Admirals out for Revenge to End 2003 Home Season on a High
After having been eliminated from World Bowl-contention with a dramatic loss against the Scottish Claymores on Saturday, the Admirals now face a team desperate to trade positions in the rankings. The Berlin Thunder, ranked last in NFL Europe after having won two straight World Bowls, will come to the Amsterdam ArenA trying to save whats left of their season.
The Admirals find themselves in the same position. Hanging on to fifth place, the Admirals will try to control the tempo this time around against the Peter Vaas-led franchise. The last time both teams met was in Week 5 of the regular season with the Thunder storming out to a 34-10 lead, before Amsterdam scored 20 unanswered points to fall short of a remarkable comeback.
During that game, wide receiver Matthew Hatchette started his string of impressive outings with a stellar performance (9-119-1TD) and since then- has yet to face a defense that can put a stop to his production. Four consecutive games, the 6-year NFL veteran hauled in more than 100 yards per game, breaking one of the oldest NFL Europe records in the book.
In addition, Hatchette will better the Admirals-mark for receptions in a season with every catch he makes from now on. The productive receiver has 53 receptions, shattering Chris Colemans club-record of 51 with still two weeks to go in the season. If his production keeps up, he might even find himself in the position to improve on Phillip Bobos club-mark of 817 receiving yards, set in 1996.
Throwing the passes is Shaun Hill. Although the young star from the Minnesota Vikings threw two ill-advised passes in last weeks loss against the Scottish Claymores, the Admirals starting quarterback has steadily been building towards NFL trainingcamp. Hill is the NFL Europes leading passer in attempts and completions, completing 179 out of 290 passes for 1783 yards, putting him in the position to become only the fourth quarterback in Admirals history to surpass 2000 yards (Will Furrer 1996, Kurt Warner 1998, Spergon Wynn 2001).
LAST WEEK: LOSS TO CLAYMORES END WORLD BOWL HOPES After an exciting win two weeks ago at Waldstadium, the Admirals were handed a defeat at the hands of the Scottish Claymores in their own Amsterdam ArenA to shatter the hopes on the second World Bowl-appearance in franchise history. Coming into the game, both teams were 3-4 and holding on their last chance.
The Claymores came out of the gate firing on all cylinders as they found the endzone on their first three possessions while opening a 21-3 lead. Fullback Mike Malan (New England) set the early pace as he was on the end of two touchdown passes from quarterback Craig Nall (Green Bay). The first was a 34 yard dump pass in which Malan found a seem in the Admirals defense and went untouched into the endzone, the second was a impressive leaping grab in the endzone which gave the Claymores a 21-3 lead just before the first half 2 minute warning.
The Admirals added to Joe O'Donnell's 39 yard field goal in the closing minutes of the first half as Shaun Hill (Minnesota) perfectly executed the 2 minute offense and cut the Claymores lead to 11 as he found Justin Skaggs in the corner of the endzone with just over a minute remaining before the intermission. However not to be outdone, Nall led the Claymores on their own version of the 2 minute offense as they reached field goal range and were able to extend their lead to 14 points at 24-10 after 30 minutes of play.
Neither team was able to mount much of an attack in the 3rd quarter, however with the start of the 4th quarter the Admirals offense came alive. The Hill led Amsterdam offense seemed to find it's stride as the final stanza opened, marching through the Claymores defense Hill capped the drive with a 1 yard touchdown pass to tight end Ryan Collins, thus cutting the Scotland lead in half at 24-17 with more than 11 minutes to play.
A Silvio Diliberto 26 yard field goal with less than five minutes remaining brought the Admirals to within 4 points and set up a do or die possession for the Claymores. Nall was clearly up to the task as he led the Scotland offense on an impressive drive that put the game out of reach after finding tight end Rodney Trafford (New England) with just 1:39 remaining in the game giving the Claymores a 31-20 decision and keeping their World Bowl hopes alive for another week.
The proven track record of the Amsterdam ArenA as a difficult stage for opponents to come out with a win has sustained serious damage after the loss. For the second year in a row, the Admirals have lost more games at home than that they have won (2-3).
· The game against Scottish Claymores was one of the more physical encounters of the season and resulted in three players packing their bags for the NFL Rehab center in Birmingham, Alabama. Receiver Travis Williams, cornerback Jordan Younger and defensive lineman Maurice Anderson were among the unfortunate players to leave Amsterdam behind;
· Headcoach Bart Andrus went shopping for three new players to keep up with the leagues roster demands. Receiver TC Taylor joins the team from Frankfurt, defensive end Jovon Bush comes from Berlin and cornerback Kyle Grove took a plane in Barcelona to be loudly introduced at Tuesdays practice;
· The team spent their day off in rollercoaster-paradise Six Flags to get their minds off the recent elimination.
OUT: G Mike Collins (quad) (IR), S Than Merrill (knee) (IR), QB David Rivers (knee) (IR), LB Mawuko Tugbenyoh (knee) (IR), DE Maurice Anderson (illness) (IR), DB Jordan Younger (MCL) (IR), WR Travis Williams (Achilles) (IR)
PROBABLE: DE Mike Cecere (calf), DB Keon Moore (knee), OG Rob Gatrell (calf), RB Johnathan Reese (illness), LB Pernell Griffin (hamstring)
• Discuss this story on the National Football League Europa message board...
National Football League Europa Stories from May 28, 2003
- Claymores Head to Spain for Crucial Game - Scottish Claymores
- Admirals out for Revenge to End 2003 Home Season on a High - Amsterdam Admirals
- Thunder Shoot for Third Win in Amsterdam - Berlin Thunder
- Galaxy chase Bowl berth - NFLE
The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.
Other Recent Amsterdam Admirals Stories
- Stefaan Eskes named as Admirals GM
- Ronald Buys departs as Admirals GM
- Admirals rushing trio rewarded after record effort
- Admirals game switched to Sunday May 8
- Legacy of Sweetness