LIVESTREAM Spain: Mallorca Voltors @ Badalona Dracs, April 1, 17:00 CET (5 pm, 11 am EDT)

The final weekend of the regular season in the Liga Nacional de Fútbol Americano Serie A has arrived. In the league’s Eastern Conference, the Badalona Dracs and Mallorca Voltors share center stage on Saturday when they face off at Badalona’s Camp de Futbol de Bufala at 17:00h.

While the Dracs already have their playoff spot sewn up, the Voltors must win this weekend to keep their season alive. Badalona won 17-6 in a closely-contested encounter in Mallorca on February 19. Since then, the Voltors have struggled, winning just one of their three games since. After beating the L’Hospitalet Pioners 21-14, Mallorca lost 35-34 to the Valencia Firebats and 29-7 to the Zaragoza Hurricanes. Despite the Voltors’ poor recent record, the Dracs aren’t underestimating their opponents.

“I think it’s going to be our most difficult game of the regular season because [Mallorca] will come here looking to give everything,” defensive coordinator Victor Pérez said. “Their only option is to win, so they’re going to come here with fire, I’m sure about that.”

The loss to Zaragoza may prove most detrimental for the Voltors, especially if they lose a third-consecutive game this weekend. Should the Dracs take care of business, Mallorca and Zaragoza will be even with a 4-4 record and while both teams split their season series, the Hurricanes outscored the Voltors 29-10 over those two games.

Badalona Dracs QB Kevin Doyle avoiding Mallorca Voltors defenders during February 19 game which Badalona won in Mallorca 17-6. @ Alcover

Badalona, meanwhile, played its most complete game of the season in Valencia last weekend where it beat the Firebats 62-14. Coach Román Villamonte’s team has its sights set on a perfect season and hopes to further build positive momentum in all three phases of the game at home.

“We scored a touchdown on every offensive position,” Dracs offensive coordinator Xavi Gonzalo tweeted after the win in Valencia. “Rotated every guy on offense. We are getting better every day. We can’t ask much more from these players. They played a helluva game.”

Defensively, the Dracs remain hungry. The unit holds itself to a high standard and knows to win on Saturday and in the playoffs, they will need to lock opponents down with more regularity. One mental miscue or lapse in discipline could prove fatal against either of the teams from Madrid.

“We still made a bunch of mistakes in Valencia,” lineman Arthur Rupais said. “We allowed two touchdowns and had a lot of mental mistakes. For me, 100% is to play a clean game with no penalties, no missed assignments or disorganized plays.”

On Badalona’s sideline, Iván Caballero and Isaiah Woods offer quarterback Kevin Doyle with potent threats at the receiver position while Edu Molina maintains his potent role at running back. Defensively, Eric Gracía and Pep Tricas are sure to play a big role when it comes to forcing turnovers and pestering the Voltors. The visitors travel to Badalona, well rested following a bye week, with key threats such as defender Víctor Albarracín, receiver Víctor Rodríguez and quarterback Diego Lliteras, the latter of whom was also recently selected to represent Team Spain.

“They have a really strong offense,” Pérez said. “They have a good combination of short passes, they run the ball and can go deep.”

At this point, what is known for sure is that Badalona has a first-round date with the Rivas Osos (Madrid), the second best team out West with the best defensive record in the entire league (only 24 points conceded). The game will be played on Saturday, April 15, in Badalona. Meanwhile, either Mallorca or Zaragoza will travel to Spain’s capital that same weekend for a showdown against the undefeated Las Rozas Black Demons (Madrid).

And so another regular season officially goes down into the books, one in which the Dracs maintained their dominant status out East while Mallorca experienced various ups and downs and now has the fate of its season coming down to the final day. You couldn’t ask for a much better final day.

“For me, it’s just more preparation for the playoffs,” Rupais said. “We have a very good and competitive team and if we play our game we can beat anyone, but I don’t think we have played a complete game this year and that’s what we’re working toward.”