Patriots wide receiver Chas Gessner caught five passes for 98 yards and a touchdown, but it was not enough as the Cologne Centurions upset the Berlin Thunder 28-27 in the game's final seconds on Saturday. With the loss, Berlin (5-1) drops into a first place tie with the Frankfurt Galaxy on the road to the World Bowl.
Trailing for the third consecutive game in the fourth quarter, Patriots quarterback Rohan Davey led a furious Thunder comeback with 13 unanswered points in the final stanza to take a 27-21 lead. Cologne got the ball back with 1:12 remaining in the game and marched down the field on a seven-play, 64-yard drive that concluded with a 1-yard touchdown reception from Harvard alum Carl Morris with one second left on the clock.
Davey started the game strong completing 6-of-13 passes for 93 yards and a touchdown in the first half. He gave Berlin an early 7-0 lead with a 44-yard touchdown toss to Gessner with 9:43 remaining in the first quarter. The former LSU standout connected on 10-of-24 passes for 132 yards in the game.
Other productive Patriots in Berlin's defeat included Jamil Soriano, who started at right guard and was a member of an offensive line that allowed Thunder rushers to accumulate 122 rushing yards on 23 carries (5.3 yard avg.) and two touchdowns.
Linebacker Lawrence Flugence led the Berlin defense with six solo tackles and a 9-yard sack. Safety Scott Farley tallied three solo tackles and a fumble recovery in the Thunder secondary.
In other action across the pond, the Frankfurt Galaxy improved their record to 5-1 with a 15-13 victory over the Scottish Claymores. David Pruce got the start at left tackle for the Galaxy and opened holes for Frankfurt runners to gain 156 yards on just 35 carries (4.5 yard avg.). The Rhein Fire defeated the Amsterdam Admirals 20-13 in the other NFL Europe tilt. Amsterdam safety Jason Perry registered a team-high 10 tackles, including a 9-yard sack, in the defeat. Buck Rasmussen recorded his first start of the year at defensive tackle for the Admirals and collected a solo stop.
Davey, Gessner and the rest of their Thunder teammates will try to bounce back this week when they host the third-place Rhein Fire (3-3) on Sunday. The game will be shown in the U.S. at 10 p.m. on DirecTV/NFL Network.
NFL Europe notes
Despite Davey's first subpar outing of the spring, he still boasts some rather impressive totals on the season. Through six games, the Patriots backup has completed 76-of-126 passes (60.3 percent) for 1,028 yards with 12 touchdowns and just three interceptions. Those numbers translate to an impressive 108.2 passer rating, tops in NFLE. … Farley started his fourth game in six outings for the Thunder and now has 24 tackles (19 solos), two passes defensed and a fumble recovery on the year. … Flugence started for the sixth straight week and upped his season totals to 31 tackles (24 solos), two sacks and four passes defensed. … Gessner's best outing of the year improved his totals considerably. The former Brown University star now has 19 receptions for 309 yards (an impressive 16.3 yards per catch) with four touchdowns. He currently is tied for the league lead in touchdowns, ranks fourth in receiving yards and is tied for 10th in receptions. … Perry continued his strong production for Amsterdam, improving his season totals to 29 tackles (24 solos), one forced fumble, two passes defensed and one sack in six starts. … Pruce and Soriano both started for the sixth straight week for their respective teams. … Rasmussen shook off the rust of four weeks of inactivity on the Frankfurt practice squad and jumped into Amsterdam's starting lineup at defensive tackle in just his second week with the Admirals. He has three tackles in his two games this season.
In other league action coming up this weekend, Cologne (2-4) travels to Amsterdam (2-4) to take on the Admirals on Saturday (1 p.m., NFL Network) while Frankfurt (5-1) is at the Scottish Claymores (1-5) for a 10 a.m. start on Sunday (DirecTV/NFL Network).