Spain’s Second Week Featured A Thriller

The Spanish league season finished its second week with the newest team in the league, the Barbera Rookies, giving the defending champion Valencia Firebats all they could handle while perennial finalist the Badalona Dracs seem to be in late season form already overpowering the Valencia Giants.

Valenica Firebats 32 – Barbera Rookies 26

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The Barbera Rookies and Valencia Firebats staged a thriller as the Rookies surprised the defending champion Firebats, almost pulling out the upset. It took a last second touchdown by Valencia to earn the win.

Barbera struck early stunning the Firebats with two quick touchdowns from quarterback Mike Van Deripe to receiver Tim Pape to take a 12-0 lead. But the experience of the Firebats started to pay off.

Gradually Valencia found its way back into the game in  the second quarter. Quarterback Thomas Murphy found Diego Borreguero for a touchdown pass and then Ryan Seaberg blocked a punt for a touchdown to give the Firebats a 13-12 lead.

The Rookies responded though, as Van Deripe found Pape again and then scored one himself from five yards out to give Barbera a 26-13 halftime lead.

However, Murphy and the Firebats mounted a second half comeback . On the first drive of the third quarter, Murphy connected with Javi Martinez to close the gap to 26-20. With the defense playing lights out football, holding the Rookies in check, Murphy called his own number from five yards out to tie the game at 26-26.

Finally, late in the game after a Barbera drive ended deep in Firebats territory after a missed field goal, Murphy guided Valencia down the field. He finished with a touchdown pass to Hector Pertegaz on the final play of the game for the win.

Badalona Dracs 53 – Valencia Giants 0

Spain - Dracs - Firebats week 2 2016

The Badalona Dracs took control of this game right away. Quarterback Mike Box threw four touchdown passes and ran one in himself in annihilating the Giants.

Badalona scored on its first drive as Box hit Raul Cernuda. Then defensive back Ian Escoda picked off an errant Giants pass and ran it in from 12 yards out to give the Dracs an early 14-0 first quarter lead.

After blocking a punt on the next Valencia series, Drac running back Rob Jackson scampered 43 yards for the next Badalona touchdown extending the Dracs lead to 20-0 in the first quarter.

The second quarter saw more of the same as Badalona’s defense stymied the Giants offense time and again. Drew Clausen added two more touchdowns to give the Dracs a 34-0 lead at the break.

In the second half Badalona continued the onslaught as Box threw another touchdown pass, this time to Joan Carles Bartra. Javi Fernández carried one in and then Sergi Gonzalo, who replaced Box at quarterback late in the contest, threw the final touchdown pass to, fittingly, Raul Cernuda,who had opened the scoring.

The Dracs have now scored 115 points in two games and definitely look like title contenders.

Roger Kelly
Roger Kelly is an editor and a writer for AFI. A former PR Director the B.C. Lions of the Canadian Football League for 7 years, he now lives in Sweden writing about and scouting American Football throughout the world.
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