Brandon Merriweather rushed for 133 yards and scored on runs of 20 and 42 yards as Hohenfels opened its defense of its European Division III football title Saturday with a 42-6 victory over visiting Giessen.

Sung Byon returned a fumble 10 yards for a TD and passed to Nate Apodaca for a 22-yard score for the Tigers, who jumped out to a 20-0 lead in the first quarter.

Anthony Marshall scored on a 24-yard run, and Michael Tillberg ran 25 yards for the other Hohenfels TD.

Dameon Odum led the Hohenfels defense with three interceptions.

Timothy Fleming scored Giessen’s TD on a 25-yard run in the third quarter.

In other Division III games:

Ansbach 8, Hanau 6At Ansbach, the youthful Cougars denied the reigning Division II champion Panthers twice on first-and-goal inside the 5-yard-line — including once late in the game — to make a first-half TD stand up Saturday.

“Today this team played as close to its potential as any team I’ve had in recent years,” said Ansbach coach Marcus George, whose Cougars won three European D-III titles from 2002 to 2004. “They exceeded expectations.”

With Ansbach leading 8-0 in the fourth quarter, Hanau scored on a 30-yard TD pass from quarterback Keven Faust to 6-foot-7 receiver T.J. Shulson. On the two-point try, however, Jacob Burnside shot through to stop an off-tackle run in the Hanau backfield.

Hanau came back and set up first-and-goal from the Ansbach 3 with 5:45 to play. But John Willis intercepted a pass and returned it 50 yards to defuse the threat.

“John Willis did what he had to do today,” George said of his quarterback, whose second-quarter 10-yard TD run was capped by a decisive two-point run by Shane Williams. “He took this team on his shoulders.”

Leading the Ansbach defense was linebacker Baraka Waweru, credited with 12 tackles.

Hanau’s Aaron Ellison led all rushers with 81 yards on 17 carries.

Rota 7, Brussels 0At Rota, Spain, on Friday, Jessie Luvert ran for 150 yards, and the Admirals defense intercepted four passes in the Division III-North opener for both teams.

Luvert had two interceptions; Jeff Shelton and Kevin Rios had one each.

Tyrell Boddie ran four yards up the middle in the first quarter and Keita Silk kicked the PAT for the game’s only scores.

Bamberg 34, Sigonella 32 (OT)At Sigonella, Italy, Marvin Gholston pulled in a touchdown pass and a two-point conversion pass from Dillon Baker to hand the Barons a III-South conference victory.

The decisive two-point play followed Sigonella’s first overtime possession — which also produced a touchdown but a missed two-point try. The Jaguars got the TD on a fourth-down pass from Adam Presnell to Tim Youell.

The OT score was the fifth TD pass of the game for Presnell, who found his brother Will for a 28-yarder and Mark Lagrisola, who led all rushers with 138 yards on 25 carries, for a 16-yarder in the first half. He then connected with Youell for a 19-yarder and Lagrisola for another 19-yarder in the fourth quarter. Presnell ran in the two-point conversion that tied the game at 26 at the end of regulation.

Adam Worrell, who carried 20 times for 130 yards, scored the first three TDs for Bamberg, which took a 26-18 lead in the fourth period on a sweep by Gholston. Gholston ended with eight catches for 87 yards.

AFNORTH 22, Menwith Hill 0At RAF Menwith Hill, England, Sascha Miller scored twice and rushed 17 times for 183 yards as the Lions grabbed a III-North victory.

Quarterback Brandon Wilson sneaked in for the third TD for AFNORTH.

AFNORTH got 10 tackles from Brock Blankenship, nine from Miller and two sacks each from Aaron Kash and Alex Reynolds. Andrew Kaaihue led Menwith Hill with 11 tackles.

London Central 26, Alconbury 6At RAF Alconbury, England, Dee Marbury rushed for 195 yards and three TDs in the Bobcats’ III-North victory.

Cameron Gill scored the other London Central TD.

Alconbury quarterback Rick Mateus, who passed for 121 yards, connected with Arous Brown on a 70-yard TD pass.

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