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NFL Europe Recap (Berlin-Rhein)
Posted: Sat June 19, 1999 at 6:53 p.m. EDTRHEIN 38, BERLIN 10
DUSSELDORF, Germany (Ticker) -- Kenny Bynum ran for 135 yards and a pair of touchdowns as the defending champion Rhein Fire kept alive their World Bowl aspirations with a 38-10 blowout of the Berlin Thunder. The Fire won their final three games to finish their season 6-4. They hold out hopes of taking the other spot in the World Bowl -- here in Rheinstadion on June 27 -- beside the Frankfurt Galaxy. Rhein needs Frankfurt to beat the Barcelona Dragons on Sunday. After missing a field goal on their opening drive and seeing Berlin go ahead 3-0 on a 19-yard field goal by Axel Kruse, the Fire produced a series of big plays on defense and special teams and blew apart the Thunder with a five-touchdown burst. Late in the first quarter, facing fourth down in their own territory, the Fire lined up to punt but snapped the ball short to linebacker Jamie Baisley, who charged 59 yards down the middle of the field for a touchdown. Just over a minute later, the Fire were ahead 14-3 after cornerback Cedric Donaldson intercepted Chris Dittoe to set up a 2-yard touchdown run by Bynum, an allocation from the San Diego Chargers. Berlin was forced to punt on its next drive. Fire receiver Larry Ryans fielded Charlie Pierce's kick at the 3-yard line and exploded up the left sideline for a league-record 97-yard TD return. Dittoe tried to bring the Thunder back into the game with a long pass to Tyrone Taylor, but as the ball dropped short of its target, Donaldson grabbed his second interception of the game. It set up a drive that ended with Bynum racing 14 yards for the score and a 28-3 lead. Jim Arellanes linked up with Dallas Cowboys receiver Jason Tucker for a first down on the Fire's next series and scrambled out to the right sideline before finding Kez McCorvey in the end zone for a 28-yard touchdown. Berlin got to 35-10 at halftime when linebacker Phillip Ward pounced on Bynum's fumble and Green Bay Packers quarterback Ronnie McAda launched a 37-yard scoring pass to San Diego Charger Anthony Rodgers. After McAda fumbled on a third-quarter sack by Ben Hanks, a 47-yard field goal from Jeff Sauve increased Rhein's lead to 38-10. From then on, the Fire were content to play solid defense and run out the clock on offense, leaving their World Bowl fate in the hands of their archrivals from Frankfurt. Rhein beat the Galaxy, 34-10, to win the title last year while Barcelona beat the Fire, 38-24, in World Bowl `97.
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