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Berlin Wins Home Opener vs Stuttgart 40-19

The Stuttgart Surge are coming off a week where they had to release their starting QB after a racial comment was made on the field. They took the ball first vs the Berlin Thunder with Michael Winterlik at the QB position, but even after a nice play by TE David Meza, they wouldn’t find any other success on offense. Punting it away to the Thunder.

QB Calvin Stitt commanded the offense for Berlin and after a big run by RB Joc Crawford, the 3 big catches by WR Seantarius Jones, got them on the board first.

Seantarius Jones

Another 3 and out by Stuttgart, gave the ball back to the Thunder. Unfortunately for Berlin, Stitt threw an INT to the Surge, setting up new QB Aaron Ellis on the positive side of the field.

Ellis makes quick work of the Thunder defense, 1 pass to WR Louis Geyer for the TD, and the game was tied at 6.

QB Aaron Ellis

Berlin takes the lead back on a big-time catch by Jones gets that gets them in the endzone once again. Just under 100 yards receiving with 2 TDs in the 1st quarter for Jones.

QB Calvin Stitt to Jones

After trading punts, Thunder RB Joc Crawford takes a 42 yard run down to the 3, setting up Jones for his 3rd TD pass of the half.

If you want to see QBs making accurate throws from awkward positions, way off schedule, the ELF is for you. Every QB thus far – as their offensive lines begin to mesh – has had to utilize that backyard skill we learned as kids.

Surge had to punt it away on their next possession after the Thunder went up 18-6.

Trading punts, the Surge had the ball late in the 2nd, hoping to get a score before the intermission. With big plays by Meza and Shannon, by the 2:00 warning, Stuttgart had the ball within the 30.

A couple of big plays from Ellis and Geyer, Stuttgart get on the board with a play by Meza getting them back on the board. A two-point conversion makes it 18-14 late in the 1st half.

Aaron Ellis

RB Joc Crawford takes an 18 yard run into positive territory with 0:34 to play, hoping to extend their lead.

Another big grab by WR Jones gets them within the 10-yard line. Third and goal with 0:07, Stitt gets it towards his favorite receiver, and they get a defensive PI, giving them 1st and goal from the 1, with 0:01 to try to score the TD.

But the Surge weren’t having it, keeping them out of the endzone, and the 1st half ended with the Thunder leading the Surge 18-14.

Berlin got the ball first in the 2nd half. Stitt hit WR Nikolai Schumann for a long pass down the seam for a score. But PAT was blocked, and CB Ben Wentzler returned the block for 2 pts, making it 24-16.

The Surge began their possession with a nice pass to Geyer, and a roughing call, taking them to Berlin’s 34-yard line. Unfortunately, Stuttgart was stopped short of the 1st down, a little too far for a FG, but too close to punt. Ellis’s pass was tipped and fell incomplete.

Berlin took over, and Crawford gets a big 14 yard gain. But that was all she wrote on that drive. Two sacks and the Thunder had to punt.

Ellis found his man WR Louis Geyer in single coverage deep down the sidelines, to put them within the 20. A penalty negated another great play by Ellis and Geyer, but they were able to get closer to the end zone. They had to settle for 3, inching closer but still trailing 24-19.

After trading punts, the Thunder lined up for yet another one, but ended up faking it, and picking up the 1st down! On the next play, Crawford made it look easy, going 30+ yards for the TD. Putting an exclamation point on it by catching the 2pt conversation, making it 32-19.

RB Joc Crawford

Not a great drive but the Surge, chose to switch fields with a punt, and held Berlin to a 4 and out, getting the ball back with over 12:00 to go. But Stuttgart had to punt as well, giving it back to the Thunder.

A turnover gives the ball back to the Surge late, with a chance to get some points from inside the 5 yard-line, but an attempted TD pass was intercepted, ending the drive for Stutgartt.

On the very next drive, Berlin’s Crawford takes it to the house for 68 yards away,and adding on the 2pt conversion, gives the lead to Berlin 40-19.

We are in Week 3 in a brand new league, with brand new teams, some sloppiness is expected, but once again we have a game filled with unnecessary penalties. Discipline and practice should help to eradicate these issues.

Brand new QB for the Surge, Aaron Ellis played well, after only being with the team less than a week. But don’t let that fool you, he has been playing in Europe this season, so he didn’t come in cold.

In the end, it came down to who could run the ball better, and the Thunder came out on top of that. Turonoversevened out, special teams came into play but weren’t a game-changer. The team that could make the plays in both offensive facets won the game. Berlin was just too much up front for Stuttgart to get a running game going, so the Thunder take it, 40-19

Berlin will face the Hamburg Sea Devils, and Stuttgart will face the Leipzig Kings in Week 4.

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Josh Davis Reporter
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