Europe Div. II football: Harris’ kickoff return sparks Bitburg blowout
BAUMHOLDER, Germany — Anton Harris defused the electricity of a Friday night homecoming game by returning the opening kickoff 85 yards for a touchdown and launching Bitburg on what was officially listed as a 39-0 Division II-North victory over previously unbeaten Baumholder.
Harris, who rushed for 172 yards on 23 carries, nearly all them in the first half, added a second TD on a 5-yard run early in the second quarter. But his first score would have been plenty on this night, when the Barons held Baumholder, which had been averaging 40 points per game, to 55 yards.
“We have a lockdown defense,” said Harris, a linebacker for the Barons on defense. “Baumholder has a lot of talent, but we met their intensity.”
Bitburg quarterback Josh Collett added 94 rushing yards on nine attempts and scored two TDs. The Barons, who amassed 355 yards of offense, were ahead 35-0 at halftime. Collett’s second TD run with 2:38 left in the third quarter officially ended the scorekeeping because of the 39-point DODDS-Europe courtesy rule and handed the Division II-North crown to the Barons (4-1 overall, 3-1 in II-North).
Chris Ramos and Jason Bush scored the other Bitburg TDs, which came off short dives.
“Bitburg came here to win a conference championship, and it showed,” said Baumholder coach Carter Hollebeck after seeing his team fall to 4-1, 3-1 in II-North.
Bitburg will host the No. 4 seed from II-South on Saturday in the opening round of the European D-II playoffs. Baumholder will entertain the South’s No. 3.
“That’s what it’s all about,” Harris said. “We’ll have home field all through the playoffs.”
In Saturday’s Division II games:
Naples 41, Würzburg 0At Naples, Italy, Ryan Lastrella ran for three touchdowns and the unbeaten Wildcats exploited six Würzburg turnovers to clinch the top seed in II-South.
“That was the difference in the game,” Naples coach Jim Hall said of the turnovers. “Five of them led to scores.”
Zack Main intercepted two passes for Naples (5-0, 4-0) and returned one 41 yards for a touchdown. He also blocked a punt by Würzburg (2-3, 2-2) to set up a Naples TD, and posted two sacks.
Will Carrico returned an interception for a TD, Tyler Terronez threw a TD pass to T.J. Lamar and Ryan Fitzgerald ran for a score.
Fitzgerald forced two fumbles for Naples; Frank Wagner and Henry Thomas each forced one.
Vilseck 36, Vicenza 0At Vicenza, Italy, Justin Ingram threw two TD passes to Chris Lewis, and Robert Wright and Rex Ray scored on long runs as Vilseck (2-3, 2-2) shut out the home team.
Wright scored on a 54-yard run and Ray on a 40-yard jaunt.
Vicenza (0-5, 0-4) got 58 rushing yards on 11 carries by fullback Stephen King in its season-ending game.
SHAPE 35, Mannheim 13At Mannheim, Alton Steele rushed for 154 yards and a 63-yard TD as the Spartans (1-4, 1-3) claimed the final playoff seed in II-North.
Quarterback David Novak ran for two short TDs, Carlos Notarianni added a score, and Jimmy Murtha, who posted two fumble recoveries and made 16 tackles, blocked a punt and returned it 21 yards for a TD.
Mannheim (1-4, 1-3) scored on a 75-yard run by Tommy Spindler and a 44-yard burst by Walter Brown, but missed the playoffs. The Division II playoff pairings will be announced this week.