Spanish Semifinals: Las Rozas Black Demons v. Mallorca Voltors – QB Head to Head

Spain’s Liga Nacional de Fútbol Americano, LNFA, kicks off the semifinals this weekend with the Las Rozas Black Demons (7-1) playing host to the Mallorca Voltors (5-3) in the opening game, Saturday, May 1.

Both teams featured exciting quarterbacks who ranked as top passers the league.

For the visiting Mallorca Voltors, they have overcome a up and down season to reach the playoffs. Quarterback Tanner Young has been one for the country’s best passers connecting with his college teammate Jaylon Hibbs to create Spain’s best quarterback-receiver combination. Young suffered an injury against the Badalona Dracs on March 28th but looks to be available again for the playoffs. The former All-Conference passer at Centre College (NCAA D3) played in Australia for the UNSW Raiders before joining the Voltors this past December.

For the Las Rozas Black Demons, Canadian signal caller Chris Merchant has propelled them to being legitimate contenders in Spain after years of knocking on the door. The Black Demons and Merchant ended the powerhouse Badalona Dracs 47 game winning streak, shocking the Spanish football world. Merchant came to Spain after an outstanding career at Western University in Canada’s USports league where he won the Hec Crighton Award (Canada’s Heisman Trophy). Merchants’ athleticism and accuracy has mixed well with the Black Demons excellent offensive line and skill players creating an exciting offense to watch.

Both teams have led their team to successful regular seasons are one step closer to making history for their clubs.

Both quarterbacks shared their thoughts on a few questions leading up to their playoff matchup:

What has been the key to your team’s success this season?

Merchant: They key to our success this season has been focusing on the little details and making sure we come focused and ready to go every practice. A great coach once told me “you don’t rise to the level of the occasion, you fall to the level of your preparation.

Young: I’d say playing to our strengths. Not trying to force too much or do anything crazy. We found out kinda early on where we were going to have success and where we lacked in some areas and tried to play to our strengths.

What adjustments have you had to make going into the playoffs?

Merchant: We haven’t had to make many adjustments going into playoffs. We had a successful season and know that if we continue to do what we’ve done then we’ll also be successful in the playoffs.

Young: With the unfortunate injuries that have plagued us this year we’ve been forced to change some things and people are having to step up in new roles. Everyone seems to be up to the challenge and we’re looking forward to seeing people compete.

How does the team feel going into the playoffs?

Merchant: We couldn’t be more excited as a team to start playoffs. This is what we’ve worked towards all season long and we are looking forwards to taking advantage of the opportunity.

Young: The team is excited. Our goal at the beginning of the year was to put ourselves in a position at the end of the season to win it all. We have done that by making it this far. Now we just have to focus one game at a time and see what happens.

How do you see your offense matching up with the opposing defense?

Merchant: I believe we have the best offense in the league and that no defense can matchup against us. We are prepared for a tough game but our offense will definitely be ready.

Young: The Black Demons have a great team offensively and defensively. They have a good D-line and a well practiced and sound secondary to back that up. It will be fun to compete against them. That’s the reason you play this game is to compete, put everything you have out on the table and see who comes out a winner.

What would a title mean to your team?

Merchant: A title would mean a lot to this team. It has been a season full of adversity so winning it all would just show how strong this group is and how far we’ve come since the start of the season.

Young: It would mean a lot to these guys. We’re small in numbers but a lot of these guys sacrifice a lot to do this and enjoy this sport it would mean a lot bring it home. But right now we’re just focused on the semi-finals. Take it one step at a time!

Alex is a former professional American football player who is now studying in London. His goal writing for AFI is to stay involved with the game that has given him so much. Alex enjoys covering leagues and players and sharing different football