ANSBACH, Germany – The first quarter of Saturday’s Bitburg-Ansbach Division II football showdown Saturday ended with the two contenders tied at a touchdown apiece.

The rest of the game? That was something else altogether.

The host Ansbach Cougars scored 42 unanswered points over the final three quarters in handing the Bitburg Barons a shocking 50-8 loss and emerging as a serious threat to challenge the reign of defending champion Hohenfels.

Bailey Ward found Brandon Piccinini on a 47-yard touchdown pass just two minutes into the second quarter to break an 8-8 tie and nudge the Cougars ahead. Tyler Benton followed with a 44-yard touchdown run late in the quarter to give the Cougars a two-score lead.

But that was just the beginning. Ward found Piccinini for two more passing touchdowns, star running back Dorian Jones ran in for an 18-yard score and Benton broke off a late 51-yard touchdown run to mercifully end the unexpected carnage.

Ward finished with 111 passing yards, all on the three touchdown tosses to Piccinini. Benton finished with 139 yards on the ground. Roger Brownell ran seven times for 115 yards, including a 66-yard run on Ansbach’s opening possession, and collected three fumble recoveries and a safety.

John Blake scored Bitburg’s touchdown, while Jaylon Gray paced the defense with seven tackles, three assists and two tackles for loss.

Both teams entered the season with championship aspirations after their respective unbeaten regular seasons were halted in the semifinals a year ago. Bitburg’s four-year championship streak ended at the hands of eventual champion Hohenfels, while Ansbach was upset by SHAPE.

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