Russia’s SuperLeague’s Rousing Opening Weekend

[tps_title]Volga Division[/tps_title]

Moscow Dragons 0 – Moscow Spartans 34

May 9, 2015 / Korolev, Moscow Region, Russia / Moscow Spartans runningback Mario Telieria carrying the ball  / © First&Goal (firstandgoal.ru) / Mikhail Klaviaturov

May 9, 2015 / Korolev, Moscow Region, Russia / Moscow Spartans runningback Mario Telieria carrying the ball / © First&Goal (firstandgoal.ru) / Mikhail Klaviaturov

On paper, this derby of two Moscow teams looked like an even match up of the two rookies of the Russian Championship series. But a deeper look reveals a big mismatch: the Moscow Dragons are based on one of the most successful youth football programs in the country and didn’t participate last year purely because of the lack of players over 18 to fill their roster; while the Spartans are actually one of the oldest and franchises in Russia that has previously participated in ELAF.

The star of the game was the Spartans quarterback Ivan Goloveshkin who ran for three scores and passed for another one, as his team cruised to a comfortable victory after dominating the trenches.

The Dragons had some limited success with their short passing game, but ultimately couldn’t sustain it under the constant pressure of the opponent that was much stronger physically. However, as the youngest team in the league by a large margin, they can’t complain getting some much needed experience against quality opposition.

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Ilya Kravtsov
After being involved in bringing American football to his hometown of St. Petersburg, Russia, Ilya would go on to play in the Japanese X-League, helping his side Tokyo Bullseyes advance all the way to the top tier of the league and become the only non-corporate team in X-1. He's currently the defensive coordinator of St. Petersburg Griffins, as well as the head coach of St. Petersburg Valkyries.
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