Five Patriots players helped the Berlin Thunder clinch a spot in World Bowl XII with a 33-20 victory over the Rhein Fire at home on Sunday. Quarterback Rohan Davey continued his stellar NFL Europe campaign, completing 16 of 27 passes for 242 yards and two touchdowns in just two quarters of action. Patriots wide receiver Chas Gessner paced Berlin with a team-high eight receptions for 113 yards and a touchdown.
Davey started the game strong, completing 4 of 6 passes for 47 yards on the opening drive, which resulted in a 21-yard field goal and a 3-0 Berlin advantage. The Thunder jumped out to a 10-0 lead with a 2-yard touchdown toss from Davey to tight end Mike Pinkard with 5:13 remaining in the second quarter.
On Berlin's next possession, the Patriots 2002 fourth-round selection found a streaking Gessner for a 28-yard reception down to the Rhein 9-yard line. Three plays later, Davey connected with his Patriots teammate once again for a 14-yard touchdown reception to give the Thunder a commanding 17-0 halftime lead.
With the contest in hand, Davey sat out the entire second half. He finished the game with a 113.5 quarterback rating, marking the fourth time he has exceeded the century mark this season. The former Louisiana State standout leads the NFLEL with 14 touchdown passes and a 109.1 passer rating on the season.
Other productive Patriots in Berlin's victory included Jamil Soriano, who started at right guard and was a member of an offensive line that blocked for Thunder rushers to accumulate 108 rushing yards on 30 carries, and linebacker Lawrence Flugence, who enjoyed a strong outing defense side with four tackles and half a sack. Flugence also collected two special teams tackles. Safety Scott Farley tallied four solo tackles and a special teams stop in the victory.
In other action across the pond, the Frankfurt Galaxy improved their record to 6-1 with a 27-24 victory over the Scottish Claymores. David Pruce got the start at left tackle for the Galaxy and opened holes for Frankfurt runners to gain 167 rushing yards on just 31 carries (5.4 yard avg.). The Amsterdam Admirals conquered the Cologne Centurions 17-10 in the other NFL Europe showdown. Amsterdam safety Jason Perry registered a team-high nine tackles and a pass defensed in the victory. Defensive tackle Buck Rasmussen saw action as a reserve in the defensive front.
The battle for first place and a potential World Bowl XII preview between Berlin and Frankfurt headlines this week's NFL Europe action. The game can be seen on Saturday, May 22, at 1:00 p.m. (ET) on the NFL Network. Frankfurt can clinch a berth in the World Bowl with a victory and set up a Thunder/Galaxy title tilt on June 12.