2004 Scottish Claymores Game by Game
|04/04/2004 (Sun)||@ Berlin Thunder||L, 20-14||0-1-0||14,257|
|04/10/2004 (Sat)||@ Rhein Fire||L, 31-3||0-2-0||17,176|
|04/18/2004 (Sun)||Amsterdam Admirals||L, 3-0||0-3-0||10,971|
|04/24/2004 (Sat)||@ Cologne Centurions||L, 17-3||0-4-0||8,761|
|05/02/2004 (Sun)||Rhein Fire||W, 13-12||1-4-0||9,165|
|05/09/2004 (Sun)||Frankfurt Galaxy||L, 15-13||1-5-0||9,017|
|05/16/2004 (Sun)||@ Frankfurt Galaxy||L, 27-24||1-6-0||26,879|
|05/21/2004 (Fri)||@ Amsterdam Admirals||W, 19-17||2-6-0||10,738|
|05/29/2004 (Sat)||Berlin Thunder||L, 27-19||2-7-0||9,153|
|06/05/2004 (Sat)||Cologne Centurions||L, 28-20||2-8-0||10,013|
2004 Scottish Claymores Roster
|14||Arth||Tom||QB||6-4||235||1981-05-11||John Carroll University||NFL /Indianapolis|
|26||Carter||Kahlil||CB||6-1||191||1976-07-13||Southern Arkansas||NFL 9/Buffalo|
|75||Gregory||Damien||DT||6-2||305||1977-01-21||Illinois State||NFL /Tampa Bay|
|99||Harper||Alan||DT||6-2||295||1979-09-06||Fresno State||NFL /New|
|8||Hart||Rob||K||5-10||171||1974-11-04||Murray State||National England|
|10||Haygood||Herb||WR||5-11||193||1977-12-29||Michigan State||NFL /Kansas|
|82||Helfman||Marcus||WR||6-5||255||1980-01-08||San Jose State||NFL 6/San|
|22||Hicks||Maurice||RB||5-10||200||1978-07-22||North Carolina A&T||NFL 8/San|
|7||Jensen||Mark||K||6-2||205||1976-07-11||California||NFL /St Louis|
|87||McCready||Scott||WR||6-1||213||1977-02-01||South Florida||National England|
|9||Murphy||Nick||P||5-11||188||1979-10-22||Arizona State||NFL /Philadelphia|
|70||Pears||Morgan||T||6-6||319||1980-05-04||Colorado State||NFL 2/Pittsburgh|
|65||Pugh||Jimond||C||6-2||311||1980-07-28||Memphis State||NFL /Pittsburgh|
|83||Rubin||DeAndrew||WR||5-11||172||1978-10-09||South Florida||NFL 6/Indianapolis|
|95||Scott||Cedric||DT||6-5||274||1977-10-19||Southern Mississippi||NFL /Cleveland|
|35||Smart||Ian||RB||5-8||191||1980-02-28||C.W.Post||NFL /NY Jets|
|28||Wright||Thomas||S||6-1||201||1981-07-03||Michigan State||NFL /Tennessee|
2004 Scottish Claymores Statistics
2004 NFL Europe Standings
Berlin Thunder 20
THE Claymores hopes of a winning start to their 10th Season in NFL Europe League were washed away in Berlin, Sunday, as Jack Bicknell's team went down 20-14 to Berlin Thunder in torrential rain at the Olympic Stadium.
|Tight End Marcus Helfman celebrates his second quarter touchdown to give the Scots the lead|
Bicknell had hoped to record his 60th NFL Europe career win taking charge of the Claymores for the first time, however, Thunder's New England Patriots allocated quarterback Rohan Davey and backup David Rivers put paid to any Scots celebration leading Berlin to their first opening day victory in team history.
Cowboy Jack's team went behind 20-7 in the third quarter but showed some true grit getting back into the game at 20-14 thanks to a spectacular diving catch in the endzone from former New England Patriots wide receiver Scott McCready in the fourth. However, it was too little too late for the Claymores as Berlin held on for the big home win.
After the rain-sodden game, Bicknell, said: "While I am disappointed that we came out on the losing side today, I'm proud of the way the team played. I stand by what I have been saying all along: our team is getting better and will continue to improve.
"When all is said and done we are going to be a team that can compete. A number of plays in today's game did not go our way. The conditions late in the game today made it tough for us to come back, but I'm proud of the way our players did try and get back into the game."
And Bicknell added: " I think we can take a lot from this game and go on to make the improvements we need to make. I can't fault our players on the effort they put in but I also have to give a lot of credit to Berlin and the way they played."
It was a scrappy first half for both teams as the Claymores were led out by Cleveland Browns allocated quarterback Nate Hybl.
The Scots had the first chance to go ahead after Thunder rusher Ray Jackson fumbled at the Berlin 35 - Alphonso Roundtree coming up with the ball for the Scots. However, Mark Jensen pulled his 45-yard attempt wide left.
|Maurice Hicks evades a tackler to gain extra yardage|
The Claymores exploded into life at the start of the second quarter with Detroit Lions allocated quarterback Curt Anes coming into the game.
Anes completed big passes to Scott McCready and Marcus Helfman - and combined with strong rushing from Maurice Hicks - moving the Scots deep into Thunder territory.
Anes linked up with the San Francisco 49ers allocated tight end again - this time on a 10-yard touchdown pass, to open the Claymores scoring. Rob Hart kicked the point after and the Claymores led 7-0 with 8:42 to play in the second.
Kicker Ruffin responded for Thunder nailing a 37-yards field goal with 2:16 left in the half to make it 7-3.
The Claymores got the ball back - but not for long - as Anes' pass to running back Ian Smith was tipped and intercepted by Thunder cornerback James Thornton.
