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EC2010: Germany comes away with a big win
Three weeks after the Eurobowl XXIV, the opening night of the European championsips saw another thrilling game between a German and an Austrian team. And again, it was the Germans that came away with a victory in a game that was fought until the final whistle. The Germans beat Austria 22-20, at the very loud Commerzbank Arena, and took a big step towards playing for the gold next Saturday.
The two point difference in the final score came in rare kind of a way: a safety call for a holding in the Austrian end zone. The penalty gave the Germans a 22-13 lead with 7.19 to play in the fourth quarter.
- It turned it into a two possession game, so it was a big key to the game, said Rick Rhoades, the head coach of Team Austria.
But after the safety, the Austrians made their final reach for the victory. Jakob Dieplinger caught a 37 yard touchdown pass from Christopher Gross to make it 22-20. The Austrian onside kick failed, but their defence stopped the German offense, getting the ball back with 41 seconds left and the ball on their own 15 yard line.
Austria got just past midfield, but wasted too much time in getting the play off, and had time just one more play. Gross' hail mary towards Dieplinger in the end zone bounced off German defenders' hands and onto the turf, sealing the German victory.
The German team played very good defense, but was plagued by penalties on both sides of the ball. Germany took a 10-0 lead after just two possessions, but the penalties got them off their rhytm, and at the same time the Austrians shook off their nervousness and climbed back into the game.
The German defence held the Austrian passing attack to just three completions in the first half. For the game, they forced four turnovers, whereas the German offence didn't turn the ball over a single time.
The German team used both of its quarterbacks in the game. Dennis Zimmermann started the game, and directed his team to two scores in the first two possessions. It is remarkable, that the German team, formerly known as a rushing power house, didn't run the ball a single time in the first two drives. Joachim Ullrich stepped in in the second quarter, and was 13/19 with 172 yards and a touchdown. Ullrich also efficiently ran the German no-huddle offense, which caused big problems for the Austrian defence.
German MVP of the game was wide receiver Dominic Hanselmann, who caught the ball nine times for 84 yards and one touchdown. Running back Andrej Kliman (13 carries, 63 yards, 3 catches, 86 yards and a touchdown) was chosen Team Austria's MVP.
Austria plays Finland on Tuesday, while Germany gets to rest until it's Thursday game againts the Finns. On Sunday, France and Sweden open their tournament with a game in Wetzlar.
The game attracted over 7 000 spectators to the Commerzbank Arena.