ANSBACH, Germany -- A late fourth-quarter safety was all that separated the victorious Ansbach Cougars from the visiting rival Bitburg Barons in Saturday’s DODEA-Europe Division II semifinal.
Ansbach’s Ogden Andrew forced the decisive safety with 98 seconds to play in regulation, giving the host Cougars a 16-14 win and a shot at a third straight European championship.
Andrew’s game-changing heroics actually started a quarter earlier. His 17-yard touchdown run, capped by a successful two-point conversion run by Ramon Peguero, tied the game at 14 entering the fourth quarter.
The Barons, the second seed in the Division II north region, were well on their way to an upset of the South’s unbeaten top seed when Andrew intervened. Jimmie Montgomery scored on a 3-yard run and and Eli Canaan tossed a 25-yard touchdown pass to Tyriq Zvijer as Bitburg posted 14 points in the second quarter.
Ansbach squeezed in a score of its own in between the first-half Baron strikes. Hirmoi Iglesias connected with receiver Dajson Howard on a 16-yard touchdown pass, keeping the Cougars in range for their 10 uninterrupted points after halftime to secure the victory.
Andrew finished with 103 yards on 19 carries along with eight tackles, a blocked punt and a fumble recovery. Teammate Joxua Baughman made 14 tackles and forced two fumbles.
Montgomery led the Barons with 66 rushing yards, while Tyriq Zvijer posted 45 rushing yards, an interception and 14 tackles.
The Cougars will play for a third consecutive championship Nov. 5 at Kaiserslautern. They’ll face the Rota Admirals in a rematch of last year’s title game.