Berlin backup quarterback Rivers took advantage of the turnover two plays later, connecting on a 12-yard touchdown pass to New England Patriots wide receiver Chas Gessner. Local kicker Heinz Quast made sure of the point after and Thunder led 10-7 at the end of the first half.
|Nate Hybl launches a pass on the run against Berlin|
Kicker Ruffin extended Thunder's lead further at the start of the fourth quarter connecting on a 43-yard field goal attempt to give Berlin a commanding 20-7 lead with 11 minutes to play.
The Claymores weren't dead though as Hybl calmly moved the Scots into Thunder territory. And McCready resurrected the Scots hopes when he made a spectacular diving catch in the end zone after a Hybl pass was tipped at the goal-line. Hart converted the PAT and the Claymores were back in the game 20-14 down with five minutes remaining.
Berlin couldn't add to their lead and were forced to punt handing the ball back to the Claymores at their 20. Hybl then drove the Scots down to midfield, but the Claymores comeback was washed away by the Thunder defense who stopped the Scots on fourth down with 1:30 to play.
The Claymores have a chance to level their record at 1-1 next week when they travel to Germany again, this time to face Rhein Fire at the Arena AufSchalke in Gelsenkirchen.
Rhein Fire 31
THE CLAYMORES hopes of ending a six-game losing streak at fortress Fire where crushed at the Arena AufSchalke on Saturday night as the Scots once again fell victim to a roasting in Rhein, this time suffering a 31-3 defeat.
|Claymores RB Maurice Hicks struggles for extra Yardage|
However, the match - like so many Claymores visits before in Rhein - was not without controversy with Rhein taking a crucial 10-3 lead into the half-time break after it looked as if the Scots had regained possession on a fumbled punt return by Atlanta Falcons allocated wide receiver Willie Quinnie.
The officials ruled the fumble in favour of Fire - despite tight end Marcus Helfman clearly coming up with the ball - allowing Rhein to stifle any Claymores first-half comeback. Head coach Jack Bicknell was clearly incensed by the decision, which put paid to the Scots chances of getting back on level terms before the break.
After the game, Bicknell, said: "I'm still trying to work out what happened on that play. We punt - they fumble, and our kid walks of the field with the ball. The officials said that our player wrestled it away when they were on the ground. But when you're struggling all of these things seem monumental. I don't blame the officials - we were frustrated with the call but when you get beat 31-3 you should really just keep your mouth shut and go home.
"Yes, a couple of crazy calls did not go our way but we shouldn't complain. When you're not on top and in control, those types of decision don't tend to go your way. We need to turn that around. It will be interesting to see how we respond and how the rest of the season goes from here on in."
Despite the loss, Bicknell still believes his team will come good. He said: I've been telling everyone that our team is better than our results have suggested. I still believe that. But I guess it is now time to put up or shut up starting with our game next Sunday at Hampden.
"I still like the team we have. I think they will fight to the end. I don't think we are bad. But we weren't very good tonight."
|Broncos allocate Ahmaad Galloway tries to break a tackle.|
After an exchange of possessions, defensive end Gavin Walls sacked Chad Hutchinson for an eight-yard loss. But the Claymores couldn't capitalise handing Fire great field position at the end of the first quarter when Quinnie returned a Nick Murphy punt to the Scots 35.
Hutchison moved Fire down to the Scots one-yard line at the start of the second quarter, setting up Cleveland Browns' allocated running back Joffrey Reynolds to sweep into the endzone, going in untouched after reversing his run to make it 7-3 in favour of Fire after the extra point from Mike Shafer.
The Claymores offense spluttered to get going with Curt Anes taking over at quarterback but the defense held firm with pressure on Hutchinson - this time from Browns allocated defensive tackle Cedric Scott who dropped him for an eight-yard loss.
Bicknell was incensed on the Claymores next possession when, after being forced to punt, it looked like tight end Helfman had come up with the loose ball after Fire returner Quinnie had fumbled.
To Bicknell's fury, the officials ruled that it was Rhein who had recovered, and seven plays later Fire added to their lead when German kicker when Ingo Anderbrugge converted a 20-yard field goal to give Rhein an important 10-3 advantage at the end of the half.
Rhein continued to fire at the start of the second half moving down to the Scots five-yard line after Claymores cornerback Gerald Dixon was adjudged to have impeded Fire rusher Jeremey Allen who had streaked down the sideline attempting to latch on to a deep Hutchinson pass.
Two plays later, the Dallas Cowboys triggerman carved the Claymores defense in half finding Quinnie at the back of the endzone on a precision strike from nine yards out. Anderbrugge kicked the point after, and Fire were now controlled the game, 17-3 in front.
Running back Ahmadd Galloway got the Claymores offense moving in response, powering the Scots into Rhein territory. But his hard work was nullified when Hybl was picked off by Rhein safety Howard at Fire's 26 as the quarterback attempted to find McCready.
The stunned Claymores offense could not stop Howard as he ran the pick all the way back into the Claymores endzone on a decisive 79-yard return for touchdown. Anderbrugge was again good with the PAT and Rhein took a 24-3 lead at the end of the third quarter.
Hybl fought back moving the offense down to the Fire six - but the attack was derailed when running back Maurice Hicks was stripped of possession trying to break into the endzone, the bobbling ball recovered for Rhein by linebacker Charles Burton.
The Claymores continued to self-destruct when a poor snap on a punt deep in Scots' territory resulted in punter Nick Murphy being tackled with the ball at his own three-yard line after his attempted clearance was charged down.
Reynolds rubbed salt into the Scots wounds two plays later, diving into the endzone from two yards. Anderbrugge hit the extra point and Rhein rounded out their destruction of the Claymores 31-3.
