Nick Trice returned the opening kickoff 88 yards for a touchdown Saturday as the Heidelberg Lions closed out an undefeated regular season with a 44-0 victory over the visiting Würzburg Wolves.
Trice, a sophomore, also returned an interception 70 yards for a second score as the Lions improved to 6-0 in a game which ended with 8:17 to play in the third quarter because of the mercy rule.
Lewis Allen ran for two TDs and caught a 10-yard pass from quarterback T.J. Trice for a third score. T.J. Trice also ran for a touchdown.
The Lions will host Würzburg (2-4) in a Division I semifinal on Saturday.
In Saturday’s other Division I regular-season finales:
Wiesbaden 39, Lakenheath 14
At Wiesbaden, the Warriors earned a homefield berth in the D-I semifinals by coasting to a 32-0 halftime lead.
Quarterback Steve Jewell, 11-for-16 for 138 yards, threw touchdown passes to Lones Seibert, Shannon McCray and Marcus Lewis as the Warriors improved to 5-1.
The Warriors will host Ramstein on Saturday.
McCray and Paul Fry, who rushed for 111 yards on just seven carries, added touchdowns for Wiesbaden.
Lakenheath (1-5) scored on a quarterback sneak by Justin King and Matt Tremblay’s 20-yard run.
But the Lancers were foiled the rest of the time by a Wiesbaden defense which got interceptions from Jordan Ruger, Tim Anderson and Chad Kelly, and a safety by McCray.
Ramstein 26, Kaiserslautern 13
At Ramstein, the Royals rallied from a 13-point deficit to defeat the Red Raiders and gain a berth in Saturday’s Division I semifinals.
Trailing 13-0 with less than a minute left in the first half, Ramstein linebacker Cole Maxey stripped the ball from a Kaiserslautern running back and ran in from five yards out to cut the lead to 13-6. The extra point was no good, and the Royals trailed by seven points at halftime.
The Raiders had taken a 7-0 lead in the first quarter on a 1-yard run by quarterback Danny Morris and an extra point by Jason Swift.
Morris gave K-town the 13-0 lead when he hit Josh Warren for a five-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter. Morris set up the TD with a 70-yard pass to Antoine Carter.
Maxey’s defensive play kept Ramstein in the game, Royals coach Glenn Porter said.
“When Maxey stripped the ball, that was a big momentum shift,” Porter said. “At halftime, we decided we were going to have fun and play good ball. And we eliminated a lot of mistakes.”
The Royals tied the game in the third quarter when quarterback Eric Murray capped a 49-yard drive with a 12-yard touchdown run, and David Maudlin hit the extra point.
Ramstein took its first lead at 8:28 of the third quarter when Murray hit Brennon Relaford for a five-yard score. Relaford kick-started the drive with a 20-yard punt return, Porter said.
The Royals closed out the scoring with 1:03 left, when tight end Paul Petersen lined up at the fullback position and ran in from four yards out.
Relaford had two interceptions for Ramstein, which also got 13 tackles from Matt Slaymaker.
No statistics were available for Kaiserslautern.
Ramstein (3-3, 2-3) will take on Wiesbaden on Saturday in a replay of last season D-I title game.
K-town fell to 1-5 and missed the playoffs.