Berlin Beats Prospect Park for First Home Win
Dietz and Watson Stadium, Berlin Ger:
The Berlin Bratwurst were hoping to play better for their home crowd
the second time around, but knew that the undefeated Prospect Park Prowlers
would make it difficult to pop the cherry...er sausage on beautiful new
Dietz and Watson Field.
The Prowlers won the toss and elected to receive, but were unable to move the
ball on their first possession and had to punt the ball back to Berlin. The
normally slow first-half offense of the Bratwurst were able to drive the ball
reasonably well, thanks to timely passes from Brees to Dwayne Smith, and
clutch rushing by LaDanian Tomlinson, as the Bratwurst took an early 7-0 lead.
Things didn't get much better for the Prowlers on the second drive, as Jeff
Reed threw one of his 3 interceptions of the game. The Brats once again
connected, with a rushing touchdown by LaDanian Tomlinson, making the score
Berlin had a chance to add to the lead after forcing a fumble on the Prowlers'
punt return, but a penalty on a field goal kept the score the same. The
Prowlers were once again unable to move the ball, punting the ball back to the
Brats. Drew Brees took no time in finding Dwayne Smith for another touchdown,
making the score an astonishing 21-0. Berlin added a field goal to make it 24-0,
before the Prowlers could get on the board. Prospect Park finally found their
offensive spark with a deep pass from Reed to Plaxico Burress, and then a rushing
touchdown right before halftime, making it 24-7.
The Prowlers came out for blood in the second half, forcing Berlin to punt and
scoring on its next possession, making it 24-14. Berlin answered with a field goal,
but Jeff Reed was feeling it, and quickly drove the Prowlers down the field, making
it a 27-21 game early in the fourth quarter.
Berlin, forced to abandon its conservative gameplan, was able to get a clutch pass
from Brees to Dwayne Smith to keep its next drive alive, and then elected to run the
ball down Prospect Park's throat, gobbling up valuable minutes. LaDanian Tomlinson
scored with just over 2 minutes to go, his third rushing touchdown of the game,
making the score 33-21, after a missed two-point conversion.
Prospect Park, with its back against the wall, tried a comeback, but Jeff Reed was
intercepted a second time, and the rookie Jackson returned the pass for a touchdown,
making the score 40-21. On the very next drive, Jeff Reed was once again picked off,
and Berlin was able to breathe easier, with the game in hand.
Coach Grieb's Press Conference:
No injuries to report. This was our most complete game of the season. We were able
to stop the Prowlers' vaunted rushing attack, and forced them to pass the ball more
than they wanted. Even though the stats show that Reed had a good day, we pressured
him considerably, especially Marcelus Wiley, who had a career high 4 sacks. Our
offense was great, especially early, and Tomlinson finally showed why he is one of
the best in the league. Dwayne Smith has become a great target, and we feel good
about this one.
Question 1: How, exactly, did you stop the running game?
Coach Grieb - Our defensive line got the best of their offensive line early, and
we were able to get Bennie Barton behind the line of scrimmage before he could
pick up steam. He's going to be a good one, but we had his number tonight.
Question 2: Were you surprised by the production of your offense?
Coach Grieb - Not really. The Prowlers have a good defense, and
they are very aggressive. We just made the right calls. When we
can get the lead early, we are a better team. We can run Tomlinson
better, and throw in some good passing plays. Our offensive
coordinator did a great job.
Question 3: Marcelus Wiley had a huge game. Did you tell him
anything prior to it?
Coach Grieb - Wiley is our best d-lineman, that's no secret. Mark
Anderson didn't have his best day, and Wiley ate him up. He can
do that in big games. He definitely swung the momentum early.
Question 4: Next week, you play the Killers. They gave you a
tough time last year. Do you expect anything different?
Coach Grieb - I expect his team to be even better. They nearly
beat the Prowlers a few weeks ago, and they upset the Hornets in
week 1. This team is really good, and are getting better by the
day. Coach Erle has taken them to a new level. We need to control
the ball, and play solid defense - just like they need to do. I
expect both teams to bleed.