Badalona Dracs score impressive win as Spanish National League opens season with four games

Badalona Dracs WR Hunter Belzo #22 hauled in 3 TD passes Photo: Jordi Dols Díez

the Spanish National American Football League, LNFA, kicked off the 2022 season with eight of the 10 teams in action.

The defending champion Badalona Dracs were on the road to face Pioneers of L’Hospitalet while Osos Rivas from Madrid hosted the Sailors of Gijon. the Zaragoza hurricanes were also the home team when they faced the Mallorca Thieves and the Murcian Cobras visited on Black Demons of Las Rozas in their first round match.

Badalona Dracs 48 – L’Hospitalet Pioneers 3

The Badalona Dracs looked like every defending champion in Spain as they toppled newly promoted L’Hospitalet Pioners 48-3 on Saturday in the opening day of the Spanish American Football League 2022 season.

The Dracs took a 35-3 halftime lead before falling back in the second half. Quarterback Glen Cuiellette threw six touchdown passes, three to Hunter Belzo, two to tight end Raul Cernuda and one to young David Martinez. For the Pioners, kicker Juame Llinas accounted for their entire score, scoring a field goal to open the game.

L’Hospitalet opened the scoring with a field goal from Jaume Llinas, but then it was all Dracs as Cuiellette found Belzo for the game’s first touchdown. Although Llinas gave his team great field position with a great kickoff return, the Badalona linebacker forced the game’s first fumble, hitting Pioners quarterback Murcock Rutledge who coughed the ball up. and Cuiellette capitalized immediately, hitting Cernuda to increase the lead to 14-3, still in the first quarter.

Kenney then landed the first interception of the game, turning it into a six pick and the Dracs were ahead 21-3 at the end of the period.

The onslaught continued in the second quarter with Cuiellette connecting with Martinez and then Belzo to make it 35-3 before the break.

The second half saw Belzo and then Cernuda add touchdown receptions, the latter after Rutledge was picked again, this time by Eudald Sabater.

Osos Rivas 34 – Gijon Mariners 17

Osos Rivas WR David Giron of Guatemala scored a rushing TD Photo: Paula Romo

Madrid’s Osos Rivas entered the final quarter of their game against the Gijon Mariners trailing 17-13 but then scored four unanswered touchdowns to pull away and beat the Mariners 34-17 to claim their first victory of the young Spanish season.

Osos quarterback Sergio Barbero threw touchdown passes to Alejandro Tizón and Atsushi Uehiro while Adrián Jiménez and David Giron scored rushing touchdowns and Jorge Ruiz scored on a pick six.

Still, the Mariners didn’t make it any easier as they took a 10-0 lead on a field goal by Raúl García and a touchdown by Mexico quarterback Daniel de Juambelz. Osos recovered from the shock of suddenly trailing the underdog Mariners as Giron and then Tizon scored to take a 13-10 lead into the break. Gijon came back into the lead early in the third quarter as Juambelz found Ibai Mejuto to give the Mariners a 17-13 third quarter lead.

Unfazed, Osos came right back with Uehiro with his first touchdown of the season to make it 20-17. Then Jimenez caught a game-tying pass off an interception from Ruiz and Ruiz, who was on fire in the secondary, took out Juambelz a second time, carrying him home to finish the scoring.

Hurricanes of Zaragoza 41 – Voltors of Mallorca 35

Zaragoza Hurricanes WR Kyle Mucerino scored 2 touchdowns Photo: Vicente Cabello

The Zaragoza Hurricanes and Mallorca Voltors gave the spectators a wild offensive display on Sunday, with the Hurricanes managing to score a last-minute touchdown to break a 35-35 tie and defeat Mallorca 41-35.

Hurricanes quarterback Kevin Doyle threw five touchdown passes and ran for another with Aaron David and Kyle Mucerino catching two each and Luis Sánchez firing another.

For Mallorca, quarterback Diego Lliteras threw three touchdown passes, one to Marcos Molina, Javier Alberola and running back Ronaldo Tomasello and Tomasello added two more on the ground.

After a tentative, scoreless first quarter, both teams exploded for five touchdowns in the second quarter, with the Voltors taking a 14-0 lead on two touchdowns from Tomasello, the first on the ground and the second on a 60-yard pass from Literas. Doyle and the Hurricanes offense responded as the quarterback found the end zone himself to cut the lead to 14-7. Lliteras connected with Molina to extend Mallorca’s lead to 21-7 but Doyle hit a streaky David to close the gap to 21-14 just before half-time.

Zaragoza leveled the score at 21-21 to open the second half as Doyle found Mucerino for his first touchdown but Lliteras responded on Mallorca’s next possession, throwing to Alberola to restore the lead, 28-21 to end the third quarter.

The wild fourth quarter saw Doyle connect with Sanchez to level the game at 28-28, but Tomasello put his team back in front by finding a hole in the middle and scampering into the end zone to make it 35- 28. Again Doyle responded, finding David for his second touchdown of the day to tie again, 35-35 leading to late game drama. On Zaragoza’s last possession, Doyle returned to Mucerino to put the game away.

Murcia Cobras 17 – LG OLED Las Rozas Black Demons 13

Murcia Cobras QB Robert Cuda #7 Photo: Lola Morales

Murcia Cobras relied on a tough defensive position late in the fourth quarter to thwart a late drive from Las Rozas Black Demons and come away with a 17-13 win in the season opener for both teams in Spain.

Cobras quarterback Robert Cuda threw a run for a touchdown and defensive back Alpha Jalloh, a late signing from Murcia, scored another on a six pick while Irish kicker Conor Tait added a basket late to explain the score.

For the Black Demons, quarterback David de Diego threw two touchdown passes, one to Alejandro García and the other to Jesús Pérez.

Cuda opened the scoring in the first quarter, sneaking into the end zone to give Murcia a 7-0 lead. The Black Demons responded as de Diego connected with Garcia, but the extra point attempt fell through and the Cobras stayed ahead, 7-6. On Las Rozas’ next possession, Jalloh caught an errant pass from Diego and returned it all the way for a touchdown, extending the lead to 14-6. Again the Black Demons responded, this time as Perez netted an assist from Diego to cut the lead to 14-13 at the break.

Neither team was able to find the end zone in the third quarter and the fourth also looked like a defensive stalemate until Tait scored the game-winning field goal with less than a minute on the clock. Las Rozas couldn’t respond and the Cobras walked away with a key win early in the season.

The action resumes in Spain this weekend with four games on the schedule.

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