July 10, 2011

Team USA improves to 2-0

Nate Kmic
Nate Kmic led Team USA in yards from scrimmage on Sunday in a 48-7 rout of Germany.

Playing its second game in three days, the United States found five ways to get to the end zone in a 48-7 win over Germany to join Mexico at 2-0 atop of Group A and set up a clash between the two teams on Tuesday. The winner of the clash at 7 p.m. in the Tivoli Stadium in Innsbruck will play for the world title on Saturday, July 16 in Vienna.

USA opened the scoring with a return for a touchdown on a blocked field goal, a faked feld goal, an interception return and a fumble recovery to the end zone on a Germany kickoff return in addition to two more conventional rushing touchdowns, both by Mount Union alumnus Nate Kmic.

"We are happy to come out of here with a win," said USA head coach Mel Tjeerdsman."Germany is a good football team. This was a strange game. There were so many strange turns of events. We had 28 points at halftime but only two offensive touchdowns and only had three offensive touchdowns for the game. I don't think the score indicates how good Germany is. It was a good football game."

Early on, Germany's defense frustrated an American offense that had scored at will against Australia and when USA did score near the end of the first quarter, the six points came from a return on a blocked field goal attempt. Germany then put itself back in contention with a second quarter touchdown.

After the teams traded punts, USA running back Henry Harris spun away from tacklers for a big gain, taking the ball to midfield. Quarterback Cody Hawkins found Kmic open in the middle, but when opting for key yards on fourth down, Germany produced a big tackle for a loss and took over on its own 19.

Quarterback Joachim Ullrich connected with Dominic Hanselmann down the sideline for a first down at the 43 and on a play action pass found Georg Bechtold for another first down in U.S. territory. 

USA defensive lineman Tyler Roach broke through to sack Ullrich for a loss of 5 yards, but then on third-and-13 the German signal caller connected with Niklas Romer just 1 yard short of a first down. Aiming to be the first team ever to score first against USA in IFAF Senior World Championship history, Germany lined up for a field goal that was blocked by Jordan Lake and recovered by Johnny Dingle who raced 75 yards to the end zone for a touchdown with 1.19 remaining in the opening quarter.

"We felt okay after the first quarter and thought we were going to take the lead 3-0 and number 92 (Dingle) runs 75 yards, got a full tank of gas at the 15 and somehow found the end zone," said Germany Sport Director Marshall Happer.

"The score doesn't indicate how close the game really was. As far as the stats go it wasn't too bad. But the team has a lot speed and talent. We played hard. Our players played every play like it was the last one and that is all we can ask."

Germany went three-and-out before the running of Kmic and Harris took the ball to within a yard of paydirt where Kmic took the handoff for a touchdown and Berkshire's extra point opened a 14-point advantage with 8:43 left in the half.

Team USA's colors flew as the team improved to 2-0 with the win against Germany.

Ullrich connected with Dohrendorf for a big gain in reply and a penalty helped breach U.S. territory, but the reigning champions halted Germany's momentum with an interception by safety Myles Burnsides. The Americans were unable to capitalize as Jasson Scott produced a key third down stop inside the red zone.

Two tackles for losses and a pass breakup by Joe Sturdivant forced Germany to punt away its next possession and a Daniel Tromello return moved USA all the way to Germany's 11-yard line. On third-and-5 after Germany looked to have held, NCAA all-time leading rusher Kmic again took the handoff and with quick cuts and strength powered through to the end zone from 6 yards out to lead 21-0.

"Their secondary was very physical," said Kmic. "I got popped a couple of times and I wasn't sure if I would get back up.  It was a good game and a lot of fun to play."

Germany hit back and starting on their own 19 after a late hit penalty, Ullrich found Hanselmann for a first down before another infringement moved the ball to within sight of the end zone. Ullrich lofted a 24-yard pass over coverage and into the hands of Christian Bollman in the corner of end zone for a touchdown to reduce the deficit to 14 points with 1:15 left in the half.

The German defense appeared to have held the final US onslaught of the half, but holder Hawkins faced a field goal attempt and fired a 12-yard pass to Richie Brockel for a touchdown and 28-7 lead as time expired.

Germany opened the second half brightly and starting at their own 21, recovering from a blitz and a sack that disrupted the passing game for Ullrich to pick out Nikals Romer for a first down at the 42. USA safety Joe Sturdivant was not fooled by the play action, tackling running back Danny Washington on the handoff for loss of 4 then Julian Dohrendorf made a catch on third down 2 yards short of moving the chains. Down by 21, Germany went for broke and produced a first-down Romer grab at the U.S. 39.

Just when Germany looked to be targeting a comeback, USA safety Maurice Banks intercepted Ullrich, returning the ball 77 yards, all the way for a touchdown and a 34-7 lead after a bad snap on the extra point attempt.

Mistakes continued to haunt Germany and proved costly.  A bad snap over the punter's head gave USA the ball 2 yards from scoring and Da'Shawn Thomas burst 2 yards down the middle on the next play for a 41-7 lead then Terrance Jackson recovered a fumble and raced 10 yards to the end zone on Germany's next kickoff return.

In addition to Kmic's game-high eight catches for 77 yards and five carries for 22 yards, Division III football was represented by Louisiana College quarterback Ben McLaughlin, who completed five of six passes for 43 yards. Occidental alum Jason Haller caught four passes for 29 yards, Otterbein's Ricardo Lenhart had an 8-yard reception, St. Lawrence defensive lineman Gerard Bryant had a 13-yard sacks and Occidental's Daniel Tromello had a tackle and three punt returns for 44 yards.

Box score

Team USA (2-0) vs. Team Germany (0-2)
Date: July 10, 2011
Site: Innsbruck Stadium: Tivoli
Attendance: 6,800

Score by Quarters 1 2 3 4 Score

Team USA............ 7 21 20 0 - 48
Team Germany........ 0 7 0 0 - 7

Scoring Summary:

1st 1:19 USA - Johnny Dingle 75 yd blocked FG return (Greggy Berkshire kick)
USA 7 - GER 0

2nd 8:43 USA - Nate Kmic 1 yd run (Greggy Berkshire kick)
7 plays, 45 yards, TOP 3:26, USA 14 - GER 0

3:12 USA - Nate Kmic 6 yd run (Greggy Berkshire kick)
3 plays, 11 yards, TOP 0:56, USA 21 - GER 0

1:15 GER - Christian Bollmann 24 yd pass from Joachim Ullrich (Dennis Wiehberg kick)
7 plays, 81 yards, TOP 1:53, USA 21 - GER 7

00:00 USA - Richie Brockel 12 yd pass from Cody Hawkins (Greggy Berkshire kick)
6 plays, 36 yards, TOP 1:09, USA 28 - GER 7 

3rd 5:26 USA - Maurice Banks 77 yd interception return (Cody Hawkins rush failed)
USA 34 - GER 7 

4:19 USA - DaShawn Thomas 2 yd run (Greggy Berkshire kick)
1 play, 2 yards, TOP 0:02, USA 41 - GER 7 

4:06 USA - Terrence Jackson 10 yd fumble recovery (Greggy Berkshire kick)
USA 48 - GER 7

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