Spain: Mallorca Voltors get by Fuengirola Potros in a thriller

In a game they were supposed to win comfortably, the Mallorca Voltors found themselves in a tie game with a quarter to go and a surging Fuengirola Potros team on a roll.

Fortunately, the Voltors were able to score two late touchdowns while picking off Potros quarterback Henri Väänänen to defeat a stubborn Fuengirola squad 42-34.

Mallorca had sprinted out to a 22-0 second quarter lead and looked to be on the way to a rout of the home team Potros. Then, Väänänen began finding his receivers and by the third quarter had tied the game at 28-28.

The Voltors quarterback-receiver combination of Tanner Young and Jaylon Hibbs opened the game in fine form, wreaking havoc in the Potros secondary, with Hibbs scoring three straight touchdowns on passes from Young, plus a two-point conversion to take a 22-0 lead. The third score was a spectacular one-handed grab by Hibbs in the back corner of the end zone.

That’s when Väänänen caught fire. On a fourth and 15 from the Mallorca 20 yard line, he found a streaking Carlos Chaves in the end zone, threading the ball past three defenders, to put the Potros on the board, 22-7.

Young responded, hitting Hibbs for what looked like a 12 yard gain down to the 28 yard line but which Hibbs turned into a 40 yard touchdown after spinning away from the Fuengirola defense. The Voltors were back in the lead by three touchdowns, 28-7.

Potros RB José Luis López surrounded by two Mallorca Voltors defenders Photo: Samu Serrano

Undaunted, Väänänen came right back on the next series, finding David Chaves on a third and 10 from the 25 yard line  to narrow the gap to 28-13.

The third quarter was all Fuengirola as Väänänen marched his team from its own 35 yard line down to the Voltors eight and then shoveled  a pass to running back José Luis López to make the score 28-19. David Chaves scored on the two-point conversion and suddenly the Potros were within a touchdown, 28-21.

On the next series from the Voltors 34 yard line, Young, in trying to avoid the blitz, inadvertently threw the ball right into the hands of David Chaves, now playing defensive back. Chaves returned the ball for a pick six, evening the score at 28-28, still in the third quarter.

Young’s response was fast. It took two plays to take his team from the 20 to the end zone with Hibbs catching a 34 yard scoring pass to retake the lead, 35-28 heading into the fourth quarter.

Again, the Potros answered,  as López scored from 20 yards out on a spectacular run, evading defenders and breaking tackles, to bring the lead down to one point (missed extra point) 35-34, with plenty of time left.

The teams traded possessions but on a fateful third and long from his own 30 yard line, Väänänen heaved the ball deep downfield and it was picked off. With a minute remaining in the game Young threw a 70 yard touchdown to a wide open Carlos Vega after a breakdown in coverage and Mallorca breathed a sigh of relief and began celebrating.

With the win, Mallorca advances past the Badalona Dracs in the LNFA East standings with a 3-1 record after the Dracs suffered a surprise 29-7 loss to the Las Rozas Black Demons dropping them to 2-1.

Photo: Samu Serrano

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