One of two games LNFA Series A games scheduled this weekend in Spain is the defending champion Badalona Dracs (4-1) playing host to the Murcia Cobras (0-4).
This game was originally scheduled for January 17 but was postponed due to COVID-19.
The rescheduled match gives the Dracs another opportunity to prepare their team as they edge closer and closer to the post season. For the winless Cobras, this weekend’s game gives them a chance to catch the Dracs unprepared and test themselves against one of the league’s best teams.
The Dracs go into this game after beating the Zaragoza Hurricanes 41-13. The game was much closer than the final score indicates with the Dracs only leading 21-13 at the half. The quarterback carousel of American Cory Benedetto and Spanish veteran Sergi Gonzalo has ended for the Dracs though. After another dismal game in which he was replaced in the second quarter, Cory Benedetto has left the team. Last week, he was replaced in the second quarter by Gonzalo who finished the game going 12-14 for 180 yards and three touchdowns.
Gonzalo on coming off the bench to help his team:
“I’m always ready to help my team so when coach said to warm up, I was already ready to carry the offense.”
Last week’s comeback was aided by a strong showing from the Dracs defense which had four interceptions and four sacks. The tenacious pass rush was aided by 2018 German Bowl MVP and former Schwabisch Hall Unicorn Nikolas Knoblauch who is finally back in action with the Dracs. The Dracs were also busy on the personnel front this week as head coach Oscar Calatayud added 6’5È 275 pound Polish lineman Jedrzej Ruknicki. Rucknicki will fill a gaping hole in the Dracs beat-up offensive line.
The Cobras go into this game after getting shut out by the Mallorca Voltors on the road last week 36-0. Quarterback Robert Cuda was harassed by a fierce Voltors pass rush. This week, he will no doubt use his legs to create some plays against an athletic Dracs defense.
Murcia’s defense led by defensive backs Luis Baeza and Andy Vera will be aiming to create turnovers against what has at times been sloppy Dracs passing attack. British defensive lineman Deon Mutsvanemoto will be in the middle of the defense stuffing the run.
Mutsvanemoto is looking forward to the test ahead.
“As a player you always want to compete and test yourself against the best so this a good chance for that.”
One key to watch for in this game is how Badalona head coach Oscar Calatayud handles his quarterbacking situation. Both Gonzalo and Benedetto have been productive at times, but interceptions continue to hold the offense back. Defensively, the Dracs will make some plays, as their fierce pass rush and athletic secondary should lead them to a victory.
Badalona Dracs Roster (Click image to enlarge)