SHAPE tops ISB to reach postseason
Stars and Stripes
MONS, Belgium - SHAPE clinched a hard-earned postseason berth Saturday with a 57-20 homecoming win over International School of Brussels.
SHAPE concludes its regular season at 4-1-1 overall and 3-1 in the Division II North Conference, edging out Schweinfurt for runner-up status behind perennial champion Bitburg. The Spartans will open the postseason with a semifinal game at South conference regular-season champion Naples next Saturday.
“We had a very solid game today," said SHAPE head coach Randy Potter. "Our guys came out ready to play in front of a huge homecoming crowd, knowing that it was a must-win to make it to the playoffs."
SHAPE tapped the diverse skill set of Conner Manning to fuel its offense; Manning rushed 12 times for 103 yards and three touchdowns and reeled in a 55-yard touchdown reception. Placekicker Christoffer Nielsen made good on all seven of his point-after attempts, a worthy encore after a five-for-five PAT performance in his team’s win over AFNORTH on Oct. 13.
The Spartans defense, meanwhile, produced its own breakout star in PJ Nieves. Feeding off the pressure produced by the SHAPE front line, the versatile Nieves intercepted three ISB passes, delivered two of the picks for touchdowns and thoroughly swarmed Raider runners for nine tackles, three assisted tackles and a fumble recovery. Argios Kollcaku turned in an impressive defensive stat line of six tackles, four assists and a sack.
ISB finishes its campaign at 1-5, though it mounted a respectable offensive attack in defeat. Quarterback Marshall Kontos completed half of his 28 passing attempts for 246 yards and a touchdown; Paco Torrijos carried 16 times for 104 yards and a touchdown while catching three balls for 28 yards; and Felix Schulte-Strathaus made two catches for 86 yards, including a 75-yard haul from Kontos.