Dracs/Current defending champions v. Firebats/Current Regular season winners
This was only fitting. In a rematch of last year’s Spanish championship title match, the Badalona Dracs will be at home to face their championship game opponent from 2014 and winners of the 2015 regular season title, the Valencia Firebats.
In last year’s game, the Dracs won the game in the most improbable way possible as they faked a field goal on the final play of the game to score a touchdown to win 24-18. That was a bitter pill for the Firebats to swallow.
The Firebats lost only one game in 2015 and that was to their crosstown rivals the Valencia Giants. Meanwhile, the Dracs dropped three games, two of the them to the Firebats by the slimmest of margins and one, surprisingly, to Osos Rivas.
In the semis, the Dracs had no problems in disposing of Osos Rivas 34-0, while the Firebats defeated the Giants 21-6.
This will be Badalona’s 11th appearance in the Spanish championship which they have won five times. The Firebats have qualified seven times to the final and won it three times. In three of those finals they have faced each other with Valencia having the edge 2-1.
The Firebats enter the game with the top offense in Spain averaging just over 40 points per game while the Dracs were not far behind in second with 33.2 points a game.
Firebats head coach Ezequiel Martí had the advantage of having his quarterback Chris Debowski enjoy an outstanding year throwing 23 touchdown passes. Running back Hector Pertegaz was also terrific for Valencia rushing for 13 touchdowns. Receivers Javi Martinez and Mohamed Najim were also key contributors for a Firebats team which faltered slightly at midseason when Debowski was forced to sit out a couple of games due to injury.
The Dracs had some ups and downs during the regular season with quarterback Sergi Gonzalo out for some spells. However running back Curtis Gannon picked up the slack leading the league in scoring with 15 touchdowns. He is complemented in the backfield by Javi Fernandez. Another player who is key in head coach Oscar Calatayud’s squad is two-way threat Joan Carles Bartra at both receiver and defensive back. On defense, linebacker Kevin Duley directs a unit which allowed the fewest points in the league this season (9.4).