The Munich Cowboys executed the two minute drill to perfection in the final two minutes of the game against the Marburg Mercenaries Saturday to beat the Mercenaries 36-35 in front of a wildly cheering home crowd at Dantestadion in Munich.
Finding themselves trailing for the second time in the game with just over two minutes left, Munich marched down the field, using perfect clock management, and scored with 20 seconds left to retake the lead and earn the win.
Munich quarterback Ben Wilkerson completed 28 of 40 passes for 321 yards and a touchdown to lead the Cowboys. Running back Fabien Gärtner gained 107 yards and scored two touchdowns for Munich while Max Kusch caught 14 passes for 171 yards and another touchdown. Jakob Wenzel also scored.
Marburg quarterback Chris Jeffries was outstanding in a losing cause throwing for 407 yards and three touchdowns. Robert Johnson led all receivers with 11 catches for 210 yards and a touchdown. Charles Joseph had 65 yards receiving and a touchdown as well. Andreus Lindley rushed for 44 yards and a touchdown.
It was not a game for the faint of heart as the Cowboys watched a two touchdown first quarter lead vanish in the third quarter with Marburg finally surging ahead with two minutes left before the Cowboys rallied for the win.
Munich opened the game with a trick play, a double reverse which gained 33 yards.
Cowboys head coach Garren Holley:
“We wanted to do something spectacular. We wanted to utilize our new players skill sets and show some explosive plays.”
Munich went on the score on the opening drive with Wilkerson taking the ball in. Gärtner added another early in the second quarter giving the Cowboys a 14-0 lead. Marburg responded late in the quarter with Jeffries finding Joseph to narrow the lead to 14-7.
The Mercenaries added a field goal just before halftime for a 14-10 lead at the break.
The teams traded touchdowns in the third quarter setting the stage for a spectacular, 37 point fourth quarter. First the Mercenaries tied the game at 21-21 with a Jeffries to Johnson 32 yard touchdown pass. Then Jeffries threw to Findley for another 32 yard touchdown strike and Marburg took the lead for the first time with just under nine minutes remaining.
Wilkerson then marched the Cowboys on an eight play, 68 yard drive, throwing a 36 yard touchdown pass to Kusch to tie it at 28-28.
Marburg regained the lead when Lindley carried the ball in from 11 yards out with 2:21 on the clock, giving the Mercenaries a 35-28 lead.
That is when Wilkerson and the Cowboys went to work. He engineered a 13 play, 72 yard drive, mixing up passes and his own rushes before finally handing the ball off to Gärtner who scored from four yards out with 20 seconds remaining. Then Wilkerson scored on the two-point conversion for the win.
This game was definitely important to Munich. Holley again:
“This win was very important to us in terms of the standings but also for our confidence in finishing out season strong. “