"You get beaten 31-3 - and you have to ask what positives can you take from this? But I think we can take a few," said Bicknell afterwards. "We made a commitment to run the ball in the second half, which we did. Our players played hard throughout the game - we didn't necessarily play smart - but our team played hard the whole game."
The Claymores fall to 0-2 after opening the season with two losses in Germany. Bicknell will hope to lift his troops for the Claymores opening home game of the 2004 season at Hampden Park next Sunday, April 18 against Rhein Fire.
"We have some tough games ahead of us but we have players who want to be here and want to get better and I stand by what I have been saying - I know we will be okay. It is still very early in the season - we have lost to Berlin and Rhein on the road. We have to take something back when they come to us and then we have to go on an win against the others we haven't played."
And Bicknell added: "It's too early to panic. I'm looking forward to our next few games to see how it develops. I'd like to be in apposition to say I told you that we are good - starting next week - but tonight we weren't."
* In other NFL Europe League Week 2 action, Frankfurt Galaxy defeated Cologne Centurions 20-10, while Berlin Thunder triumphed 28-17 over Amsterdam Admirals.
Attendance 10,971, Hampden Park
THE CLAYMORES were on the losing end of a slugfest in the mud at Hampden Park on Sunday, going down 3-0 to the Amsterdam Admirals in atrocious field conditions at the National Stadium.
|Maurice Hicks tries to get past an Amsterdam defender|
The Claymores had a chance to take the game into overtime but kicker Mark Jensen could not get the ball high enough out of the mud on a 38-yard field goal attempt with 39 seconds remaining.
Afterwards Claymores head coach Jack Bicknell lamented the loss which drops his team to a League-worst 0-3 in the NFL Europe League standing, saying: "That was a tough loss. We now have our work cut out for us. We're all in this together though and we have to turn this around next week against Cologne, which will be another tough game for us."
The Claymores offense was held to just 196 total yards with quarterbacks Nate Hybl and Curt Anes failing to get the Scots offense moving. The Claymores have now not scored an offensive touchdown in seven quarters of action.
"Of course I'm concerned by that," said Bicknell. "Anytime you have a statistic like that you have to be concerned. But I've got to get our team to play better and keep everyone together. I continue to see improvement in the team but we are not an explosive team right now and that has to change."
|The Claymores defense swarms around an Admirals running back|
"We played at Hampden with the Dragons a number of times," said Bicknell, "but I never remember it in that kind of shape. It was tough out there for our players and impossible to cut."
Bicknell's opposite number Bart Andrus, the Admirals head coach who watched his team slide to 1-2, added: "That was probably the worst field I've ever seen. It was really sloppy conditions and both teams just had to slug it out. Fortunately, for us, we came out on top."
Both teams traded possession to start the game before the Admirals broke the deadlock at the end of the first quarter when former Claymores quarterback Clint Stoerner slid his offense into scoring range. Kicker Todd Sievers managed to keep his footing in the mud to rifle through a 44-yards field goal to make it 3-0 to the Admirals.
The Claymores were hit by a low blow when wide receiver Nick Davis had to leave the game after breaking his ankle on the return.
|Coach Bicknell was surprised by the state of the Hampden turf|
Detroit Lions allocated uarterback Anes moved his troops down the muddy field handing the ball and passing to mudder running back Maurice Hicks. The Scots almost got on the board when Anes passed to Ron Bellamy, but the Dolphins allocate was ruled out of bounds at the corner of the endzone. That set up a 46-yard field goal attempt from Mark Jensen, but he pushed his kick wide right leaving the half-time score 3-0 in favour of Amsterdam.
The Admirals burst into life at the start of the second half with running back Chris Downs powering thenm deep into Scots territory. Silvio Diliberto attempted a 22-yard field goal but hooked his kick left.
Amsterdam moved the back into Claymores territory but the Scots defense held on fourth down. Hybl got the Scots going with gains to tight end Aaron Golliday as the third quarter wound down. Hicks moved the Claymores into the Dutch score zone but Hybl was intercepted by Admirals safety Todd Howard at the Dutch 15 to end the third quarter.
The Scots offense couldn't get going and were forced to punt the ball back to the Dutch. The defense held firm again, this time Alphonso Roundtree tipping a third-down pass but again the Scots offense couldn't make hay in the muddy conditions.
|RB Maurice Hicks fights through the Amsterdam defense|
Curt Anes came on to guide the Claymores and moved them down into Admirals territory scrambling in the quagmire as the clock ran down to 39 seconds.
Kicker Jensen was faced with a 38-yards field goal attempt to tie the game and send it into overtime, but his kick squirted out low and short of target to end game at 3-0 in favour of the Adnmirals.
Cologne Centurions 17
VAE Victus - suffering to the conquered. That was the outcome in Cologne for
the Claymores as the Scots dropped to the bottom of the NFL Europe League
standings after falling to the Centurions 17-3 in Germany, in a
less-than-epic encounter on Saturday night.
|Ahmaad Galloway fights for yardage|
The Claymores came, saw but could not conquer as once again, the offense found it impossible to string together a cohesive assault on their opponents during their third visit to Gemany in four games. Head coach Jack Bicknell must now rally his troops for a desperate regroup against Rhein Fire at Hampden this Sunday.
After the game, the head coach, said: "Obviously, we are very frustrated and just haven't been able to make things happen on the offensive side of the ball. I have to congratulate Cologne - they were in the same boat as us coming in but did what they had to. They have some talent on both sides of the ball and have a talented running back in Cobourne.
"I'm frustrated for our guys though. They have put forth the effort, but we just haven't got the results. I know we are working our butts off but are not making plays - we haven't made plays.
