Admirals 17, Dragons 13
AMSTERDAM, Netherlands (AP) _ Ralph Dwarkins ran 38 yards for a touchdown and Jamie Martin hit Craig McEwen with a 22-yard touchdown pass as the Amsterdam Admirals held off the Barcelona Dragons 17-13 in their first game ever Saturday.
But bungee-jumping, live rock music and fireworks displays couldn’t quite bring the thrill of the NFL to 7,168 spectators scattered around the 40,000-seat Olympicshe Stadion as chill winds and rain swept the field for the Admirals’ inaugural into the World League of American Football.
Admirals coach Al Luginbill was undaunted. ``The atmosphere was phenomenal,″ he said, describing the attendance as ``a start.″
Before the kickoff, the game ball arrived by helicopter, carried by an actor dressed as an astronaut who planted the World League flag on the 50-yard line.
``If you’re even going to think about being a champion, you better beat the best franchise from the previous league, and that’s Barcelona,″ Luginbill said.
Amsterdam took a 17-3 halftime lead, keeping Barcelona in its half of the field for almost the entire first quarter.
Dwarkins, assigned from the New Orleans Saints, opened the scoring with his TD run. Then Martin hit McEwen, a former Washington Redskin, making it 14-0 in the second quarter and Terry Belden’s 22-yard field goal made it 17-0.
Scott Szeredy’s field goal made it 17-3 at intermission.
Dragons wide receiver Tyree Davis caught a 7-yard pass from Jay Walker, on loan from New England, in the third quarter, making it 17-10. Szeredy’s field goal in the fourth quarter closed out the scoring.
``I was surprised that we just went dead offensively after the first half,″ Luginbill said. ``When I walked off at halftime, I knew we were in for a dogfight.″