VILSECK, Germany - The Vilseck Falcons found a way to overcome a sloppy, fumble-plagued performance Saturday – force the other team into even more miscues.

Host Vilseck dragged a gritty season-opening win out of the Bavarian muck on Saturday, beating the Lakenheath Lancers 16-6 in a rain-soaked game that featured 16 combined fumbles.

The Falcons got the better of the Lancers on both the scoreboard and the fumble-based subplot. Vilseck put the ball on the ground seven times and lost three of them, but recovered four of the nine fumbles Lakenheath coughed up.

In between, Vilseck assembled a productive offense that posted 329 total yards and scored on a pair of second-quarter drives. Gabe Lewis barged in on a 2-yard run, and Austin Archangel found Tristan St. Clair for a 13-yard pass that gave the Falcons a 14-0 halftime edge.

A fourth-quarter safety gave Vilseck its final number; Lakenheath got on the board late, appropriately enough, a fumble recovery and 31-yard touchdown return by Marcus Smith.

Marquez Monley carried 16 times for 131 yards for Vilseck, while Lewis finished with 101 yards on 13 carries. Carlton Menges led the Lancer defense with 11 tackles.

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