VILSECK, Germany -- A matchup of the best and worst teams in DODEA-Europe Division I football was far more competitive on turf than on paper.

The Stuttgart Panthers outlasted the host Vilseck Falcons 27-21 on Saturday to complete their undefeated regular season and deny the home team what would have been its only win of the year.

Vilseck coach Jim Hall noted that Stuttgart “had to play catch up all game long,” and the Panthers finally caught up in the game’s final minute. Sabriel Ashley put the Panthers up on a touchdown run with 59 seconds to play and the Falcons ran out of time on their ensuing drive.

Stuttgart trailed by an imposing 21-7 margin when Vilseck’s Juan Oestreich bulled into the end zone late in the third quarter. Stuttgart quarterback Chris Magalona found Gabe Simpson for two quick-hitting touchdown passes, one at the end of the third quarter and another early in the fourth, and the pair connected for a two-point conversion after the second score to tie the game and set up Ashley’s winning run.

The top-seeded Panthers will host a semifinal next weekend.

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