Wiesbaden in control from the start in rout of Vilseck
By DAN STOUTAMIRE | STARS AND STRIPES Published: September 9, 2017
Note: This article has been corrected.
WIESBADEN, Germany — Junior quarterback Josh Blake opened his Wiesbaden career with two passing touchdowns of more than 30 yards and added another on the ground Saturday as the Warriors pounded Vilseck 38-0.
Senior running back Caleb Brown added 138 yards and a touchdown on only nine carries, while receivers Donte Hurt and Garrett Armel caught a touchdown apiece from Blake.
It was a cathartic victory for the Warriors, who lost narrowly in last year’s DODEA-Europe Division I championship game to Ramstein - their third straight fall at the final hurdle.
“I think we’ve had confidence since the summer,” sophomore receiver Hunt said after the game. “We’ve been hungry, we’ve lost all these championships, so now we have to come out and win.”
Blake, a new face at Wiesbaden, has added a new dimension to a team which struggled through the air in past seasons. It’s something coach Steve Jewell is hoping to take advantage of to make his team’s attack less predictable.
“We tried to do a little bit of everything – run, pass – try to showcase what we have and what I think we’ll be able to do against hopefully a lot of teams,” Jewell said.
The Warriors’ first drive was stymied by a Vilseck interception in the end zone. That disappointment was rapidly put aside when Brown broke an inside run outside for a 21-yard touchdown.
Blake then found Hunt and Armel deep on consecutive drives to add to the Wiesbaden advantage, before showcasing his running ability with a touchdown on an option keeper up the middle to give the Warriors a daunting 28-0 halftime edge.
Junior back Mark Peltier added a fifth touchdown in the second half, and converted soccer player Michael Bills hit a 30-yard field goal to round out the scoring.
“The o-line did great today, blocking for me – I’d like to thank them for that – and the wide receivers put on a show,” Blake said.
Vilseck made a few good plays, but was unable to string together a series of them to maintain drives or stop Wiesbaden’s attack. The Falcons, who fell narrowly to Wiesbaden in last year’s semifinals, lost a significant chunk of their squad over the offseason to graduation and moves.
“We didn’t execute, the linemen didn’t come off the ball, the backs didn’t hit the hole,” Vilseck coach Jim Hall said. “There’s some optimism with throwing the ball, we hit a couple passes. We just have to go back to ground zero and build ourselves back up again.”
Vilseck will travel to Kaiserslautern next week. The Warriors look to build on their performance when they face Lakenheath away from home.