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European edition, Sunday, September 23, 2007

RAF LAKENHEATH, England — Lakenheath got its first taste of victory this season, defeating visiting SHAPE 13-0 on Saturday.

The Lancers scored both touchdowns in the first half.

In the second half, the game slowed to a defensive slog marked by the occasional turnover or penalty.

“It wasn’t pretty, but we got the job done,” said Lakenheath quarterback Nate Allison, who was 8-for-14 passing for 95 yards, one touchdown and one interception. “We need to win.”

It was a reversal of fortunes for both teams in their second week of play. Last weekend in Belgium, SHAPE dominated the International School of Brussels, winning 28-0, while Lakenheath was beaten by Heidelberg 48-6.

The Lancers scored their first touchdown in the first quarter on a drive that included big receptions by Chris Grimsley and Renwick Davis before Allison ran the ball in for the score.

A pass from Allison to Dennis Patton accounted for the second TD. The extra point attempt was blocked.

Grimsley was a beast for the Lancers on both sides of the ball. He caught three passes for 40 yards, and also recorded four tackles with a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.

Eddie Alford led the Lancers on the ground with 66 yards on 12 carries.

SHAPE quarterback David Conerly left the game with a bruised hip in the first half and was replaced by backup Jimmy Drago, who scrambled repeatedly to keep the Spartans in the game.

SHAPE coach Jay Bodine praised the play of defensive end Will Bass and tackle John Fitzgerald. “The team gave a great effort,” he said. “That’s all you can expect.”

Lakenheath coach Matthew Martinez said the Lancers are starting to find their groove. He is the team’s third coach in three years, and said the team’s play should improve as their situation becomes more stable.

“I think consistency will follow after that,” he said.

In the end, Allison said, a win is a win. He said the team will enjoy its victory until Monday afternoon.

“Then we’ll start getting ready for next week,” he said.

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