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Senior Courtney Wicks, who had endured 18 consecutive losses in a Mannheim uniform, caught a 25-yard TD pass in the fourth quarter, then intercepted an Aviano pass to launch a clock-beating drive Saturday in a 21-14 home victory over the Saints.

Jamel Perteet, who carried seven times for 74 yards, ran around the Aviano end for 25 yards and the game-winning TD with 47 seconds to play, capping a 21-point fourth quarter for the Bison in the nonconference game.

“I am so proud of our kids’ effort,” Mannheim coach Frank Macias wrote in an e-mail.

“Even after getting down 14 points, we never gave up….”

Mannheim quarterback Ben Spindler, 7-for-8 for 145 yards and two TDs after failing to complete his first six passes, got the rally started 33 seconds into the final quarter with a 13-yard TD toss to Marcus Camps. Camps hauled the pass in with one hand, Macias wrote.

A defensive stop then launched the Bison on a nine-play scoring drive, capped by Wicks’ reception on fourth-and-25. Wicks followed that catch with the game-changing interception.

Alexander Gray ran 12 yards for Aviano’s first-quarter score, and Jamal Tuck made it 14-0 in the third quarter with a 15-yard TD reception and a two-point conversion run.

In other Division I/II games Saturday:

Bitburg 38, Vilseck 12: At Bitburg, All-Europe running back Anton Harris rushed 34 times for 267 yards and three touchdowns as the European D-II champs won their eighth straight game.

Brandon Pitts, who carried seven times for 51 yards, added a 1-yard TD run in the second quarter, and Jordan Thomas hauled in a 5-yard TD pass from Norm Correa to spark Bitburg to a 32-6 halftime lead.

Thomas’ biggest contributions came on defense, where he intercepted three passes and knocked down three others as the Barons controlled Vilseck’s offense.

The Falcons, whose Aaron Ware returned a fumble 82 yards for one score, completed just seven of 20 pass attempts for 75 yards. Jamal Grant had four receptions for 52 yards.

Ramon Ramirez, who rushed seven times for 20 yards, got 15 of those on a third-quarter TD run.

Ansbach 38, Patch 0: At Ansbach, the Cougars, up from the Division III they have dominated since 2000, won their ninth straight game behind two touchdowns from All-Europe back Xavier Sheppard and a TD pass and TD run from All-Europe quarterback John Willis.

Sheppard scored on runs of 13 and 2 yards, and Willis ran 6 yards for a score and hit Thomas Graham with a 35-yard scoring pass in this II-South conference game. Graham also ran 27 yards for a touchdown as the Cougars moved out to a 38-0 halftime lead against Patch, which played Division I last season.

SHAPE 28, ISB 0: At SHAPE, Belgium, Spartans freshman Kevin Nielsen hauled in TD passes of 30 and 40 yards from David Connerly, and Alton Steele scored on a 20-yard run as SHAPE blanked its International School of Brussels neighbors in a II-North conference game.

Nielsen, a Dane, also intercepted two passes in the game, which SHAPE led 7-0 at halftime.

Jimmy Murtha, with 12 tackles and an interception, and Mike Clampett, with eight tackles, led SHAPE’s defense.

Ramstein 14, Kaiserslautern 6: At Kaiserslautern, the defending European Division I champs won their ninth straight game behind short touchdown runs by Scott Sublousky and Evan Canfield.

The scores gave Ramstein a 14-0 lead before Kaiserslautern launched a four-play fourth quarter drive fueled by 40- and 41-yard completions from Thomas Bolton to Ishmael Hampton and capped by Demertrius Johnson’s 1-yard plunge.

The game was the D-I opener for both teams.

Heidelberg 45, Lakenheath 6: At Heidelberg, Thonda Taylor rushed 18 times for 166 yards and three TDs as the Lions claimed their D-I opener.

Taylor’s first two scores sparked the Lions to a 16-0 lead that grew to 22-6 at halftime after a Chris Frazier-to-John Sharer scoring pass.

Romonno Washington and Eric Canipe added rushing TDs for Heidelberg, which hosts the Marburg Mercenaries of the German league this Saturday.


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