Stuttgart hammers Kaiserslautern to stay unbeaten
By STARS AND STRIPES Published: September 30, 2017
STUTTGART, Germany -- There’s an old sports adage that it can be difficult to beat the same team twice in a season.
This fall, there’s a more applicable sports adage that it’s difficult to beat the Stuttgart Panthers at all.
Undefeated Stuttgart routed the Kaiserslautern Raiders for the second time in a three-week span Friday night, adding a 61-12 mercy-rule rout to the 30-9 decision it earned when the teams met in a Sept. 9 non-conference season opener.
After that first meeting, Stuttgart coach Billy Ratcliff suggested that his team was capable of far more dominant football than it displayed in the season’s first four quarters. The Panthers have proved as much in the unbeaten interim and continued to do so Friday night. Thanks to results from Saturday's games, the Panthers locked up a spot in the D-I semifinals.
Quarterback Chris Magalona completed six passes for 92 yards and three touchdowns and ran seven times for another 59 yards. Running back Devon Burton piled up 88 yards and two touchdowns on an efficient nine carries. Tristan Brandt collected touchdown receptions of 18 and 34 yards.
And that was just the start. Other Panthers prowling the end zone included Alec Kenfield with a passing touchdown, Trey Hernandez and Christian Walker with touchdown runs, Sabriel Ashley and Gabe Simpson with touchdown receptions and Gavin Abney with a 44-yard punt return for six points.
Alex Ploechinger paced the Stuttgart defense, meanwhile, with nine tackles, while Dalton Phelps and Abney added seven apiece. The Panthers also produced a number of turnovers to put the ball back in the potent possession of their offense, including a Seiya Murphy interception and fumble recoveries by Tito Mercado and Simpson.
Esteban Saldana threw touchdown passes to Xander Wells and Ervin Johnson to account for the Raiders’ 12 points.
Stuttgart will emerge from DODEA-Europe’s league-wide bye week on Oct. 13 to face Wiesbaden, which entered its Saturday game with Vilseck as the only other unbeaten team in Division I. Kaiserslautern, now 1-3 overall and 1-2 in divisional play, has an appointment with archrival Ramstein, the defending Division I champion, that same evening.