"We work in practice but on gameday you have to make plays. If you are not making them, then you are going to lose. We have got a lot of work ahead of us. I talk to my players every single day - they are frustrated - and I have to tell them to hang in there. Our players are not down there smiling or talking in the locker room - they are frustrated. I've got to keep my team focused on next week. When you are 0-4, it's not a very good place to be."
|Marcus Helfman breaks free|
The Claymores offense did come out firing at the start of the game, with quarterback Nate Hybl connecting on two big gains to favourite wide receiver Scott McCready (13 and 26 yards) to get the Scots into scoring range. Kicker Rob Hart got the Claymores on to the scoreboard hitting a 26-yard field goal to give the Claymores a 3-0 lead with five minutes gone.
Cologne didn't waste any time getting back into the game with Giants allocate Van Dyke moving his team downfield with help from two costly penalties assessed on the Claymores defense. Van Dyke took full advantage rifling a 15-yard scoring strike to Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Todd Devoe at the back of the Scots end zone to open the Centurions account. Swedish kicker Ola Kimrin nailed the extra point and Cologne took a 7-3 lead nine minutes into the game.
The Claymores were forced to punt on their next possession allowing Van Dyke to lead his team back into scoring range at the start of the second quarter. The Giants passer was deadly accurate again, this time from 33 yards when he found Devoe on a 33-yard post play to split the Scots defense. Kimrin was also good again and Cologne took control 14-3 in front five minutes into the second quarter.
The Scots battled back with Detroit Lions' allocated quarterback Curt Anes moving the offense with big strikes to Scott Couper (15 yards) McCready and San Francisco 49ers allocate Marcus Helfman (28 yards) but couldn't register any points after running back Ahmaad Galloway was stuffed by the Centurions defense on a big fourth down with one minute left in the half.
|Scott McCready tries to stop progress|
The teams traded possessions and no scores were added in the third quarter as the Claymores offense tried to find a way back into the game while the defense stepped up to keep the Scots competitive with big play from linebacker Ryan Myers and safety Gerald Dixon and a sack from Damian Gregory.
Still, offensively, the Claymores could not find any cohesiveness to their attack, allowing Cologne to take possession and run out the clock on the ground in the fourth quarter.
The defense struggled to cage Detroit Lions allocated running back Avon Cobourne who combined with fellow rusher Antown McCray to punish the Claymores. Cobourne finished the game with 116 yards on 18 carries while McCray added 32 yards on 12 carries and a further 29 yards on three catches, compounding the Scots misery and allow Cologne to run out the clock 17-3 victors.
|Ronald Bellamy comes down with the game winning touchdown catch|
Trailing 12-7 with 1:27 left in the game, the previously anemic Claymores offense led by a resurgent Anes, moved the ball efficiently during a last-gasp desperation drive from the Scots own 20-yard line.
It looked like mission impossible for the Claymores, but the improbable became the possible as six plays later Anes lobbed the sublime 28-yard, game-winning touchdown arc to the corner of the Rhein Fire endzone and to Bellamy to record the stunning 13-12 win.
The sensational victory moved the Claymores to 1-4 in the League standings and throws the club a lifeline going into the second half of the NFL Europe season.
Afterwards, relived head coach Bicknell, said: "First of all, I'd like to say a big thank you to the Claymores fans. At 0-4, we were down but those fans never gave up on us and were a true inspiration to the whole team getting behind us today and never quitting. I thought the fans really helped us today and the players and I really appreciate it.
"I'm sorry for Rhein who played well, but we needed the win desperately. Now we've got Frankfurt here at Hampden next Sunday and we can't wait to play them. I am really looking forward to the second half of the season where we are home three times, which will become a major factor."
The Claymores defense got off to a punishing start when defensive end Cedric Scott stripped the ball from Rhein rusher Joffrey Reynolds on the game's first series. Safety Kahlil Carter recovered the loose ball handing the Claymores an early turnover and possession.
The offense stalled on its opening drive but the defense continued to hold limiting Fire to a 48-yard field goal from kicker Mike Shafer after a seven-play drive.
|Ahmaad Galloway attracts the close attention of the Fire defense|
Rhein responded immediately with Dallas Cowboys allocated quarterback Chad Hutchinson moving his team downfield with big gains to tight end Dwayne Blakely. But again the Claymores defense held firm and Fire failed to make a 31-yard field goal from Ingo Anderbrugge
Anes got the Scots moving at the start of the second quarter from the Claymores five, but again the drive stalled and after Hutchinson failed to get Fire into scoring territory. The half ended, for the first time this season, with the Claymores 7-3 in front.
The Claymores exploded into life at the start of the third quarter when Ahmaad Galloway burst open on a 44-yard pass play from Hybl to take the Scots into scoring range. But the Claymores could not get on to the scoreboard after Rob Hart's 47-yard field goal went wide left.
The defense stepped up with linemen Ivory McCoy and Alan Harper combining on a sack to down Hutchinson and force another Fire punt. But Rhein got the ball back quickly when safety Abdual Howard intercepted Hybl for the second time this season, deep in Claymores territory to the Scots 22.
Claymores end Durrand Roundtree made his presence felt sacking Hutchinson for a 10-yard loss forcing Rhein to attempt a 45-yard field goal. This time Shafer was good and Rhein pulled the score back to 7-6 with 7:42 to play in the third.
The Claymores defense held firm again, but a disastrous muffed punt return by Ian Smart set Fire up at the Claymores 13. It looked as if the Claymores had reclaimed possession when wide out Willie Quinnie had the ball stripped by cornerback Jermaine Chatman and it appeared as if the Claymores' defense had recovered the ball. But the officials ruled the pass incomplete allowing Anderbrugge to strike a 31-yard field goal to give Fire a 9-7 advantage with two minutes left in the quarter.
|Scott McCready arrives to celebrate with Bellamy|
Once again, the Claymores defense was solid with big sacks from linebacker Jimmy McClain and tackle Damien Gregory, but Rhein edged further ahead with a 41-yard field from Shafer to make it 12-7 in their favour with 11 minutes to play.
