PIKES UPEND DIAMONDS
June 6, 2012Kaiserslautern Pikes Training Facility
In their season opener the Kaiserslautern Pikes beat the Darmstadt Diamonds on their home field 26-23 (6-0). A shocked to many across the league as the Diamonds were considered as a title contender in the Germany Football Leagues 2nd Division, while the Pikes were the new comers to the 2nd League after winning last season’s Regional Center Championship(3rd Division).
On the other hand, the Diamonds controlled the running game of the Pikes. But the Darmstadt offense had a hard time in the first half gaining yards against a aggressive Pikes D. Pikes Defensive Coordinator Marco Dilg liked what he saw from his team: “We have allowed very little ", he noted. In addition, it took Darmstadt Quarterback Shane Sabine until the middle of the second quarter before he found into the game. “He is now with us for three weeks and he has did a real good job in the second half”, commented Diamonds-Head Coach Derek Gurley.
In the second half the Pikes Defense seemed to control the game again. Linebacker Brian Watkins, who was all over the field with Linebacker Kamil Mazur, had stopped a punt on the opponents 1-yard line. The pressure on the Darmstadt Offense was big since the Pikes were aggressively going for a Safety. But Darmstadt Running Back Andreas Baumann bravely ran through the middle. He found a gap and went 99 yards a touchdown to give a 7-6 lead for the Diamonds. “That should not have happened," said Marco Dilg.
Things seemed to run as everybody expected before the game, since the Pikes came in as the underdog. Darmstadt went straight down the field in its next offensive series. After a pass from Shane Sabine to Torsten Hartmann they took a 14-6 lead. But as fast as the tide had turned for Darmstadt, the Pikes came back. Eric Walton took a hand off and raced 35 yards for the second Pikes Touchdown 12-14. A successful 2-Point conversion evened the score at 14.
Now it was on the Diamonds to respond. But Pikes cornerback Roman Knap stopped the home team with an interception to give the Pikes great field position. On 4th down and 5 to go, Greg Cross kept the ball and ran 15 yards for a touchdown for a 20-14 lead for the Pikes. A poor PAT attempt fell short and Darmstadt returned it for two points. The crowd went wild, but with four minutes left in the game Greg Cross destroyed all hopes of Darmstadt by taking the ball downfield for his second Touchdown run. With one minute left, Diamonds Quarterback Shane Sabine again found WR Hartmann in the end zone for the final 23-26 score. But Joachim Jäger secured the following Onside Kick and the Pikes took a knee to end the game.
“We had to many penalties”, Derek Gurley analyzed the play of his diamonds. Shortly after the disappointing defeat he looked forward to the next game as he said: “We now are going to work on our mistakes and drive to our first away game Nürnberg," he said with a confident tone.