HOHENFELS, Germany – Hohenfels’ Jamie Thompkins intercepted a NaCari Madison pass with 17 seconds to play Friday night to preserve the Tigers’ 23-20 Division II-South homecoming victory over the previously unbeaten Bamberg Barons.
Thompkins’ pick ended Bamberg’s bid for a third fourth-quarter TD. Bamberg, which trailed 17-6 at halftime, made the game close in the final period on a 22-yard Madison-to-Kenneth Howard scoring pass and a 15-yard TD run by Tyler Lewis before taking over again with 2:12 to play, according to Hohenfels coach Ed Lynch.
“Time and time again,” Lynch wrote in an e-mail after the game, “…Madison threw intermediate- and long-pass routes with success…, but the clock was not on his side…Thompkins shut the gate on Bamberg's comeback with an interception and return until time expired.”
It was the second time Friday that Thompkins came through in the nick of time. Thirty seconds before halftime, he caught a TD pass from Steven Orona which covered 27 yards. The play was set up by an interception by Chris Sanchez with a minute to left in the half.
With 4:22 to go in the third period, Jean Aquino ran 30 yards for a TD that put Hohenfels up 23-6. But the Tigers, who got their other first-half scores on a 22-yard run by James Robinson, and a 28-yard field goal by Xavier Davis, had to hang on until Thompkins saved the day.
Bamberg’s Javonte Knuckes ran 12 yards for a second-quarter TD which tied the game at 6 before Hohenfels posted 17 unanswered points.
“It was undoubtedly one of the most exciting football games I have witnessed in a long, long time,” Lynch concluded.
The victory was the second straight for Hohenfels (2-2), which hosts Aviano on Oct. 16 and is very much in the postseason hunt. Bamberg (3-1), too, remains in postseason contention. The Barons travel to Ansbach on Oct. 16.