The Claymores got the ball back with less than four minutes remaining but Anes could not complete a vital fourth down pass, giving Fire possession at Scotland's 33 at the two-minute warning. Rhein then had an opportunity to run out the clock, but after another great defensive stand from the Claymores were forced to punt.
Anes took over at the Scots 10 with 1:27 to play. Going into a hurry-up offense, Anes quickly moved his group downfield hitting tight end Marcus Helfman for 16 yards, wide receiver Scott McCready on a 15-yard gain and running back Hicks for another 15-yard gain.
With 13 seconds on the clock Anes found Bellamy at the end of his 28-yard touchdown pass and the Claymores savoured victory for the first time this season.
Head coach Bicknell, added: "This was probably the most important game I've had since I've been in this league. As a coach, I've never been 0-4. Now I feel entirely different on just one play. We're still struggling on offense, but with this win I truly believe we will solve those problems.
"This was a critical win for us and we're now really looking forward to the second half. I shake my head at some of the things we did, but I really believe this is as a result of us being so tight over the last few weeks. It is like a big weight is off our shoulders and we have five great opportunities ahead of us and I really think you'll see a different team now."
Frankfurt Galaxy 15
Attendance 9,017, Hampden Park, Glasgow
TIME ran out for the Scottish Claymores at Hampden Park today as Jack Bicknell's team went down 15-13 to Frankfurt Galaxy and dropped to 1-5 at the bottom on the NFL Europe League standings, all but eliminating the Scots from contention for World Bowl XII in Germany next month.
|Rob Hart hits his record setting field goal|
An outside bet - but mathematically, not an impossibility.
The Claymores had to secure a win against a strong Galaxy team to realistically stay in touch with the chasing pack of teams now narrowing the gap on league leaders Berlin and Frankfurt after Thunder lost out narrowly to Cologne Centurions 28-27 on Saturday night.
But despite fourth quarter heroics from Kansas City Chiefs allocate Herb Haygood, who electrified the Claymores support Dante Hall style with a 95-yard kickoff return for touchdown to keep the Claymores in the game 15-13 behind in the fourth quarter, it was Frankfurt who controlled the clock and held on to win thanks to five field goal strikes from former Bundesliga soccer star Kleinmann.
Kleinmann's winning kicks all but eclipsed the efforts of Claymores' kicker Rob Hart, who set a new points scoring record in NFL Europe, surpassing former Barcelona Dragons kicker Jesus Angoy's mark of 329 with a 43-yard field goal in the second quarter.
|Scott Couper congratulates the new leading scorer in NFL Europe history|
"I couldn't have asked more of our players. We matched Galaxy for a large part of the game but just couldn't get the result we so desperately needed today. I have now got to make sure our team sticks together over the next four weeks and continues to play like professionals.
"We have our work cut out for us over the next four weeks but I'd be shocked if this team does not play right until the end. I know they will."
The Claymores defense set the tone at the start of the game with defensive end Cedric Scott blocking Mike Barr's punt attempt to set the Scots offense up at Frankfurt's 13-yard line.
The Claymores could not capitalise with a touchdown but Rob Hart did equal Jesus Angoy's long-standing league-highest scoring record hitting a 24-yard field goal to give Scotland a 3-0 lead with four minutes gone.
The defense stepped up on Frankfurt's next drive after quarterback J.T. O'Sullivan moved his team to the Claymores five on 16 and 48-yard connections to wide receiver Drew Haddad. O'Sullivan went for the endzone on the next play, but James Lewis was there to pick off the New Orleans Saints passer in the Scots endzone.
|Skip Hicks stuggles for extra yardage|
Two plays later, O'Sullivan threw a four-yard touchdown strike to full back Corey McIntyre who crossed over into the Claymores endzone untouched. Uncharacteristically, Kleinmann missed the PAT, but Galaxy still held a 6-3 lead at the start of the second quarter.
Curt Anes moved the Claymores back into scoring range with big gains to Scott Couper, Haygood and tight end Marcus Helfman on the Scots next possession. The drive stalled but allowed Hart to claim the new league points record when he hit a 43-yard field goal with 7:50 remaining in the second quarter to tie the scores at 6-6.
Galaxy looked dangerous on their next drive with quarterback Kirk Famer moving them deep into Claymores territory. But again the Scots defense held firm and Frankfurt had to settle for a 32-yard field goal from Kleinmann to take a 9-6 lead into the half-time break.
Jamie Rheem added to the Galaxy lead at the start of the second half with a 41-yard field goal for a 12-6 advantage.
The Claymores defense tried to ignite the Scots again with Jimmy McClain sacking O'Sullivan, but once more disaster on special teams plagued Claymores as Smart muffed his second punt return of the day at the end of the third quarter gifting possession to Frankfurt as the Scots 45.
Durrand Roundtree stopped O'Sullivan in his tracks sacking the quarterback on Galaxy's next possession with Damien Gregory and Alan Harper also bringing the Frankfurt passer down.
Frankfurt further extended their lead to 15-6 when Rheem converted another 41-yard field goal with 7:07 to play in the game.
|Herb Haygood sees nothing but grass ahead of him|
The clock then became the enemy for the Claymores as O'Sullivan moved his team downfield eating up time and completing a controversial pass to Jason Willis to put Frankfurt on the Scots eight yard line with two minutes remaining which allowed Galaxy to run out the game as winners.
