Team Spain earns come-from-behind win over Turkey

Team Spain fell behind early but scored two unanswered fourth quarter touchdowns to defeat Turkey 30-25 at the Municipal Sports Center Valleaguado de Coslada,in IFAF 2020 European Championship Group B qualifying this past weekend.

Danube Dragons wide receiver Jean-Claude Madin Cerezo scored three touchdowns including both fourth quarter scores to pace the Spanish squad.

With the win, Spain evened their Group B record at 1-1 while Turkey dropped to 0-2. Spain lost to Team Hungary two weeks ago 24-7 in Hungary and Israel defeated Turkey 27-22.

Pedtro Gandarillas also scored a touchdown for Spain as well as a two-point conversion while Juan Hervás kicked a field goal and an extra point.

For Turkey, Denizhan Igdir rushed for one touchdown, Kubilay Ceylan hauled in a touchdown pass and added a two-point conversion, Levent Deniz Celik returned a kickoff for a score while Memet Furkan Sarikatipoglu kicked a field goal and two extra points.

However, it was Turkey who took control of the game early forcing a fumble on the opening kickoff on Spain’s 18 yard line. Three plays later Igdir punched the ball in and Turkey took a 7-0 lead.

Early in the second quarter, Hervas put Spain on the scoreboard with a field goal but Turkey responded returning the kickoff deep into Spanish territory. Ceylan caught a touchdown pass and the score was 14-3 for Turkey midway through the second period.

Team Spain finally found the end zone late in the quarter as Matias Castagno tossed a touchdown pass to Cerezo to cut the difference to 14-10 but Sarikatipoglu kicked a field goal and Turkey took a 17-10 lead into the break.

Spain pulled into the lead to open the second half as Gandarillas weaved his way into the end zone and then added the two point conversion giving the Spanish squad an 18-17 lead.

Turkey’s special teams were playing superb in this game as Celik returned the kickoff all the way to restore the lead for Turkey, 25-18.

Early in the fourth quarter, Cerez caught his second touchdown pass of the game to narrow the gap to 25-24

Then the Spanish defense upped their game, as Jordi Brugnani pounced on a Turkish fumble. Madin Cerezo then caught his third touchdown pass late in the game on a spectacular 35 yard reception, to give Spain a 30-25 lead they would not relinquish.

The IFAF 2020 European Championship Group B returns to action next year when Spain will play Israel and Belgium. Meanwhile Turkey will face the Belgians and Team Hungary.

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