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
"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
"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.