The Spanish season heads into its fourth week of play and the Badalona Dracs have already surged ahead of the remaining teams in the league. This week Badalona will face the Valencia Giants who were soundly defeated last week by the Reus Imperials. The Murcia Cobras who face the Valencia Firebats, last year’s finalists, have impressed so far this season and sit in second in the Spanish standings. Finally, the winless Barbera Rookies will host the Reus Imperials. The Imperials have looked good except in their opening game against the Dracs.
Saturday, Feb. 11
Murcia Cobras (2-1) – Valencia Firebats (1-2)
The Cobras are coming off a tough loss to Badalona although the game was closer than the 26-7 score showed. The game against the Firebats will be a true indicator of where Murcia stands. Valencia struggled in their first two games losing badly to the Giants in week 2 and desperately need a win this week. Although they dispatched the Rookies, they have looked shaky early on.
Quarterback Fernando Altarriba has returned to the Firebats along with running back Héctor Pertegaz who had suffered a knee injury and has been out for eight months. Import running back Ben Sasu who opened the season impressively and has scored four touchdowns so far, sat out last week’s game and will be a game time decision by head coach Juan Pablo Terán who himself could very well put on a uniform and play as he did last week against the Rookies.
Cobras running back Kevin Gramage is always dangerous behind a big offensive line led by Jonathan Rijo, Mazimillian Malander and Gus Johnson, all three of whom can play both ways. Murcia could well pose a problem for the Firebats front seven.
Murcia has only allowed 45 points in the first three games of the season while the Firebats have only scored 64 while giving up 92. Murcia has a chance to keep pace with the Dracs while Valencia needs this win to stay in playoff contention.
Watch live, Saturday, Feb. 11, 5 PM
Sunday, Feb. 12
Barbera Rookies (0-3) – Reus Imperials (2-1)
The winless Rookies are in tough this week against Reus who is coming off an excellent win over the Valencia Giants last week. Imperials quarterback Brady Huber has thrown 10 touchdown passes, five of them to receiver Nate Stephens.
Barbera has given up 102 points in their three games so far this year while scoring only 38. They will be hard pressed against an Imperials team which is much improved over 2016 when the Rookies won both games between the two teams.
Valencia Giants (1-2) – Badalona Dracs (3-0)
The Valencia Giants host the unbeaten Dracs Sunday and need a big game from quarterback TJ Tutone who has thrown eight touchdown passes so far this season and rushed for another three. Receiver Alvaro Cosin has caught three touchdown passes, good for third in the league. However, the Giants are facing the formidable passing attack of the Dracs led by quarterback Sergi Gonzalo who has thrown a Spain-best 15 touchdown passes in 2017, while receiver Hunter Lee has caught a league-leading eight and also leads the Spanish league in scoring.
In last week’s contest against the Reus Imperials, the Giants played even until the second half when Reus pulled away. This week they will need to say close early and keep their momentum in the final two quarters to have a chance.
Scoring leaders after Week 3