Europe Div. III football: Ansbach to face AFNORTH in fifth straight finals appearance
Unbeaten Ansbach moved into its fifth straight European Division III championship game with a 34-0 victory over visiting Rota on Saturday.
The Cougars, who have won three of those previous four title games, will face unbeaten AFNORTH in this Saturday’s 4 p.m. game. AFNORTH downed Hanau 17-8 in Saturday’s other D-III semifinal.
Ansbach 34, Rota 0At Ansbach, quarterback John Willis ran for two touchdowns and passed for a third, and speedster Xavier Sheppard broke two TD runs.
Willis, who completed six of 12 passes, one of them an 8-yard TD play to Josh Hale, scored twice on 1-yard plunges. Sheppard carried the ball 13 times for 98 yards and reached the end zone on runs of five and 23 yards.
Shane Williams carried four times for 42 yards for Ansbach (7-0), which got 17 tackles and a fumble recovery from Hale and 11 stops and a forced fumble from Jacob Burnside.
Rota (5-2) got 72 rushing yards from Jesse Luvert. It was the Admirals’ first loss since a 20-14 overtime defeat at AFNORTH on Sept. 30.
AFNORTH 17, Hanau 8At Brunssum, Netherlands, Sascha Miller carried the ball 32 times for 238 yards and a touchdown as the Lions ousted the downsized Panthers.
“This was playoff football, and neither team gave ground without a big hit,” AFNORTH coach Greg Blankenship wrote in an e-mail Saturday.
“The game was tied at 8 at halftime, but the Lions put the verdict away after intermission on a hitch-and-go pass from quarterback Brandon Wilson and Kaan Ercan’s 39-yard field goal.”
Brock Blankenship, mainly a lead blocker assigned to taking out the Hanau linebackers, carried four times for 43 yards when he wasn't clearing the way for Miller. Wilson was 4-for-6 for 75 yards and averaged 38 yards on three punts.
Defensively, Alex Reynolds and Anthony Poole each intercepted two passes for AFNORTH (7-0). Blankenship also recorded 14 tackles and two pass breakups for the Lions.
Michael Lewis scored on a 30-yard run for Hanau (5-2), which played in D-III this season after a steep drop in enrollment. The Panthers won last year’s European D-II crown.
Gabriel Williams rushed 11 times for 62 yards for Hanau, which got 10 tackles and two sacks from Micah Williams.