Admirals stay perfect by thumping Baumholder
October 8, 2016
BAUMHOLDER, Germany -- The Rota Admirals continued to coast through the placid portion of their DODEA-Europe Division II football schedule Saturday with a 45-0 blowout of the homestanding Baumholder Bucs.
Rota scored 30 seconds into the game, led 35-0 through 12 minutes and took a 42-0 lead into a second half played under a running clock.
“I don’t like games like this,” Rota coach Ken Walter said. “I don’t want to see blowouts.”
Still, the Admirals found ways to turn the lopsided game into a productive exercise as they look to meet or exceed the standard they set in last year’s runner-up Division II finish.
Rota’s only real adversity Saturday was self-inflicted, as yellow flags called back a number of Admiral scores and big gains. Now that that issue is identified, Walter said the Admirals can work to “clean up” that sloppiness before it costs them against a more dangerous opponent.
“If we keep that down I’m sure we can beat any team out here,” Rota sophomore Sam Gallardo said.
The prohibitive early lead allowed Rota to rest its stars and give reserve players some live-game snaps, furthering Walter’s goal of fielding a healthy and deep squad when the postseason opens the weekend of Oct. 22.
Also, the damp, chilly German weather Rota encountered Saturday could help the Admirals adapt from their sunny Spanish environs in time for a European championship game scheduled for November in Kaiserslautern, just an hour away from Baumholder.
“It’s great because it prepares us for the championship game,” Gallardo said. “Last year we went there and it was cold, we weren’t really prepared for that.”
The game extended recent trends for both participating teams. The Bucs are now mired in another losing streak. Baumholder ended a losing skid that extended across three falls in its season opening win over Aviano, but has since lost four straight games and fallen out of playoff contention. The Bucs visit Bitburg on Saturday to wrap up their 2016 campaign.
Rota beat Bitburg 34-29 on Sept. 24, thereby dispatching the biggest threat to its dominance of the Division II North region. Saturday’s win came a week after the Admirals routed AFNORTH/Brussels 47-14. Rota will take the North’s first seed and home-field advantage through the quarterfinals and semifinals regardless of its outcome against visiting SHAPE in its regular-season finale next weekend.
Even as they muddle through a competitive lull in their schedule, the Admirals are keeping their ultimate goal firmly in sight.
“We just tell our guys, we can’t control how good or bad the opposition are,” Walter said. “You can control how good you are.”