A line of credit: AFNORTH quarterback Ruiz credits his blockers for opening holes as Lions
November 2, 2008
BAUMHOLDER, Germany — AFNORTH combined a suffocating defense with the running of quarterback E.J. Ruiz and Brock Blankenship to steamroll Baumholder 60-14 on Saturday to claim the DODDS-Europe Division III football championship.
Ruiz, selected as the offensive player of the game, credited his offensive line with dominating Baumholder at the line of scrimmage and opening holes for the backfield.
"They deserve all the credit. They’re incredible. I just can’t take much of the credit. Brock must have averaged 10 yards a carry," said Ruiz, who scored three touchdowns on the ground and also threw for one.
For the Buccaneers, things started out with a bang on the opening kickoff when Daniel Harris ran 80 yards, eluding and breaking tackles on his way to a touchdown, making it 6-0 with just seconds gone.
From then on, the Lions were in control.
"We started out strong, but we just couldn’t keep the momentum going," said Baumholder head coach Carter Hollenback. "They’re a good team."
On its first possession, AFNORTH’s Blankenship answered the Baumholder score with a 35-yard run. The Lions marched down the field, capping the drive with Ruiz scoring on a short run.
Baumholder had its chances in the first quarter. On two possessions the Lions opted to go for it on fourth and short yardage. On both occasions, the Lions defense made stops that set up AFNORTH touchdown drives. The first was capped by a 23-yard scoring run by Ruiz and the second on a 5-yard burst by Blankenship, who finished with 231 yards, to put the Lions up 24-6 after one quarter.
The second quarter was marked with turnovers and penalties. Lions cornerback Tuzhaun Carroll and defensive back James Perea stymied Baumholder drives with interceptions. Lions fullback Kevin Kropp made the lone score of the period on a 2-yard run.
Carroll, who ran for 231 yards, scored from 20 yards to open the third quarter as AFNORTH stayed in control.
Baumholder’s Edgar Acosta completed a 40-yard pass to Cody Clay, then scampered 15 yards on a keeper to set up Prince Owusu’s 3-yard TD run.
Ruiz took over from there to dash any hopes Baumholer had of coming back. Ruiz, who finished with 107 yards rushing and 70 through the air, completed a 22-yard TD pass to Perea, then added scoring runs of 15 and 55 yards to turn the game into a romp.
"It was nice for our seniors to get the win. They’ve been close a couple years," said AFNORTH head coach Greg Blankenship.