Bratwurst Comeback Effort Falls Short in Opener
Week 11 News
Punxatawny, PA - Berlin must have felt like they were in Hitler's Bunker during during the first half of its opener against the Panzies, as Punxatawny jumped out to a 24-3 halftime lead on 2 rushing touchdowns from Antwoin Smith, and a td pass from Tom Brady to Christian Fauria. Bratwurst miscues like an intercepted pass that went in and out of the hands of rookie receiver Marc Zala, an untimely fumble from LaDanian Tomlinson on the Panzies' 10-yard-line, and a dropped ball on a critical third-down play by Tim Dwight, all but handed the game to the Panzies before halftime.
The second half proved to be a different story, however. Ben Leber, the young, standout Bratwurst linebacker was able to step in front of a Tom Brady pass and return the interception for a touchdown early in the third quarter to bring the Bratwurst to within 2 touchdowns. Berlin intercepted Brady 3 times in the second half, marking Brady's worst performance in recent memory, but the Panzies' special teams helped him out by returning a punt for a touchdown to re-establish the 21-point lead towards the end of the third quarter.
Berlin would not go away, and on the very next drive, Drew Brees was able to find David Boston in the endzone to narrow the score once again. Berlin received another interception, and closed the score to 31-24 with just under 2 minutes to play, when Drew Brees hit Tomlinson on a screen, and Tomlinson rumbled into the endzone. Berlin then forced the Panzies to punt with just over a minute to play, but the Panzies were able to re-establish their sound defense and shut the Bratwurst down..
Coach Grieb's Press Conference: First of all, no injuries to report. Our team came out sluggish early, and some of our rookies made some key mistakes in the game. I was impressed with how we were able to fight back in the game, and I hope the team that came out in the second half will be the team we see more often.
Question 1: How did Punxatawny jump out to such an early lead? Coach Grieb: We couldn't stop them on defense, and our offense gave the ball up on its first two possessions. We probably shouldn't have thrown the ball to Zala so early in the game, but he was open. This was his first game, and we expect better out of him. We called Tomlinson's number too many times on the second drive, and he got a little tired. We should've brought Mack in a few more times, which we will do in the future. It took our defense a while to figure their offense out, but once we did, we narrowed the gap.
Question 2: What players stood out on your team? Coach Grieb: We were impressed with Coy Wire on the defensive side of the ball. Leber had a fantastic game, too. Marcellus Wiley was dominant on the defensive line. On offense, we got a great performance from Tomlinson, outside of that fumble, and Drew Brees looked good too.
Question 3: Assess the performance of your rookies. Coach Grieb: Norm Mack was great - he had 3 touchbacks, and was perfect on the extra points and field goals - we have definitely upgraded in that position. Terrence Eckman had one bad punt which was returned for a touchdown, but all of the others were fair catches. He'll be a good one. Marc Zala looked good on punt returns, but he needs to play a little better at receiver. Terrell Jackson had some nice plays at linebacker - he'll continue to do well. We need to get the ball in Bobby Mack's hands a little more, he is a playmaker.
Question 4: Next week, you open Dietz and Watson stadium against the Hornets. What can we expect? Coach Grieb: If this game is anything like last year's game, it will be a defensive "black and blue" struggle. I expect smash-mouth football.