Admirals Hope to Spoil Scottish Chance at World Bowl Appearance
After a shoot-out last week at home against Berlin, the Admirals look to finish their season on a high note, avoiding a losing season for the first time since 1998.
As the season comes to a close, the Admirals are focused on getting back to .500 and, at the same time, spoiling the Claymores dreams of playing in the World Bowl on their home turf. In addition to looking for a win to end their season, many Amsterdam players are setting both team and league records.
Wide receiver Matthew Hatchette continues to add to his current team record for receptions in a season with 59. He is only 64 yards away from breaking Philip Bobos 1996 record for yards (817), as he has 753 yards for the season. He is far out in front of the rest of the receivers in the league, with 21 more catches than the second most productive receiver, Marc Lester of Frankfurt, and 168 yards ahead of Frankfurts Robert Baker who is second in yardage. He also leads the league in receiving touchdowns with seven. Additionally, Hatchette broke a league record last week against Berlin when he returned a punt for 101 yards and a touchdown.
Hatchette is not the only Amsterdam wide receiver to put his name in the record books. National wide receiver Carlos Rosado from Mexico leads all Nationals in the league with 23 catches and 350 yards. Rosado also has the highest average on the team with 15.2 yards per catch. This week Rosado also became the most productive National receiver in Amsterdam history, surpassing the record of 22 catches set by M. Itai in 2000 and N. Horie in 2001. Rosado also broke the National record for yardage in league history. The former record was 341 yards set by Frankfurts Werner Hippler in 1999. Due to injuries on the offense, Rosado will start this week, putting him in position to add to his incredible numbers.
Another National player is making his mark, as Dutch kicker Silvio Diliberto became only the fifth player in NFL Europe history to surpass the 250 career points mark. Diliberto is in his seventh season with the Admirals and has 252 career points.
Quarterback Shaun Hill is also coming close to some records of his own. He broke the 2000 yard mark last week and totals 2,096 for the season. With 202 completions this season, he is only four away from tying Amsterdams record set by Will Furrer in 1996 and six away from the league record of 208 set by Todd Husak in Berlin in 2002. Hill is coming off back-to-back 300-yard passing games and if he were to get another one, it would be the first time in Amsterdam history for a quarterback to have three in a row
LAST WEEK: RECORD BREAKING OFFENSE In an offensive shoot-out in the ArenA, Berlin and Amsterdam totaled the most points in NFL Europe history with a final score of 51-43, favoring the home team. The previous record was set by Berlin and the Scottish Claymores in Week 1 of this season. Amsterdam started off hot as Kerry Hood returned the opening kick-off to the Berlin 26-yard line after a lateral from Raymonn Adams. The Admirals then scored a touchdown on their first drive with a Shaun Hill pass to wide receiver Matthew Hatchette in the end zone. The defense forced Berlin off the field without a first down and on the ensuing punt, Hatchette again came up big. In a heads-up play, Hatchette scooped up a seemingly dead ball in the end zone and returned it 101 yards for the score, breaking the NFL Europe record for longest punt return. The old record was set by Rhein Fires Larry Ryans for a 97-yard return in 1999 Hatchette was awarded the Special Teams Player of the Week award for his awareness.
After a missed field goal attempt by Berlin, the Admirals struck again, this time on a Johnathan Reese rush for 20 yards into the end zone. It looked like the Admirals might finally get a blow-out as they led 20-0 with just over two minutes remaining in the first quarter. But Berlin would not give up that easily and scored their first touchdown of the game in the final minute of the first quarter.
The back and forth battle continued through the second quarter and halftime found Amsterdam up 20 with a 34-14 lead. The Thunder came out for the second half prepared to stage a comeback as they scored a touchdown on only the third play of the half. Amsterdam answered back as quarterback David Priestley completed a touchdown pass to Raymonn Adams during his series on the field. In the third quarter, each team scored a touchdown on every one of their possessions, Amsterdam with two and Berlin with three.
In the fourth quarter, both defenses began to step up as the Thunder held Amsterdam to a Joe ODonnell field goal to start the quarter and the Admirals forced Berlin to punt. ODonnells next attempt sailed wide right, keeping the home teams lead to 16 points.
Amsterdams defense secured the lead by causing the first turnover of the game. Defensive tackle Scott Pospisil forced a fumble on a sack and linebacker Tony Ortiz fell on it, giving the Amsterdam offense a chance to seal the victory. But the offense could not convert and had to punt to Berlin with just under four minutes remaining in the game.
Berlin moved downfield and scored a touchdown and a successful two-point conversion with just over a minute left. The ensuing onside kick was recovered by Amsterdams newest wide receiver T.C. Taylor and the offense sat on the ball as time expired, giving them their fourth win of the season. Although there is no hope of going to a World Bowl, it was definitely a satisfying win for the team.
· At the teams annual fan picnic, the Amsterdam fans chose Oakland-allocated Joe ODonnell as the Most Fan Friendly Player.
· Once again, the team has been hit with a rash of injuries. Those off to Birmingham, Alabama this week include tight ends Ryan Collins and Taman Bryant, defensive linemen Mike Cecere and Damonte McKenzie and wide receiver Justin Skaggs.
· Being so late in the season, replacement players are hard to come by. The only addition this week was wide receiver Eugene Baker from the Berlin Thunder. The Admirals also activated offensive lineman Joey Slaten from the practice squad.
· This week, many players, coaches and staff enjoyed a concert by Bon Jovi in the Amsterdam ArenA.
OUT: G Mike Collins (quad) (IR), OL Michael Jonsson (knee) (IR), S Than Merrill (knee) (IR), QB David Rivers (knee) (IR), LB Mawuko Tugbenyoh (knee) (IR), TE Taman Bryant (knee) (IR), DE Mike Cecere (calf) (IR), TE Ryan Collins (knee) (IR), WR Justin Skaggs (knee) (IR), Damonte McKenzie (illness) (IR)
DOUBTFUL: WR Yoshinobu Imoto (ankle)
Sundays contest will be broadcast in the United States on DirectTV live at 10am EST. In the broadcast booth with play-by-play announcer CURT MENEFEE is former NFL offensive lineman and current FOX NFL Sunday analyst BRIAN BALDINGER.
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National Football League Europa Stories from June 4, 2003
- Thunder Finish up Season at Home Versus Rival Galaxy - Berlin Thunder
- Admirals Hope to Spoil Scottish Chance at World Bowl Appearance - Amsterdam Admirals
- Frankfurt Galaxy Game Notes - Frankfurt Galaxy
- Claymores Close Slate with World Bowl in Sight - Scottish Claymores
- Galaxy sitting pretty in World Bowl - NFLE
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