***image1***The Kaiserslautern Pikes started the season with a road-win April 24 against the Giessen Golden Dragons, 30-18.
A motivated Pikes offense struck hard and fast from the first play with 250-pound fullback, Lothar Guth, flattening two defenders that met him at the line of scrimmage and then continued steamrolling into the secondary for a big gain.
A few plays later, quarterback, Matthias Steiner, connected with wide receiver Rafael Garziej for a 28-yard touchdown strike and the Pikes led, 7-0.
The Pikes defense took the field and sent the Giessen offense to the sideline in 4 plays. The Pikes offense took the field and after two incomplete passes and a sack, the Pikes were forced to punt the ball.
Matthias Steiner and the Pikes offense stormed onto the gridiron and four plays later Wide Receiver Chris Winnett took the hand off on a reverse and went eight-yards untouched for his first touchdown of the season. The extra point was good and the Pikes led, 14-0.
Once again the defense made quick work of Giessen, and a few minutes later tailback Vincent Eubanks took a quick pitch and raced past the Giessen defense for a 40-yard touchdown. Once again, Ralf Brisch split the uprights, and the Pikes went into halftime leading, 21-0.
The Pikes came out in the second half, and tried to ignite their normally dangerous air attack but after marching within 35 yards of the end-zone, three incomplete passes forced the Pikes to turn over the ball. Dan Hayes and the defensive unit once again sent the Dragons to the sideline and a short time later the Pikes offense had marched down to the two-yard line, where Eubanks punished the defensive tackle and powered in for another touchdown run. The extra point attempt was unsuccessful.
The Pikes drove the ball downfield into the red-zone, but an incomplete pass and a penalty forced them to bring on kicker Ralf Brisch who made a perfect 35-yard field goal and the Pikes lead, 30-6.
The sunny weather and Giessen’s big offensive line seemed to drain the Pikes defense, and the Dragons put together two successful drives, but when the game ended the Kaiserslautern Pikes were ahead, 30-18.
Eubanks was named Player of the Game and finished with 194 yards on 15 carries, one reception for 11 yards and two touchdowns. The customary “game ball” was presented to Eubanks in the locker room, but he praised the line and passed the ball on to rookie and spur-of-the-moment, sub-lineman Steffan Willenborg. Normally a tight-end, the rookie Steffan played offensive tackle and was the key lineman on many of the runs.
Other players with a good effort were wide receiver, Rafael Gardziez with three catches for 73-yards and one touch down, and defensive lineman Dan Hayes with five tackles, one assist and five hurries.
Offensive Coordinator, Phill Rinaldo, also praised the offensive linemen’s effort that afforded the offense 273 yards on the ground.
The Kaiserslautern Pikes play the Baunatal Predators 4 p.m. May 15 in Baunatal.
(Courtesy of the Kaiserslautern Pikes)