QUARTERBACK Jonathan Quinn threw four touchdown passes as the Berlin Thunder beat Frankfurt Galaxy to step up their bid for a World Bowl berth.
But while Quinn was tying a team record for scoring passes to give Berlin a 3-2 record, Galaxy quarterback Michael Bishop suffered a hamstring injury as his team slipped to a 1-4 mark.
Quinn, allocated by the Jacksonville Jaguars, was on fire from the moment he tossed a touchdown pass on his first play of the game.
Frankfurt opened with a repeat of the special teams nightmare that has haunted them all season. This time Josh Tucker was given the long snapping duties but his first effort, at the end of the Galaxy's first series, sailed over the head of punter Andrew Bayes and Berlin found themselves taking over possession at the Frankfurt 17-yard line.
Quinn needed only one play to put the Thunder in the endzone, hitting Chicago Bears-allocated receiver Ahmad Merritt for the score.
And it was not long before the Thunder scored again. After the Galaxy managed to get off a punt at the end of their next drive, Quinn took Berlin to the Galaxy 30-yard line, where he hit German receiver Joerg Heckenbach with a short pass in the flat. The former Galaxy player raced down the sideline for his second professional touchdown - the first having come in the Thunder's Week 2 victory in Frankfurt.
Things could have got worse for Frankfurt when Bishop was intercepted and then fumbled on consecutive series, but Berlin was unable to capitalise. In fact it was Frankfurt who scored next as Bishop connected with the leaping Rod Monroe to set up a short touchdown pass to tight end Pete Muther.
A pass interference call on defensive back Dee Moronkola put Frankfurt in scoring position again and a 4-yard run by Rashon Spikes, followed by Stephan Bauer's kick, gave the Galaxy a 14-13 lead with 5:20 left in the second quarter.
Ahmad Merritt celebrates success against the Galaxy Picture: Photo-stock.co.uk
But there was still time before the half for Rodnick Phillips, Berlin's Seattle Seahawks-allocated running back, to convert Quinn's pass into an 18-yard touchdown and for Bauer to miss a 32-yard field goal after Frankfurt drove from their 30-yard line.
The Thunder repeated their fast start of the first half as Cleveland Browns running back Madre Hill broke into the open for a 60-yard touchdown run and a 27-14 lead on their first play of the third quarter.
Former World Bowl MVP Andy McCullough and Frenchman Marc Soumah made important catches as Frankfurt attempted to strike back, but the Galaxy had to settle for a 31-yard field goal by Ola Kimrin.
The Galaxy got the ball back immediately as Phillips fumbled the kickoff, but they suffered a blow on their next play as Bishop, allocated by the New England Patriots, pulled up with an apparent hamstring injury. Kevin Thompson, from the Cleveland Browns, entered the game and Frankfurt's scoring chance went begging as he was picked off in the endzone by Payton Williams, who outjumped receiver Ricky Hall.
Hill, enjoying his best game of the year, had the Thunder on the move again with a run for a first down and a 19-yard gain on a screen pass. But it was the speed of punter Brian Moorman on a fake punt that kept the drive alive with a 35-yard gain and set up Quinn's fourth touchdown pass of the night to Merritt.
Thompson was picked off for the second time as Frankfurt tried to rally and the Galaxy's night got worse when sack leader Paul Spicer left the game injured.
The Galaxy found some offensive rhythm late in the game and after Thompson and Damon Savage failed to connect on fourth and goal, the Galaxy marched back into scoring possession. Thompson hit Savage for a 10-yard consolation touchdown and found Denvis Manns for the two-point conversion.