GELSENKIRCHEN, Germany - Receiver Richard Alston threw a 60-yard touchdown to Chas Gessner, helping Berlin beat Frankfurt 30-24 to win World Bowl XII on Saturday.
By wire services
Published June 13, 2004
The Thunder matched the league mark for best record, equaling the 1991 London Monarchs at 10-1.
But it wasn't easy.
The teams combined for 10 turnovers. Seven of the game's first eight possessions ended with a turnover, and Berlin fumbled on its first four.
On Berlin's first drive, Gessner fumbled a pass from Rohan Davey on the Galaxy 4. Running back Eric McCoo, allocated by Philadelphia, fumbled on the next drive, and Davey, the regular-season offensive MVP allocated by New England, fumbled snaps on the third and fourth possessions.
McCoo, who led the league in rushing, was the game MVP for gaining 167 yards on 28 carries, including a 69-yard touchdown.
The score was tied at 10 at halftime, but Alston put the Thunder ahead with his pass off a reverse early in the third.
McCoo's scoring run and two field goals by Jonathan Ruffin put the Thunder ahead 30-10 in the fourth.
J.T. O'Sullivan, who missed the last two regular-season games because of his father's death, rallied Frankfurt (7-4) by throwing two of his three touchdowns. He hit Derrick Lewis for 19 yards with 2:31 left to make it 30-24. But Berlin recovered an onside kick and ran out the clock.
MORE NFL EUROPE: Roger Goodell, the NFL's No. 2 man behind commissioner Paul Tagliabue, said he is optimistic about the fate of the league, though NFL owners haven't reached an agreement to keep the developmental league alive past 2005.
Goodell said a plan for the future will be determined in the summer but a final decision isn't expected until after the 2005 season.
Despite financial losses, the league has gained a reputation for producing quarterbacks, including Super Bowl starters Jake Delhomme, Brad Johnson and Kurt Warner.
SAN JOSE 49, CHICAGO 35: The host SaberCats advanced to their second ArenaBowl in three seasons. The SaberCats, the No. 2 seed who beat Arizona 52-14 in the 2002 title game, face the winner of today's game between No. 1 Arizona and No. 5 Colorado on June 27. The higher seed hosts.
The Rush's Chad Salisbury, who entered after Raymond Philyaw tore his right ACL during the first half, was 9-of-16 with two touchdowns. Down 42-35 with four minutes left, he was intercepted by Charles Pauley. Three plays later, quarterback Mark Grieb scrambled for a 7-yard touchdown to seal it.