Amsterdam beats Berlin to win NFL Europe
DUESSELDORF, Germany -- Kurt Kittner led Amsterdam to its first World Bowl title Saturday, throwing two touchdown passes and setting up a third score with a 54-yard pass in the Admirals' 27-21 victory over the Berlin Thunder.
Kittner, allocated to the Admirals from the Chicago Bears, went 15-of-28 for 239 yards in NFL Europe's 13th championship game. The Admirals lost their only other final appearance in 1995 to the Frankfurt Galaxy.
"It's great to win a championship -- that doesn't come by very often," Kittner said. "I'm happy for all of us."
Dave Ragone threw three touchdown passes for the 2004 champion Thunder, down 24-7 before rallying to nearly win their fourth title in five years.
"We got ourselves into a hole," Berlin coach Rick Lantz said. "But we got ourselves a chance to win. It's a shame we couldn't get this done."
Berlin got the ball back on its own 6 with 1:45 to play, and Ragone -- the league's offensive MVP -- drove the Thunder to the Admirals 22 with 30 seconds left.
The Thunder came close to pulling out the win when Ragone threw to Terrence Stubs, but the ball slipped through the diving receiver's hands.
"For the last 3 minutes I just kept telling myself over and over again, somebody please come up with a big play," Admirals coach Bart Andrus said.
Ragone was 30-of-48 for 328 yards.
The Thunder finally got on the scoreboard with 33 seconds left in the first half.
But the Admirals regained the momentum early in the third quarter on that 54-yard toss from Kittner to John Booth, and Jonathan Smith broke through the left side for a 22-yard score on the next play to give the Admirals a 24-7 lead.
Kittner, who didn't replace injured starter Gibran Hamdan until the fourth game of the season, threw first-half touchdown passes of 12 yards to Michael Gomez and 22 to Ruvell Martin to help the Admirals take a 17-0 lead.
Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press
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