Four teams set to battle it out in Spain for a spot in the Championship final

This weekend, the Spanish league will showcase two penultimate games in what is set to be a fiery race to the championship final the following weekend.

Saturday, May 1: Semi-final – Mallorca Voltors @ LG OLED Las Rozas Black Demons

Game one on the schedule will be a carousel Mallorca Volters team up against a fresh LG OLED Black Demons squad who sat most of their key starters in the final regular game of the season.

The Volters began their season with the human-highlight reel that is Jaylon Hibbs at receiver and Tanner Young at QB. The two former college teammates lit up the league showing that they were a force to be reckoned with until Young suffered an injury a month ago in the Badalona Dracs game and has since been sidelined. Young now looks ready to make his return, but in what capacity remains to be seen

Jaylon Hibbs has remained a mainstay of the Volters never leaving the field and scoring in every game that he has played in, racking up an impressive 17 TDs. Hibbs will not be able to win the game on his own however and will need support from a Spanish defense that has already seen a high-turnover including Kadel King who left due to CFL aspirations, and three Serbians who were only able to play two games before leaving due to visa restrictions.

Black Demons QB Chris Merchant will be leading the charge this weekend with an impressive team all-round. Merchant came to Spain after winning the Hec Crighton Award (Canada’s equivalent of the Heisman Trophy) and has since dominated the league taking the Black Demons to a 7 – 0 season, until sitting key starters in the final game resulting in their first loss. The team also ended a 47-game win streak for the Badalona Dracs, shocking the Spanish league.

Six foot, five inch Florida State alumni WR and former Cleveland Brown, Mavin Saunders, has been integral to the teams success providing mismatches all over the field and will surely leave the Volters defense wanting if they decide to isolate him 1-on-1 with Jaylon Hibbs.

The Black Demons have not been without their pitfalls however as both American imports Darius Robinson and William Lloyd, signed with the Wroclaw Panthers in ELF when the season was almost over. But with the help of ex-Danish safety Pablo De Diego, LB Jorge Felix Velasco and ex-Maple League trench stand-out Carlos Carrasco, the Black Demons should be able to secure a win if all goes to plan.

Sunday, May 2: Semi-final – Osos Rivas @ Badalona Dracs

Game two of the playoff weekend will surely see more sparks fly as the unstoppable force that is Osos Rivas Bears take on the immovable object, Badalona Dracs.

After Badalona Dracs lost their 47-game win streak, that spanned three and a half seasons, they will surely feel like they have a point to prove. Dracs are defense first and Georgetown alumni Mike Taylor III is the anchor. The defense also boasts European veteran LB Nikolas Knoblauch who has played for Milano Seamen, Ancona Dolphins, Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns, just to name a few. But the team is not without Spanish talent as well with brothers-in-arms Jordi and Cesar Brugnani who are consistent contributors to arguably the best defense in the league.

The Dracs defense has had to be dominant. After import QB Cody Benedetto struggled in the loss to Black Demons, the team turned to Spanish league veteran and five time champion Sergi Gonzalo. Gonzalo was exactly what the doctor ordered after the defeat, providing security and game management to an outstanding defense, special teams unit and offensive supporting cast which features the likes of the dynamic American-German Niko Lester, Austrian receiver Dario Dobrolevski and RB Eduard Molina

While the Dracs remain defense  first, Osos Rivas are all offense. QB Garrett Dellechiaie, who twice led GFL’s Ravensburg Razorbacks to top of the league and a promotion to GFL1, slings the ball all over the place racking up more than 40 points a game consistently. 

Dellechiaie will be throwing to an all Spanish cast in Álvaro Guitián, Alejandro Tizón and Mario Flores who all have the ability to cause havoc to the Dracs defense. In the running game, Osos make good use of their two headed beast that is the European veteran American-Italian Mike Gentilli and Adrian Jimenez who played for the Hildesheim Invaders back in 2019.

Although the team is offense first, their defense does not go wanting with Mexican two-way lineman Johnny Escobar, who had an accomplished college career in Mexico, and fellow countryman Jorge Juarez who leads the way at DB. Escobar will be joined by Finnish champion DE Artur Pinheiro Trigueiros, who will hope to be able to get some pressure on Dracs QB Gonzalo.

Both teams will be in for a tough fight but the game will come down to how long the Dracs defense can hold off Dellechiaie and Rivas as once they get going Dracs may struggle to keep up offensively.

Make sure not to miss the games this coming weekend on AFI.tv.

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