American Football International

Badalona Dracs stage 2nd half comeback to capture 9th Spanish title

The Badalona Dracs, Europe #14, ran into resistance for the first time in Spain this year and had to overcome a 19 point deficit before defeating the Murcia Cobras 33-26 to capture their third consecutive Spanish title and ninth in their history.

Dracs wide receiver Lorenzo Melchiorre scored three touchdowns and was named Spanish Bowl MVP. Dracs quarterback Sergi Gonzalo threw three touchdown passes while Brandon Ravenel caught one touchdown pass and returned a punt for a touchdown.

For the Cobras, Cory Holmes caught two touchdown passes from Jordan Perry while  Andrés Jesús Cánovas added a rushing touchdown. Francisco Javier Martínez kicked a field goal and three PATs while the defense forced a two-point safety.

Appearing in the Spanish Bowl for the first time in their history, the Murcia Cobras showed no signs of nervousness, taking the lead early on Martínez’s field goal following  an Álex González nterception. Badalona responded as Gonzalo connected with Melchiorre to give the Dracs a 7-3 lead.

Badalona QB Sergi Gonzalo Photo: Lola Morales

Murcia then took control of the game against one of the top teams in Europe. First, Perry found Holmes to retake the lead for Murcia, 10-7. Then, the defense trapped Gonzalo in his own end zone for a safety to increase the lead to 12-7. With Badalona unable to move the ball, Cánovas scored a rushing touchdown just before the interval to extend the lead to 19-7.

The Cobras came out in the third quarter with authority, stopping Badalona’s offense again and then scoring on their first offensive possession as Perry again connected with Holmes.

With the score 26-7 in the third quarter, Gonzalo and the Badalona offense began to restore “order”.

Badalona WR Lorenzo Melchiorre scored 3 TDs and was named Spanish Bowl MVP Photo: FEFA

Connecting first with Melchiorre  on a 30 yard touchdown pass and then hitting Ravenel in the middle who raced 65 yards for a touchdown, Gonzalo reduced the lead to 26-20 as the third quarter ended.

The Cobras offense seemed to stall and early in the fourth quarter, Ravenel  returned a missed field goal 95 yards to tie the score 26-26.

With the Dracs defense stepping up, Gonzalo marched Badalona on a 75 yard drive and Melchiorre finished it with a three yard run with a minute to go.

A last gasp drive by the Cobras ended with an incomplete pass and Badalona began celebrating.