HOHENFELS, Germany — Running back James Esters ran for 166 yards and three touchdowns Friday night as the Ansbach Cougars downed the Hohenfels Tigers 50-13 in a battle of previously unbeaten teams.

Quarterback Brandon Bachtel had a TD pass and a scoring run, and Mike Ewing returned a fumble 33 yards for a score as the Cougars won their 19th straight game.

“I didn’t think I was running that fast,” Ewing said after he scooped up a third-quarter fumble near the right sideline and sprinted into the end zone, “but I guess I was running fast enough. I didn’t know I had scored until people started congratulating me.”

Ewing’s return gave the Cougars a 32-0 lead in the opening Division III-C game for both teams.

The Cougars built a 26-0 halftime lead on TD runs of 41, 5 and 15 yards by Esters. Bachtel also hit tight end Russell Bailey for a 65-yard score.

The Cougars spent the rest of the game trying to avoid ending the game via DODDS-Europe’s 40-point mercy rule.

“I’d hate to mercy-rule this team,” fretted Ansbach head coach Marcus George as the score mounted. “I started the program at that school.”

George, who has led Ansbach to back-to-back titles, took the Tigers to a European title in 1997.

The task of keeping the score down got more complicated after Dameon Outley raced 30 yards for the TD that made it 38-0, but Ansbach ensured the PAT kick attempt failed.

“It hurts me because I’m trying to make All-Europe as a kicker, too,” said Ewing, “but I’ll take a hit for the team.”

Hohenfels quarterback J.P. Parks got the Tigers on the board with a 23-yard strike to Junior Washington. But Taurean Moore returned the Hohenfels’ kickoff 72 yards to the Hohenfels 10. Freshman Dominique Whaley ran it in from there.

Parks hooked up with Washington again for a 24-yard score that got the game into the fourth quarter. But Bachtel ran in from 68 yards out for Ansbach’s final score on the night.

“I just followed my blockers,” said Bachtel. “It set up perfectly.”

Ansbach (3-0 overall, 1-0 in III-C) returns to nonconference play Saturday when the Cougars host Vilseck of Division II.

Hohenfels (2-1, 0-1) travels to Vicenza on Saturday for its final conference game of the season.

In Saturday’s games involving Division III teams:

AFNORTH 36, Brussels 20: At Brussels, AFNORTH got a pair of TD passes from Bryent Blankenship, one to Ian Waters and the other to Steve Miller, and 118 yards on 25 carries from Jarred Waters in winning its second game in a row.

Kyle Winn added 73 rushing yards for AFNORTH (2-1).

Brussels (1-2, 0-2) was led by Matt Parker with 67 rushing yards on 16 carries.

Baumholder 41, Alconbury 0: At RAF Alconbury, England, the Bucs rode Rahsad Taylor to the nonconference mercy-rule victory over the Dragons (0-3).

Taylor gained 100 yards on just five carries and scored from 68 and 8 yards out.

Carl Robers, Antonio Mouzon and T.J. Whatley each ran for TDs, and Baumholder (2-1, 1-0) closed out the game when Tyriek Bayne ran a fumble recovery 20 yards for the clinching touchdown.

Vicenza 13, Sigonella 12: At Vicenza, quarterback Robert O’Doherty plunged in from the 1-yard line, and Patrick Bailey booted the game-winning point as the Cougars rallied in the fourth quarter for a nonconference victory.

Vicenza led 6-0 at halftime on a 32-yard fumble return for a TD by freshman Darryl Alexander, but the Jaguars went up 12-6 after intermission on a 20-yard scoring run by fullback Jade Garth and an 8-yard TD run by K.J. Jones.

Garth had 95 yards on 14 carries.

O’Doherty was 12-for-24 for 178 yards passing.

Eric Lain led the ground game for Vicenza (2-1 overall) with 132 yards on 18 carries.

Sigonella got an interception and sack from Kelby Lamb.

Giessen 28, Kaiserslautern JV 6: At K-town, Anthony Placeres ran for a pair of TDs as the Griffins (1-2) scored for the first time this season.

Placeres scored on 3- and 25-yard runs to put Giessen up 16-6. Tim Hill then added a 20-yard TD run, and quarterback LaQwon Hargrove closed out the scoring with a 65-yard pass play to Chris Lavon.

Menwith Hill 40, Lakenheath JV 0: At Menwith Hill, Shawn Adams ran five times for 110 yards and three TDs, and brothers Mike and Matt Bailey accounted for three scores in the nonconference game.

Adams scored on runs of 10, 11 and 38 yards. Senior Mike Bailey plunged in from a yard out, and freshman brother Matt returned an interception 40 yards for one score and ran 3 yards for another.

Mike Bailey finished the game, which ended at halftime, with 106 yards on seven carries.

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