Aviano, Naples set up showdown with wins
A busy Saturday of DODEA-Europe Division II football ended with the Aviano Saints and Naples Wildcats standing tall.
Aviano blasted the visiting Vicenza Cougars 41-6, moving to within one win of a second straight undefeated regular season.
The Naples Wildcats, meanwhile, emerged from the three-team second-place scrum in which they were mired entering the weekend with a 35-28 defeat of the Rota Admirals.
The victory improved Naples to 3-1 on the season, while defeated Rota and Vicenza dipped a game behind to 2-2.
Saturday’s action left the Saints (4-0) and Wildcats in the top two outright, but time enough remains for more twists in this playoff race. Aviano visits Naples next weekend, while Rota and Vicenza will look to bounce back in winnable matchups with Spangdahlem and SHAPE, respectively, and a final weekend of regular-season play awaits the weekend of Oct. 27. There’s no semifinal round in Division II this year, meaning the division’s seven teams are battling directly for two spots in the Nov. 3 championship game.
Josiah Cooper ran for 122 yards and three touchdowns to pace Aviano’s mercy-rule win, while Ferious Nieves threw for 113 yards and touchdowns to Tony Perales and Donavin Robinson. Kohl Mattes led the Saints defense with 12 tackles.
Ashton Jeanty ran for four touchdowns and Marcus Arriola added another touchdown run as the Wildcats outpaced the Admirals. Wesley Penta threw for two touchdowns, both to LJ Chester, and ran for a third to lead Rota.