Bicknell paid tribute to the Claymores fans, saying: "Our fans have been great all season. They were the main reason why Galaxy had so many delay of game and offsides penalties. Unfortunately, we really have not done nearly enough to get them excited. We have to find a way to make that happen. They are great fans and we really appreciate their support."
|Linebacker Jimmy McClain drags down Galaxy QB JT O'Sullivan|
Defending champions Frankfurt are the team most likely to meet Thunder in the June 12 final at the Arena AufSchalke in Gelsenkirchen and are now just one victory away from claiming the second berth.
Small consolation for the Claymores - playing their 99th game during a 10th Season of woe - came only in that they avoided becoming the first team eliminated from World Bowl contention, that dubious honour falling instead to league new boys Cologne Centurions who lost 17-10 on Saturday night to Amsterdam Admirals to quash their hopes in their debut season.
The Claymores only hope left for the season is to avoid finishing at the bottom of the league and they have three games left - away this Friday in Amsterdam following by two home games at Hampden against Berlin and Cologne on May 29 and June 5 - to avoid that fate.
After the game, head coach Bicknell, said: "We may be out of the running for the World Bowl but we're not giving up. I'm very proud of our team and the way we played today and the way we never gave up. They gave tremendous effort and stayed in the game when it would have been easy to give up.
"We still have three games to play and it's important that we stay together as a team. We also have two very important games to play back in Scotland that we want to win for all the people there.
"I don't expect our team to go into the tank. We may be out of it but we are going to keep playing to the end."
Two first half fumbles and a sterling performance from Galaxy's New Orleans Saints allocated quarterback J.T. O'Sullivan ultimately proved the difference between the best and worst placed teams in the league.
However, the Claymores did show occasional flashes of brilliance on a sunny afternoon in Frankfurt with running backs Ahmaad Galloway and Maurice Hicks showing off their running skills to record the Claymores first rushing touchdown of the season - the Scots staying in the contest as they have so many times this season to trailing by just three points in dying seconds.
|The progress of Claymores QB Curt Anes is halted|
It was not the best of starts for the Scots as J.T. O'Sullivan moved his team efficiently downfield capitalizing on a pass interference call on linebacker Jimmy McClain who impeded wide receiver Drew Haddad in the endzone.
It was an easy touchdown for Frankfurt as their leading rusher Skip Hicks skipped into the endzone from two yards out with Kleinmann adding the extra point to open the Galaxy account. With four minutes gone Frankfurt took a 7-0 lead.
Haygood claimed the Claymores great field position returning the restart kick to Galaxy's 38-yard line. Galloway got them closer on a 10-yard run, but the drive stalled as quarterback Nate Hybl found it difficult to complete a pass. Kicker Rob Hart lined up a 28-yard field goal attempt, but the snap was bad forcing holder Nick Murphy to take off and dive for a first down.
It looked as if Scotland had scored it's first rushing touchdown of the season when Galloway darted past defenders and into the endzone from six yards out, but the play was called back due to a holding penalty setting up Hart with another field goal attempt, this time from 34-yards. The snap was good allowing the barefoot record scorer to convert his attempt to make it 7-3 with five minutes left in the first quarter.
O'Sullivan didn't waste any time re-applying pressure on the Scots, completing a 36-yard pass to Derrick Lewis to set Galaxy up inside the Claymores 10. Two plays later he threaded a nine-yard pass to tight end Chad Hayes at the back of the endzone. Kleinmann hit the extra point to extend the Galaxy's lead to 14-3 at the end of the first quarter.
|Aaron Golliday  and Reese Hicks  congratulate Ahmaad Galloway on his score|
It got worse for the Claymores on their first possession of the second quarter when Curt Anes took over at quarterback only to be sacked by Galaxy defensive tackle Jeff Hazuga causing a fumble which was picked up by tackle Clenton Ballard for Frankfurt at Scotland's nine.
On the next play, Skip Hicks took the ball back into the endzone on a nine-yard scamper. Kleinmann was good with the extra point and Galaxy took control 21-3 in front.
Anes tried to get things going on the Claymores next possession completing a big pass to Scott McCready, but Galaxy linebacker Dustin Cohen stripped the ball from his grasp allowing safety Chris Kern to recover possession for Frankfurt at midfield.
Mercifully, the defense held Galaxy allowing Anes to scramble the Scots 20 yards deep into Galaxy territory inside the last two minutes of the half.
The Detroit Loins passer then completed a 33-pass to former Galaxy receiver DeAndrew Rubin to the Frankfurt two yard line setting up Galloway for the Scots first counted rushing touchdown of the season when he swept into the endzone with 34 seconds left in the half. Hart was good with the extra point and the Claymores held on by their fingernails 21-10 behind going into the break.
The Claymores did what they needed to, starting the second half with Hicks taking control to run the Claymores deep into Frankfurt territory before capping an eight-play, 78-yard five-minute drive with a four-yard touchdown run to pull the Scots back into the game. Hart was successful with the extra point and the Claymores were behind 21-17.
Frankfurt's Skip Hicks re-asserted his authority on the Galaxy's next possession breaking open on a 59-yards gallop to the Scots nine. Damian Gregory applied the pressure for the Claymores sacking O'Sullivan for a loss of four forcing Kleinmann to attempt a 33-yard field goal which he converted to move Galaxy a touchdown in front again at 24-17 with eight minutes left in the third quarter.
|Maurice Hicks scored two touchdowns in Frankfurt|
The Claymores now had to do something offensively if they were to stay in the game, and Anes responded at the start of the fourth quarter linking up with Ron Bellamy on a 32-yard pass. Anes then scrambled to the Galaxy one allowing Hicks to dive into the endzone for the score. Hart's kick brought the Claymores to within three points 27-24 behind with ten minutes left in the game.
Galaxy went back to their ground attack in an attempt to run the Scots defense and the clock down. They got to the Scots six, but fortune briefly smiled on the Claymores as O'Sullivan fumbled the snap and Gregory pounced on the ball to recover possession with five minutes to go.
