ELF: Barcelona Dragons stay undefeated in a shootout against Cologne Centurions

In front of a wild crowd in Reus, Spain, the Barcelona Dragons bested the Cologne Centurions in a nail-biting 34-32 shootout. The huge win gives the Dragons a 3-0 record to start the year, as they hand their conference foes, the Centurions, their first loss of the young European League of Football season.

The Barcelona Dragons got creative for the first score of the game as quarterback Zach Edwards handed the ball off to receiver Kyle Sweet on a reverse. The former Washington State (NCAA D1) pass catcher then threw it back to his quarterback for a 30-yard touchdown. 

The Centurions answered with an impressive drive capped by a laser touchdown pass from German quarterback Jan Weinreich to his go-to guy, Quinton Pounds. With those two scores we were off, as big play after big play set the tone for the high scoring affair.

Edwards made play after play often hooking up with Kyle Sweet or moving the chains with his feet. Weinreich answered, finding Quinton Pounds for his second touchdown of the first half. The Dragons added two field goals before the break, partially thanks to a spectacular throw from Edwards with just 20 seconds remaining.

A resilient Cologne offense answered with a long touchdown drive in the third quarter tying the game at 20. A few plays later Edwards unleashed a bomb finding Kyle Sweet for a 75-yard score. Yet, on the very next play from scrimmage, Weinreich and his favorite receiver Quinton Pounds hooked up for a 80-yard touchdown of their own tying the game at 27.

Late in the third quarter quarterback, Edwards found Benjamin Plu on an great TD grab from former BC Lions receiver Benjamin Plu, making the game 34-26. The Edwards show continued as he found receiver Kyle Sweet time and time again, setting up former Atlanta Falcons kicker Giorgio Tavecchio for a 30-yard field goal. However, the Italian left the door open for Cologne as he missed the chip shot wide left.

Despite a sack from former St.Louis Rams defender Michael Sam, Weinreich and running back Dean Tanwani led a methodical drive down the field. Weinreich lunged over his offensive line to score a quarterback sneak touchdown. Now, down 32-24 the Centurions went for two but were stopped by former SEC defensive player of the year Michael Sam and a group of Dragons defenders. 

Cologne’s defense and a handful of offensive penalties helped the Centurions get the ball back late in the fourth quarter still down only two points. The Dragons dropped a potentially game winning interception, leading to a fourth and seven for the Centurions. With only 3:12 remaining Weinreich looked for Pounds again only to have the ball skip off the grass. Yet, a defensive hands-to-the-face penalty kept the Centurions’ hopes alive.

Weinreich used his second chance and continued to drive down the field reaching the Dragons 35-yard line. Then on a vital fourth and one with only 45 seconds remaining the Dragons defense came up big. Barcelona defensive end Alejandro Fernandez knocked the ball down on a short-yardage pass attempt giving the Dragons crucial home victory.

Just like that the Barcelona Dragons and head coach Andrew Weidinger moved to 3-0 defeating a previously undefeated Cologne team in a thrilling offensive shootout.

The clear standout from the game was Dragons signal caller Zach Edwards. Behind a much-improved offensive line, Edwards continued to dazzle, buying himself time, throwing across the field, and picking up first downs with his legs.

Barcelona’s star passer threw for 364 yards and added an element of excitement extending plays and gashing the defense with his running ability, not to mention his 30-yard touchdown reception. Through three weeks, Edwards looks like an MVP candidate for a possible title contender in Barcelona. A thought few had just one year ago.

For Cologne, quarterback Jan Weinreich spread the ball around well throwing for 433 yards and four touchdowns. Centurions’ receiver Quinton Pounds (Washington NCAA D1) moved his total touchdowns to a staggering 13 through three games with a four-score performance on the day.

Next week, Cologne will host the Berlin Thunder (1-1), while the Dragons aim to stay undefeated against a winless Istanbul Rams (0-2) team.

Watch the highlights here

Alex is a former professional American football player who is now studying in London. His goal writing for AFI is to stay involved with the game that has given him so much. Alex enjoys covering leagues and players and sharing different football