Badalona Dracs and Barbera Rookies Victorious in Spain

It looks like the Badalona Dracs are definitely the team to beat in Spain in 2016. The Dracs asserted their dominance this past weekend in defeating the defending champion Valencia Firebats while the Barbera Rookies proved their resilience in a come-from-behind win over the Reus Imperials.

Badalona Dracs (3-0) 38 – Valencia Firebats (2-1) 13


Quarterback Mike Box threw three touchdown passes and the Badalona Dracs defense was merciless as the Dracs jumped out to a 32-0 third quarter  lead and cruised to a 38-13 win over the Firebats.

Behind an offensive line who gave Box plenty of time, the Dracs signal caller picked apart Valencia’s secondary. Running back Drew Clausen was unstoppable, finding gaping holes to run through. Badalona held a 6-0 lead entering the second quarter but erupted for three more touchdowns before the half with Joan Carles Bartra catching two touchdown passes.

Valencia, who had not lost a game at home in almost two years, finally got on the scoreboard late in the contest as Alejandro Silvestre scored two touchdowns on passes from Thomas Murphy as the Dracs eased off the throttle. The only reason for alarm for the Dracs was the sight of Box leaving the game late with an injury.

With this victory, Badalona has scored 153 points in three games and allowed only 31.

Barbera Rookies (1-1) 29 – Reus Imperials (0-2) 26

Spain - Rookies-Imperials 2016-2

The Barbera Rookies fell behind 20-0 against a surprising Reus Imperials squad and clawed their way back in the second half to take a hard-earned 29-26 home victory in Barberà del Vallès.

Head coach Teo Polanco’s troops proved that they can overcome adversity as Reus stunned them in the first half behind quarterback Allan Bridgford’s two touchdown passes to Vailele Peko and Kyle Bowpitt.

The Rookies bounced back in the second quarter as quarterback Michael Van Deripe threw scoring strikes to Victor Raul Vega and Cozar to close the gap to 20-14. The Rookies continued their comeback as Van Deripe tied the game with a touchdown run of his own and scored the two-point conversion to give Barbera a 22-20 lead in the third quarter.

Rookies running back Camil Canet put on his own show in the third quarter, finally capping a brilliant performance with a 35-yard touchdown run to extend Barbera’s lead to 29-20.The shell-shocked Imperials finally responded with Bridgford scoring a late touchdown to close the gap to 29-26. That was a close as Reus came and the Rookies had earned their first ever win in the Spanish top league.

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.