Kittner Named World Bowl MVP

Kurt Kittner couldn't have scripted a better finish to his season in NFL Europe. The quarterback led the Amsterdam Admirals to a 27-21 victory over the Berlin Thunder to win World Bowl XIII.

Kittner completed 15-of-28 passes for 239 yards and two touchdowns. For his performance, he was named the game's Most Valuable Player.

The Admirals jumped out to an early lead thanks to Kittner, who threw both his touchdown passes in the first half. He connected with WR Ruvell Martin for a 22-yard score minutes into the game.

The quick score relaxed the Amsterdam players, as they tried to defeat the defending champions.

"We came out real fast, and got things going right from the start," Kittner said. "It felt good to go down and score first and that gave us some real confidence."

After a turnover gave Amsterdam the ball deep in Berlin territory, Kittner followed up with a 12-yard touchdown pass to TE Mike Gomez for a commanding 14-0 lead.

Despite allowing a scoring drive on the final possession of the half to cut the deficit to 17-7, the story of the opening 30 minutes was the Amsterdam defense. The unit didn't allow a first down until six minutes to go in the second quarter. After posting just 19 sacks in ten games, Amsterdam took down Dave Ragone 7 times.

Derrick Ballard took his familiar role as the starting weak-side linebacker for the Admirals. He had two special teams tackles and nearly came up with an interception that would have allowed him to go back for a touchdown.

Everything seemed to be going Admirals' way, as a handful of Kittner's completions were deflected by the Berlin defense before finding their way into the hands of the intended target.

John Booth became the quarterback's favorite target, hauling in four passes for 103 yards, including an amazing over the shoulder catch for a 54-yard gain. The long completion came on Amsterdam's first possession of the third quarter and setup an 18-yard touchdown run by Jonathan Smith that extended their lead to 24-7.

Berlin staged a fierce comeback thanks Ragone being able to overcome a running game that produced just 57 yards. He passed for 328 yards and three touchdowns, while completing 30-of-48 passes. The effort helped to outscore the Admirals 14-3 in the final quarter, but it came down to the game's final play. Safety Norman Lejeune deflected a Ragone pass intended for Robert Reed in the end zone to secure Amsterdam's first World Bowl Title.

While Kittner is still a long shot to make the Bears' roster, he will surely get a training camp invite that could lead to an opportunity elsewhere.

"I just need to go out and get a chance to compete and play well," Kittner said.

With five preseason games, Kittner may get his wish with the Bears.


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