However, Anes couldn't move the offense past midfield and the Claymores were forced to punt again, allowing Galaxy to run the clock out and move into pole position to claim the second berth for World Bowl XII.
The only way Frankfurt will miss out on a World Bowl showdown with the Berlin Thunder on Saturday June 12 is if they lose their last three games, the Fire wins their last three games and beats the Galaxy by more than 18 points. The only other team that can qualify for World Bowl is the Fire.
|Herb Haygood fights off the attention of an Amsterdam defender|
Once again the Claymores hard-hitting defense were magnificent with the secondary final breaking their interception duck picking off former Claymores quarterback Clint Stoerner three times in the first half. Cornerback Alphonso Roundtree claimed two interceptions and safety James Lewis another turning it into a stunning 67-yard touchdown.
The Claymores built up a 16-3 lead on the back of a one-yard touchdown dive from Detroit Lions allocated quarterback CURT ANES, and could have added two more touchdowns before the half. However, they squandered the advantage in the third quarter allowing the Admirals to come back into the game and had to sweat it to come back from 17-16 down - Hart's game-winning kick finally ending the agony to move Jack Bicknell's team to 2-8.
Head coach JACK BICKNELL, said: "It was great to finally have something go our way, but we almost screwed it up. We had a chance put the game beyond their reach but didn't take it. Saying that, we're really going to enjoy this victory. Our players have worked hard and have never given up and I think our players and our fans deserve to have a smile on their faces."
Bicknell admitted: "We finally got some breaks tonight. We haven't had any all season and perhaps this was our turn. I was nervous when Rob stepped up to kick the game-winner and to be honest I couldn't look. I just concentrated on the snap, the hold and Rob's reaction. When he came running off the field jumping up and down, I knew we had it."
|Brad Franklin returns an Admirals fumble for a touchdown|
Roundtree stepped forward to claim the Claymores first interception of the season with a stunning one-handed pick off Stoerner at midfield. Anes couldn't capitalize with a touchdown but led the Claymores down to the Galaxy nine. Rob Hart hit a 24-yard field goal and the Claymore took an early 3-0 lead.
Stoerner wasted no time in hitting back, arcing a 46-yard completion to Chris Horn down to the Claymores two. But the quarterback couldn't complete a pass to the endzone and it was left to kicker Silvio Diliberto to convert a 20-yard field goal to level the scores at 3-3 at the end of the first quarter.
The Claymores opened the second quarter the way they would have hoped to have played on offense all season, Anes directing a 13-play scoring drive that he capped himself with a one-yard touchdown dive. However, Rob Hart's extra point attempt was blocked and the Scots took a 9-3 lead.
The secondary kept up the pressure on the Admirals next possession when James Lewis stepped forward to intercept Stoerner returning the pick 67 yards for the Claymores second touchdown. Hart made sure with the PAT this time and the Scots took a 16-3 lead.
Again the defense stepped up when linebacker Howard Clark blocked Nate Fikse's punt attempt after holding the Admirals, and then recovered it himself at the Dutch four. But the offense, led by Tom Arth could not capitalise - the attack was pushed backwards and Rob Hart's 32-yard field goal attempt slid wide left.
|Rob Hart converts the winning field goal|
The Admirals came out firing all cannons at the start of the third quarter with a change of quarterback, Stoerner benched in favour of Gibran Hamdan who wasted no time in linking up with favourite receiver Chris Horn on a 13-yard touchdown strike. Diliberto converted the extra point and Amsterdam were suddenly back in the game 16-10 down four minutes into the new half.
Wide receiver Wilson Thomas kept up the Dutch pressure blocking Nick Murphy's punt attempt at midfield. Like the Claymores, the Admirals offense could not turn good field position into points as kicker Todd Sievers' 49-yard field goal attempt fell short.
However, the momentum continued to shift the Admirals way when, at the end of the third quarter, Arth was intercepted at midfield by linebacker Drew Wahlroos. Hamdan had the ArenA crowd roaring when the completed a 35-yard pass to Chris Taylor at the Scots four setting up running back Chris Downs to power into the endzone for the score. Diliberto converted the PAT again for the go-ahead score and the Admirals led for the first time 17-16.
|Scott McCready celebrates wit Rob Hart|
With Stoerner back in at quarterback the Admirals went back to their ground game, running backs Downs and former Claymore Mike Malan powering them into scoring range. But the Scots got a break when Gavin Walls swiped the ball out of Downs' grasp to be recovered at the Claymores 14 by linebacker Ryan Myers.
With five minutes remaining Arth took over. He showed poise in the pocket avoiding the sack, completing passes to McCready and Helfman before scrambling himself to midfield. A roughing the passer penalty helped move the Claymores down to the Admirals 26 inside the two-minute warning.
Arth attempted a 25-yard pass to Herb Haygood on third down but the ball slipped agonizingly though his hands in the endzone. Hart was then faced with a 42-yard field goal to keep the Claymore in the game. The barefoot kicker kept his cool threading the uprights to give the Scots a 19-17 lead with 1:24 remaining.
Stoerner drove his team downfield as the Admirals tried desperately to come back, but Walls breached the Dutch line to sack the passer on a crucial third down. Stoerner then scrambled on fourth down but came up inches short of the first down allowing the Claymores to run out the clock victorious in their 100th game.
Hampden Park, 9,153
LEAGUE toppers Berlin Thunder handed the Claymores a 27-19 defeat at Hampden Park dropping the Scots to 2-7 in the NFL Europe standings with one week of the regular season remaining.
|Linebacker Ryan Myers broke George Coghills record for tackles in a season|
Berlin now have a chance of becoming only the third team to go 9-1 for a season as they prepare to face Frankfurt Galaxy two weeks in a row with a June 12 showdown in World Bowl XII to look forward to.
