Game Report: Barcelona Dragons vs. Stuttgart Surge
The Stuttgart Surge travelled to the Barcelona Dragons for this first clash of southern conference rivals. The game was played in the Estadi Municipal De Reus. The ball was kicked off under a partly clouded sky and with about 26 °C. Before the game started, the Barcelona Dragons organized different entertaining acts like the “Txaranga Suquet Calero Gameday Band” to hype up the fans in front of the stadium.
The game started with a three-and-out for the Barcelona Dragons offense which gave Stuttgart Surge the first possession early in the first quarter. The first sack of the game was recorded by none other than former NFL player Myke Tavarres who is now playing for the Barcelona Dragons. Another highlight of the first quarter came shortly after the first sack: Dragons defensive back Jordi Brugnani caught an interception on a deep throw attempted by Surge quarterback Jacob Wright. Overall, it was a great first quarter for both teams but the Barcelona Dragons defense stepped up early.
The first highlight of the second quarter would have been a touchdown on a catch-and-run by Louis Geyer who slipped a tackle attempted by Dragons defensive back Niko Lester. However, the play was called back because of a penalty called on the offense. With 10:30 minutes left in the second quarter, the Barcelona Dragons scored a touchdown with a pass to a wide open Antonio Montón. After the touchdown, the Barcelona Dragons successfully converted a two-point-attempt with a pass to wide receiver Mario Flores. This gave the Dragons an 8-0 lead over the Stuttgart Surge. After a great kick- off return that set up the Surge offense on the 47-yard line, Stuttgart wide receiver Louis Geyer dominated the drive with two catches of which one resulted into a touchdown. The PAT was no good which kept the score at 8-6 in favor of the Dragons. After this great drive by the Surge, a monster return by Dragons player Jéan Constant was nullified because of a foul called on the play against Barcelona. After starting from their own 25-yard line, Dragons quarterback Zach Edwards throws an interception which was caught in the endzone by Surge cornerback Ben Wenzler. After the Stuttgart Surge went three-and-out close to their own endzone, the long snapper missed the punter which caused the ball to fly out of the endzone: safety for the Barcelona Dragons. This brought the score up to 10-6 for the Barcelona Dragons at the end of the first half.
After a strong first half by the Barcelona Dragons, the Stuttgart Surge came out of the half-time with a great first drive. When the Stuttgart Surge were right at the goal line of the Barcelona Dragons, Surge quarterback Jacob Wright kept the ball to run into the endzone. After the touchdown, Stuttgart successfully converted a two-point-conversion to fullback Thomas Edel. This set up the scoreboard to 14-10 in favor of the Stuttgart Surge which gave them their first lead of the night. Another highlight in this third quarter would have been an interception caught by Dragons defensive back Niko Lester who returned the ball to the endzone for a touchdown. However, the play was nullified because of three fouls called on the defense during the play. Wide receiver Jéan Constant had a great catch for a huge gain towards the end of the third quarter which was the longest play of the entire game.
The fourth quarter started with back-to-back fouls on the first two plays: one against each team. As fouls played a big role in this game, the Barcelona Dragons were able to block an attempted punt and recover the ball at the Stuttgart 25-yard line. However, the Dragons were not able to generate any points out of this big special teams play as they missed the attempted field goal. The Barcelona Dragons answered with great defense as they sacked quarterback Jacob Wright for a loss of yards with 8:50 remaining in the fourth quarter. Not only did the defense of the Dragons step up in this game but the offense came to life as well. Barcelona wide receiver Rémi Bertellin first caught a ball a for huge gain and then almost scored on a diving attempt to the endzone. Shortly after this scoring attempt, Zach Edwards found running back Montón in the endzone for his second touchdown of the game. With a successful PAT the scoreboard changed again to 17-14 in favor of the Barcelona Dragons. With under three minutes to go in the fourth quarter, the Stuttgart Surge once again completed a great drive that ended in a game-winning touchdown pass to wide receiver Pascal Flöser. This changed the lead for the last time in this game and set the scoreboard to 21-17 with Stuttgart Surge on top. With about 90 seconds remaining on the clock, the already strong Stuttgart Surge defense closed out the game with back-to-back sacks as Dragons quarterback Zach Edwards wanted to buy some time for deep pass attempts.
This exciting game marked the end of an incredible first day of football in the inaugural season of the European League of Football. Although the game included a lot of penalties which nullified big-plays for both teams, it was still an exciting game to watch with entertaining highlights and a lot of stand- out performances by players from both sides. The two teams will face a new task next week when the Stuttgart Surge will play against Frankfurt Galaxy at home and the Barcelona Dragons will travel to Cologne to play the Centurions.