Cougars rout Baumholder in title game, stretch winning streak to 16 games
BAUMHOLDER, Germany — The Ansbach Cougars christened DODDS-Europe’s Super Six football tripleheader with a dominating performance Saturday.
The Cougars (8-0) controlled all aspects of the game to capture their second straight European Division III championship with a 43-6 rout of Baumholder. It was their 16th straight victory.
Cougars quarterback Shawn Bachtel completed 11 of 15 passes for 198 yards and two touchdowns. Garrett Eichhorn added five field goals.
Ansbach’s defense forced five turnovers and held Baumholder to eight first downs and 198 yards.
“Championship games are won with defense,” said Ansbach coach Marcus George, who has guided six teams to European titles at three schools. “We work as much on defense as we do on offense. People think of us as an offensive juggernaut, but the reason we score so much is that defense keeps getting us the ball back again and again and again.
“[Assistant coaches] Mick Plummer and Gary Feletar run the defense and they really make it easy on me.”
Ansbach’s defense made it anything but easy for Baumholder on Saturday.
The Bucs, behind sophomore running back Xavier Dunford, came into the game riding the momentum of road playoff victories over London Central and Bamberg. But the gang-tackling Cougars, led by middle linebacker Dameon Outley’s 13 stops, held Dunford to 3 yards on eight carries in the first half. Dunford finished with 60 yards, including a 24-yard touchdown run in the third quarter.
Ansbach’s biggest challenge was to evade the 40-point, mercy-rule margin after scoring 28 points on their first four possessions.
Enter Eichhorn, who missed his first field-goal attempt from 35 yards then made kicks of 18, 30, 22, 20 and 37 yards. All six of his kicks came on first down.
Eichhorn said the game plan after halftime was to avoid the end zone. He set up one of his kicks when he passed up a chance to complete a 25-yard TD run by running out of bounds on the Baumholder 15.
“I could taste the end zone,” he said.
For solace, he kicked a field goal on the next play.
James Esters and Jon Austin were more fortunate: They scored touchdowns in the first half.
Esters, the quick junior halfback who accumulated 52 yards on six carries, took an inside handoff 17 yards for one TD, ran 4 yards on an option pitch for a second, and covered 59 yards with a Bachtel pass for a third score.
Austin pulled in a 3-yard TD pass on a fade route for his score.
Senior lineman Vic Leaks even got into the act.
Leaks left the trenches in the fourth quarter and scored a touchdown on a 37-yard run. But the TD was erased by a holding penalty.
“It’s great to win this for our seniors,” said burly tight end Russell Bailey, who caught four passes Saturday, “but we’ve got one more coming.”