The only bright spots on a disappointing day for Jack Bicknell's team was the performance of Ryan Myers, who broke George Coghill's long-standing single season total tackles record of 61, and an 11-reception display from league-leading wide receiver Scott McCready which brought him within eight catches of the Claymores single season reception record.
Afterwards, head coach Bicknell, rued the mistakes that let Thunder back into the game after the Claymores looked to be in control.
The Claymores opened impressively with Arth moving the offense downfield quickly at the start of the game, running back Maurice Hicks capping a four-play scoring drive with a 26-yard touchdown romp. Hart converted the extra point and the Claymores took an early 7-0 lead.
The Scots defense were making their presence felt too, cornerback Brad Franklin placing a fierce hit on wide receiver Richard Alston to halt Thunder's opening drive.
Running back Ian Smart got the Claymores back into scoring range on the Scots next possession, Hart converting a 29-yard field goal to make it 10-0 with 6:15 remaining in the first quarter.
|Maurice Hick celebrates his first quarter touchdown|
Berlin tried to get into the game as the first half clock wound down, quarterback Rivers firing a deep pass to wide out Chas Gessner to put Thunder in scoring range, before crashing into the endzone himself on a four-yard quarterback draw.
Heinz Quast attempted to convert the PAT but it was blocked by cornerback Kahlil Carter and the half ended with the Scots 13-6 in front.
Berlin re-adjusted at the break mounting an effective attack to start the third quarter with Rivers finding wide receiver LaShaun Ward on a nine-yard touchdown strike to cap an eight-play scoring drive. Quast made no mistake with the extra point and the game was tied at 13-13 with 10:29 left in the third quarter.
Arth got the Claymores moving again but the drive stalled when Ron Bellamy couldn't hold on to a third down pass at the Thunder one. Hart put the Claymores back in front hitting a 35-yard field goal to make it 16-13.
|Rob Hart kicks one of his four field goal|
It went from bad to worse for Arth when he was picked off by Thunder cornerback James Thornton who returned it to the Scots 30. Rivers then connected with tight end Mike Pinkard on a 12-yard touchdown strike. Quast converted the extra point again and Berlin were in control at 27-16 with 7:26 left in the game.
The Claymores got back into it when Rob Hart hit a 43-yard field goal with five minutes remaining to pull the scores back to 27-19.
With less than two minutes remaining, the Claymores needed two scores as Arth tried to move the offense again. But a deep pass intended for Herb Haygood was broken up giving possession and the game to Thunder.
|Ian Smart finds a gap and runs for a touchdown|
The game also marked the last for veteran wide receiver Scott Couper who retired from professional football after the game.
The teams traded possessions with no one making a breakthrough in the first quarter..
Nate Hybl came on to guide the Claymores offense at the start of the second quarter but it was Cologne who were to take the scoreboard first after the Claymores punted.
Back up quarterback Rob Adamson, who has family in Scotland, connected on a 38-yard pass to wide receiver Todd Devoe, who had tormented the Claymores the first time the teams met. Kicker Derek Schorejs conveted the PAT and Cologne took a 7-0 lead with 11:32 left in the second.
The Claymores hit back right away when Ian Smart broke free to dash 41 yards into the endzone on the Claymores next drive. Rob Hart kicked the extra point and the teams were tied 7-7 with 10:08 to play in the second.
Cologne were let off the hook when it appeared Claymores corner Alphonso Roundtree had picked off Adamson at the Scots two on their next possession, but the officials rules Roundtree had impeded the receiver nullifying the pick.
Cologne got on the scoreboard again two plays later when Scorejs hit a massive 50-yard field goal for four points to give the Centurions an 11-7 lead with 5:04 remaining in the half.
The Claymores couldn't respond on their next drive. The Centurions bought on Japanese quarterback Kentaro Namiki, who completed his first pass but was duely sacked by Ivory McCoy.
|Maurice Hicks lunges for a touchdown|
Cologne got the ball to start the second half, but were forced to punt on the possession. Disaster struck for the Centurions when returner Albert Johnson muffed his catch allowing Herb Haygood to recover for the Scots at the German 17.
Tom Arth, in at quarterback for the Claymores, wasted no time in getting the Scots back on the scoreboard with a three yard touchdown pass to tight end Marcus Helfman - to take the Claymores over the historic 2,000 points mark. Hart hit the PAT and the scores were tied at 14-14 five minutes into the third quarter.
The Claymores kept up the pressure on Cologne's next possession with Cedric Scott partially blocking a Steve Cheek punt allowing the Claymores to take over at midfield. But the offense couldn't move it although Nick Murphy kept up the pressure punting to the Cologne three yard line.
Three plays later, Cologne were forced to punt but Steve Cheek's misery continued when his attempt was blocked and recovered by Claymores linebacker Howard Clark at the Centurions five yard line. Two plays later running back Maurice Hicks dived over the goal-line for his fourth touchdown of the season. However, Hart's PAT attempt was blocked and the Scots had to settle for a 20-14 lead to end the third quarter.
|Marcus Helfman [right] is congratulated by Ronald Bellamy|
Cologne went back to their ground game with Cobourne pounding out the yards on a 22 yard scamper to the Scots 20 before carrying again inside the Scots 10. Van Dyke delivered the deadly blow sneaking into the endzone himself from one yard. Kimrin kicked the PAT and Cologne took an eight point lead 28-20 with 1:46 left.
Arth took over, trying to get the Scots back in the game, competing passes to Bellamy. But the Colts allocate was picked off trying to find Scott McCready two plays later, ending the Claymores hopes of a comeback and dumping them to the bottom of the league.