Cowboys Sting Scorpions
If there was a way to describe how far the Munich Cowboys have come in one year, Saturday’s blowout win against the Stuttgart Scorpions could not be any more of a clearer answer. A year removed from a relegation playoff game, the Cowboys are GFL playoffs-bound after ending their regular season in style. Blake Barnes threw two touchdowns in the first quarter, and Fabien Gärtner ran all over (and through) the Stuttgart defense for 4 rushing scores as the Cowboys (9-4-1) squished the Scorpions 57-0.
Right from the start, Barnes hit his favorite target Garret Andrews for a touchdown. Andrews went into motion before the snap, and simply beat the Stuttgart defensive backs down the field. A trick play from the extra-point kick formation was successful for a two-point conversion, and gave Munich an early 8-0 lead.
Munich stumbled on their next possession as Gärtner fumbled the ball away but the Scorpions could not bite back. Barnes would connect with Max Kusch for a 10-yard score and a 15-0 lead. The Cowboys opened the floodgates, and never stopped scoring after that. And they continued to overcome minor mistakes that cost them games last year.
A bad bounce on Stuttgart’s next possession went out on the one-yard-line after hitting the end zone pylon. Barnes has been cool throughout his time since taking over from Pat Carey, and has not let interceptions or tough situations deter him or his offense. A 46-yard pass from out of the end zone got the Cowboys out of trouble and he followed it up with a 34-yarder. Gärtner made up for his turnover with a one-yard plunge, before the running back scored one more time from the 7-yard-line to give the Cowboys a 29-0 halftime lead.
With the game in hand, Munich kept the ball on the ground and the Scorpions were happy to let them run through them unimpeded. Bill Doody has been a rock in the defensive secondary and special teams, but has no TD returns. But he started the second half on offense, and took it to the house on a 23-yard jaunt. Gärtner converted the two-point try and the lead was now a dominant 43-0.
The game was iced in the final quarter. Player of the game Barnes tossed one more TD pass, this time to Ben Linska, to hit the half-century mark. Doody went back into defense, intercepted a pass and returned it close to the goal line, where Gärtner finished off the scoring.
The Cowboys now have two weeks to prepare for their road playoff game, on either September 21 or 22, against the Dresden Monarchs of the GFL North division. Munich missed out on a chance to host a playoff game after their defeat last week. But a postseason date with an eye on the championship is a better position than facing relegation.