Digital Headbutt

A sports blog about stuff…stuff that involves things.

Cologne Tar Heels (er, Centurions) Report: NFL Europa Week 9

Posted by Mike on June 14, 2007

(There are only two players from the University of North Carolina currently in NFL Europa: Bobby Blizzard and Cedrick Holt. They both play for the Cologne Centurions. Being the unabashed Tar Heel that I am, the Centurions thus demand my attention.)

The Cologne Tar Heels Centurions were dominant once again in their Week 9 rematch against the Amsterdam Admirals, winning 31-13.

erik-meyer.jpg

Cologne was very efficient on offense against Amsterdam. Unlike the first game, however, the Centurions dominated through the air. Where in week 7 they accrued 232 rushing yards, in this game quarterback Erik Meyer completed 21 of his 29 passes for 287 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. Cologne still managed to get good days out of running backs Derrick Ross and AJ Harris, and the Centurions managed 425 total yards of offense compared to 225 for Amsterdam. Former Tar Heel Bobby Blizzard was instrumental once again at tight end, catching four passes for 87 yards and a touchdown.

Once again the Admirals offense was forced to rely heavily on the arm of quarterback Drew Olson, and once again they were shut down. The Centurions defense allowed only 9 first downs, and without a running game they faced many 3rd and long situations, converting only 18% of third downs. While they gained an early 10-0 lead when Japanese wide receiver Noriaki Kinoshita returned a punt 86 yards for their only touchdown, Cologne outscored the Admirals 31-3 from that point on. Cornerback and UNC alum Cedrick Holt did not play in this game.

With the win Cologne improves to a 6-3 record which, along with Hamburg’s victory over the first-place Frankfurt Galaxy, creates a three-way tie at the top. For the first time in NFLE history, no one has clinched a berth in the world Bowl heading into the final week. Cologne heads to Frankfurt to face the Galaxy this weekend, where the winner will clinch a spot in World Bowl XV. Both teams could clinch with a tie if the Hamburg Sea Devils lose to the Rhein Fire.

As for the Admirals, their future now comes into question. Despite being one of the most successful on-field teams in NFLE, their attendance has consistently been among the lowest in the league. A bad record this year may have been all that is necessary to move the team to a more welcoming city (both Hanover and Leipzig have expressed interest in teams). This would put every team in Germany, but making the league Germano-centric may not be a bad thing in the short term.

Of course, this is all assuming Roger Goodell doesn’t pull the plug on the NFLE after this season.

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