It came down to the final week of the regular season, but the DODEA-Europe football playoffs are set.
Vilseck downed Kaiserslautern 44-14 Friday night to grab the second spot in the American Conference, earning the Falcons a trip across the English Channel to take on Lakenheath on Oct. 21 in the Division I semifinals. Stuttgart, which routed Wiesbaden 51-0 Friday, entertains Ramstein.
Naples already had clinched homefield advantage for the Division II playoffs before defeating Rota 51-0 on Saturday. The Wildcats will take on the winner of Aviano-Vicenza, which will be played in Aviano next week after the Saints topped the Cougars 36-6 on Saturday.
In Division III, unbeaten Brussels will host Sigonella, thanks to the Jaguars’ 58-37 victory at Alconbury. AFNORTH will play at Spangdahlem in the other semifinal after the Sentinels’ 64-32 victory Saturday.
Vilseck 44, Kaiserslautern 14: The Raiders needed a large upset to make the playoffs and the Falcons didn’t oblige.
Temeko Richardson rushed for 110 yards and two touchdowns, and Rudy Alvarado rushed for 115 yards and another score. Justin Bates only carried the ball twice but ran for 57 yards and another score.
Jonathan Bullock threw for another touchdown as Vilseck evened its conference record at 2-2 and improved to 4-3 overall.
On defense, Pierre Fuentes was in on 13 tackles, Justin Barnes, 11, and Robert Rasmussen, 10. Rasmussen recovered a fumble and Ibra Balde had an interception.
Connor Kelly scored Kaiserslautern’s first touchdown and later added a two-point conversion run after Brelan Barnes scored from 60 yards out.
Stuttgart 51, Wiesbaden 0: The Panthers finished the regular season unbeaten behind Trenton Jackson’s 237 yards rushing and four touchdowns.
Jackson wasn’t alone reaching the end zone as Jack Gruver, Josh Zipperer, Marcel Mailey and Alex Samler also ran it in. Caiden Ray passed for 112 yards and another score.
Mailey had six tackles on defense and Ian Lewis had an interception.
Adam Gomes rushed for 83 yards to lead the Warriors and had six tackles on defense.
Naples 51, Rota 0: The Wildcats defeated the Admirals for the second time to set up another meeting with Rota next week in Naples.
Naples (6-0) led 37-0 after the first quarter and 51-0 at halftime to invoke the mercy rule.
Gary Oliver opened the scoring with a 15-yard touchdown and Robert Oliver caught an 8-yard touchdown pass. Marcus Wilson then earned a safety and Chris White returned the ensuing kick for another score. Matteo Toliver scored from 11 yards out before Cameron Collins added a 4-yard touchdown. Henri Schneider finished the first-quarter scoring with his fifth point after touchdown.
Robert Oliver caught a 5-yard pass from Camden Kasparek in the second quarter and Julian Simme’s 94-yard fumble return finished the scoring.
Kasparek threw for 101 yards. Wilson had seven tackles, recovered a fumble and had two sacks for Naples on defense. Jonathan Vouboukis had an interception.
Aviano 36, Vicenza 6: The Saints swept the season series with the Cougars to earn a third shot at them next weekend.
Deon Walker, Malakai Harkley and Colin North scored for Aviano, which improved to 4-2 with the victory. Cristiano Peterson was one of the leading tacklers for the Saints and also recovered a fumble.
Spangdahlem 64, AFNORTH 32: Saturday at Brunnsum, the Sentinels secured second place and gained the rights to host the semifinal. A Lions win would have given them the No. 2 seed and host rights.
Casey Supinger completed 23 passes for 566 yards and nine touchdowns for Spangdahlem. Robert Leggett caught eight passes for 255 yards and four touchdowns. Nate Johnson caught six more for 93 yards and two scores.
Supingener had 10 tackles and an interception on defense. CJ Sago had seven tackles and a sack for the Sentinels, which finished league play at 5-1, a game behind unbeaten Brussels.
Sigonella 58, Alconbury 37: Saturday at Alconbury, the Jaguars needed a road victory in England on Saturday to make the playoffs and they got it in a high-scoring affair.
No other details were available.
Izegem Tribes 28, SHAPE 20: Saturday at Mons, Belgium, the Spartans came up short despite rallying from three touchdowns down to tie the game in the final quarter.
SHAPE, which plays against mostly local national club teams in the American Football International League, had a chance to tie in the end but turned the ball over.
Brody Wellington passed for 144 yards and a touchdown and rushed for 110 yards and two scores to lead the Spartans offense. Keller Schutt had two interceptions and 4.5 tackles on defense. Jaime Munoz-Delgado Bernal had five tackles and Mykal Williams four.
SHAPE ends its season next week against the Brussels Daemons.