Lancers hold off Raiders for final playoff spot
LAKENHEATH, United Kingdom -- The Lakenheath Lancers beat the Kaiserslautern Raiders 14-7 on Saturday to claim the fourth and final berth in the DODEA-Europe Division I football semifinals.
Saturday’s game was a pure win-or-go-home matchup in which the winner would advance to the postseason and the loser would see its season abruptly end. Both teams played like they wanted their season to continue.
Lakenheath took the early advantage, building a 14-0 halftime lead on a pair of touchdown runs by Ion Duenas, who finished with 124 rushing yards. But the Raiders wouldn’t be dismissed so easily, halving the deficit in the fourth quarter on a Mikey Santos touchdown run and queueing up a potential tying or winning drive in the game’s final minute. Lakenheath forced Kaiserslautern into a turnover on downs with 33 seconds to play.
The Lancers and Raiders hung on the periphery of playoff contention this fall, only beating winless Vilseck to stay in the hunt for one of four postseason spots in the six-team league. The Lancers’ reward for claiming that spot is a visit to undefeated Stuttgart for a semifinal game next weekend.