing touchdowns for the deep SHAPE backfield.
The win negated an equally impressive offensive display from ISB.
Pearce Keesling took 25 handoffs for ISB, gaining 157 yards and two touchdowns. John Kontos carried 25 times for 136 yards, while Fernando Torrijos added 16 runs for 70 yards and a score.
ISB quarterback Marshall Kontos went 14-for-22 with 277 passing yards and two touchdowns. Stefan Anderson caught both scores as part of a four-reception, 145-yard effort, while Torrijos hauled in five balls for 63 yards.
Defensive standouts included Tim Overeem (nine tackles) and Torrijos (six tackles) for ISB and Enrique Perales (12 solo tackles, four assists) and Luis Diaz (12 solo tackles, two assists) for SHAPE.
With the victory, SHAPE stays with Bitburg as the only remaining undefeated teams in Division II’s north region. That situation will be settled next Saturday as the Spartans visit the Barons for a showdown.