Sheppard runs for three TDs as Ansbach stays undefeated
October 21, 2007
BITBURG, Germany — The Ansbach Cougars completed a perfect regular season on Saturday, trouncing Bitburg 38-8 in a nonconference showdown of Division II unbeatens.
Ansbach’s Xavier Sheppard, a senior running back, scored three times in the first 14 minutes and finished with 109 yards rushing on 12 carries for the Cougars, who racked up 298 yards, most of them on the ground.
“All we did was execute,” Sheppard said. “Coach tells us if we execute, we will prevail.”
Bitburg was held scoreless until a TD late in the fourth quarter. The Barons played without top running back Anton Harris, who was out with a sprained ankle. Last week, Harris scored all three Bitburg TDs in a come-from-behind victory, running for 255 yards on 38 carries.
Ansbach (6-0) already had clinched the Division II-South title. Bitburg (5-1) is the II-North champ.
In the first round of the playoffs next Saturday, Ansbach will host Wiesbaden and Bitburg is at home against Naples.
Ansbach scored on its first possession. Sheppard showed some nifty moves on a 16-yard touchdown run at the 5-minute mark. The score was set up by a 36-yard pass from quarterback John Willis to receiver Thomas Graham. A two-point conversion made it 8-0.
A few plays later, Graham intercepted a Bitburg pass on the Barons’ 43. On the first play of the ensuing possession, Sheppard took it all the way for a TD, followed by another two-point conversion.
Sheppard scored his third TD at 10:18 of the second quarter, this time on a 16-yard pitch play. The conversion made it 24-0.
The Cougars scored once more before halftime when junior running back Shane Williams ran it in from 12 yards out with 3:46 remaining.
“I thought we executed about as best as we could in the first half,” Ansbach coach Marcus George said.
The onslaught continued in the second half. On its first drive, Ansbach’s Willis, who was 3-for-11 passing for 72 yards, hit receiver Jiamine Kimbell on a well-thrown 18-yard pass for a TD. The subsequent two-point conversion made it 38-0.
Bitburg avoided the shutout, scoring with 2:42 remaining. The Barons capped a long fourth-quarter drive with a 5-yard touchdown run by Brandon Pitts. Pitts ran in the two-point conversion for the final score.