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Quinn leads Berlin to first World Bowl


Jonathan Quinn threw four touchdown passes as the Thunder qualified for their first World Bowl by becoming the only road team to win in the Amsterdam ArenA this season.

Berlin will now face the Barcelona Dragons in World Bowl IX to be played in the Amsterdam ArenA on Saturday, June 30.

Quinn threw scoring strikes of 82, 18, 47 and 42 yards as the Thunder improved to 6-4, qualifying for the World Bowl without the need for tiebreakers. In the Thunder's last two games of the regular season, Quinn threw 9 touchdown passes.

The Jacksonville Jaguars allocated passer threw for more than 300 yards, marking the second time he has achieved that milestone this season. Quinn is the only quarterback to throw for more than 300 yards in a game this year.

Quinn also tied the league record for the most consecutive games with a touchdown pass with 10. The only other quarterbacks to throw TD passes in 10 straight games were David Archer (Sacramento 1992) and Danny Wuerffel (Rhein 2000). Both those quarterbacks went on to win World Bowls.

Heading into the game needing a win or to gain at least 161 offensive yards and avoid defeat by 26 points in order to qualify for World Bowl IX, the Thunder eased their nerves on their opening possession of the game.

After being sacked for a 9-yard loss on first down, Quinn dumped a screen pass to the speedy Madre Hill and the running back raced away from defenders for an impressive 82-yard touchdown reception.

Hill's reception was the longest in the NFL Europe League this season and gave the Thunder more than half of the offensive yards they needed in a single play. Axel Kruse added the extra point and the Thunder held an early 7-0 lead.

The scoring play was set up by Thunder defensive back Billy Gustin, who intercepted Spergon Wynn at Berlin's 7-yard line to halt Amsterdam's opening drive of the game.

Berlin's defense played a key part in the Thunder's second score of the game. With the Admirals driving, Wynn was pressured into fumbling the football.

Defensive end Jesse Warren recovered at his own 45-yard line and returned the ball to Amsterdam's 34-yard line. While Berlin couldn't find the end zone, Scott Bentley kicked a 39-yard field to give the visitors a 10-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.

After the Admirals went three and out, the Thunder embarked on its third scoring drive of the game. Rodnick Phillips rushed for 23 yard on 4 carries and Quinn completed passes of 11 yards to tight end Carlos Nuno and 6 yards to wide receiver Ahmad Merritt.

The impressive looking drive was capped when Quinn drilled a picture-perfect pass to Nuno, who had split the middle of the Admirals defense to reel in the 18-yard touchdown reception. Kruse added the conversion and Berlin led 17-0.

Amsterdam's defense came up big on Berlin's next possession as safety Brock McGrew intercepted Quinn and returned the ball to the Thunder 30-yard line.

After Clarence Williams carried 3 times for 22 yards and the Admirals were called for offensive pass interference, Wynn fired a 17-yard touchdown pass to a leaping Drew O'Connor in the end zone.

Silvio Diliberto added the extra point to reduce the arrears to 17-7 with just over five minutes remaining in the first half.

Berlin made a poor start to the third quarter when Hill fumbled the opening kickoff of the second half and linebacker Al Rice recovered for the Admirals at the Thunder 37-yard line.

Spencer George carried 3 times for 18 yards and Wynn completed a 16-yard pass to wide receiver Gerald Harris to move Amsterdam into scoring range.

George capped the drive when he powered into the end zone from 1 yard out. Diliberto's conversion pulled the Admirals to within three points early in the second half.

After the Thunder went three and out, the Admirals marched downfield and took the lead on a 1-yard touchdown run by Clarence Williams. Diliberto's PAT gave Amsterdam a 21-17 lead.

Key plays on the drive were Wynn passes of 10 yards to WR Nobutaka Horie, 12 yards to Chris Coleman and a 27-yard pass interference penalty against Berlin LB Joe O'Neill in the end zone.

Berlin took just four plays to regain the lead with Quinn lofting a 47-yard scoring strike to Dwaune Jones down the right sideline. Kruse added the extra point.

Amsterdam's ensuing possession began with Wynn being picked off for a second time by Gustin, who returned the ball to the Admirals 30-yard line. Berlin could do little with the possession but did add to their lead when Bentley landed a 43-yard field goal, giving the Thunder a 27-21 advantage.

Berlin put the game beyond Amsterdam's reach when Quinn burned a blitzing Admirals defense by connecting with Ahmad Merritt on a 42-yard touchdown pass. Kruse's extra point gave the Thunder a 34-21 lead.

The Admirals scored a consolation touchdown late in the fourth quarter when Williams found the end zone on a 2-yard run. Amsterdam attempted an onside kick but Corey Bridges recovered for the Thunder.

Berlin ran out the clock to advance to World Bowl IX.

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