SHAPE pounds AFNORTH to grab playoff spot
MONS, Belgium – The SHAPE Spartans crashed into the European Division II playoffs Saturday with a 41-0 blanking of the AFNORTH Lions.Nick Westerick scored two touchdowns and James Workman – who led all rushers with 105 yards – Fabio Petrocchi, Connor Manning and David Brackett added a touchdown each as the Spartans won their first conference game of the season to nail down the No. 4 berth in the playoffs from Division II-North. The Spartans will travel to the home field of II-South No. 1 Ansbach this weekend in the European D-II quarterfinals.According to SHAPE assistant Mike Vargas, the SHAPE defense posted seven sacks in the first half. Jacob Stopher picked off an AFNORTH pass, and Jake Conkright led the team with 11 tackles.In addition to their defensive ferocity, the Spartans (2-3 overall and 1-3 in II-North) kept AFNORTH at bay by winning the field-position battle, thanks in part to the leg of kicker Martin Kirkenterp. Five-of-six on PAT kicks, Kirkenterp put three of his five kickoffs into the end zone for touchbacks.SHAPE, which will be riding a two-game winning streak into the game at Ansbach, rushed for 250 yards, Vargas added, thanks to an effective offensive line led by sophomore Taylor Ator.AFNORTH, led by 75 rushing yards from Victor Black, closed its season 0-5 overall, 0-4 in II-North league play.