Reus Imperials pull off huge upset in Spain; knock off undefeated Badalona Dracs

The Reus Imperials recorded arguably the biggest upset in Europe so far this season knocking off the previously unbeaten Badalona Dracs in Reus by a resounding 48-32 score thereby sending a message that the Spanish title is still up for grabs.

Behind a three touchdown performance from receiver Nate Stephens and two touchdowns from running back Chris Smallwood the Imperials made a statement. They fell behind early but stormed back in the second half to dominate the overwhelming favorites.

Receivers Nazih Esalhi and Henri Laine added one touchdown each for Reus. Quarterback Brady Huber threw five touchdown passes in an outstanding performance.

To put the magnitude of this upset into perspective, the Dracs had entered the game on a 19 game winning streak in the Spanish league stretching to the start of 2016. They had given up a mere 8.3 points per game in 2017. In the previous four games between these two, Badalona had outscored the Imperials 232-33. The Dracs had pummeled Reus 54-6 two months ago.

The term “Upset”  does not do this game justice.

Nevertheless, Badalona took an early 6-0 lead on a touchdown by Joey Herrick. Reus responded as Stephens caught his first touchdown pass of the night from Huber and Laine added the extra point for a 7-6 Imperials lead.

Badalona then scored three straight touchdowns to take a 26-7 lead and threatened to turn the game into another lopsided win but then seemed to relax. 

Reus made them pay for that complacency. Laine and Nazih both scored touchdowns to close the gap to 26-20 at halftime. 

The momentum had clearly swung as Smallwood scored his first of the game early in the third and then Stepehens hauled in a 25 yard pass from Huber to give the Imperials a lead they would not relinquish.

Smallwood then ran in the Imperials’ sixth touchdown and Reus enjoyed a 41-26 lead in the fourth quarter.

Hunter Lee found the end zone for the Dracs to edge closer again 41-32 but it was not enough as Stephens scored his third touchdown of the game to wind up the scoring.

With the win, Reus improved to 7-1 on the year, the same record as Badalona. However, the Dracs retain first place by virtue of the points differential.

Source: Marco Vegas

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