210807 Barcelona Dragons - Cologne Centurions

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Barcelona Dragons

Players to watch: #1 QB Zach Edwards - Week 7: 100 passing yards, 2 Interceptions, scored the first rushing TD for the Dragons (in the whole season), 31,25% completion rate. He was sacked 7 times against Hamburg. Week 6: 254 passing yards, 5 TDs. Season: 6 games, 1498 passing yards (2nd in the ELF), 12 TDs, 54% completion percentage. Played DIV III Football (St. Scholastica) and for the L’Hospitalet Pioners in Spain (the second most successful Spanish team in the national competition).

#5 WR Jean Constant - Week 7: Had a kickoff return for 94 yards but there was a holding on this play - as a receiver: 4 receptions for 37 yards. MVP Week 6: 9 receptions (some incredible ones), 164 receiving yards, 3 TDs + a lot of return yards: Started the game with the incredible return to Berlin's 19yd-line. The drive resulted in a TD - Barcelona scored in the first 3 minutes of the game like in the week before against Frankfurt. Season: Receiving leader in the ELF: 6 games, 701 yards, 4 TDs, 14 average yards per reception.

#8 K Giorgio Tavecchio - Week 7: 1/1 FG (27 yards), 2/2 PAT, 4 kickoffs (average 61,2 yards) - 1 TB. Week 6: 6/7 PAT 0/1 FG - 5 out of 8 kickoffs resulted in touchbacks. Barcelona signed him one month ago. Had an outstanding first game in the ELF. He scored and thus tied his personal NFL record: 56 yards - the same distance as his longest FG in the NFL. Improved the performance on special teams (in Week 5). Former NFL kicker, played his first game for the Oakland Raiders in September 2017 - five years after he had signed his first NFL contract with the San Francisco 49ers. Had an outstanding first performance against the Tennessee Titans (4 FG, 2 PAT - NFL Special Teams Player of the Week), he earned the same award in his first game for the Atlanta Falcons in 2018 (3/3 FG and 2 PAT). NFL career stats: 21/26 FG, longest 56 yards. He kept the game ball in 2017 after his outstanding NFL debut.

#7 LB Myke Tavarres - Week 7: 21 total tackles (10 solo tackles), 1,5 sacks, and 5 TFL (21 yards). Week 6: 15 total tackles (8 solo tackles), 1 sack, 4 TFL (15 yards).

#25 FS Niko Lester - Week 7: 3 total tackles (2 solo), 2 interceptions - 1 TD (97 yards interception return - Pick Six). He also played on offense (1 reception for 5 yards).

Additional player stats: #27 CB Andy Vera - Hamburg´s QB tried to pass the ball to targets that were not covered by Andy Vera. Clark still had 3 interceptions. Week 6: 2 interceptions (like in Week 5), 5 total tackles, 1 deflected ball.

Unofficial team stats: Games: 6 / Average Net Yards Rushing per Game: 55,17 / Average Per Rush: 2,8 / Rushing Touchdowns: 1 / Average Net Yards Passing per Game: 215,17 / Average per Completion: 10,77 / Passing Touchdowns: 12 / Punt Return TDs: 0 / Kickoff Return TDs: 0 / Interceptions by Defense: 11 / Scored a pick six (INT return TD): 3 / Average Possession Time: 26:16 / 3rd Down Conversions: 29 of 79 / 4th Down Conversions: 3 of 8 / PAT: 10 of 13 / FG: 4 of 9 / Allowed 3rd Down Conversions by Defense: 23 of 63 / Allowed 4th Down Conversions by Defense: 2 of 4

Head Coach: Adam Rita, 73 years old, born on Kaua´i, Hawaii. 1965-1968 played as a center for Boise State. 1969-1976 Boise State Broncos as coach. Started in 1983 as coach in the CFL for the BC Lions. Inactive from 2004-2011. Worked in 2012 for the first time as a coach in Europe - Prague Panthers, (notable for German broadcast - 2020 Berlin Adler). 4x Grey Cup CFL as coach and two additional times as GM. Adam Rita was a Chicago Bears fan especially when Mike Ditka (NFL champion in 1963) and Gale Sayers (1965-1971) played. He also likes the Cowboys and the 49ers because some of his former players joined those teams later in their careers. As coach he looked up to his mentor Anthony J. Knap (inducted in the Boise State Hall of Fame in 1982).    

Week 8: New changes on the staff: “Ricky Lang leaves the franchise and is no longer our Defensive Back Coach. The American returns to his country to join the CMS Football. We appreciate his dedication and work with us throughout these weeks and we wish him all the best. Joe Paopao is no longer our Quarterback Coach and Offensive Coordinator for personal reasons. From the franchise we want to thank him for his dedication and work throughout these weeks as one of our coaches and as the coordinator of our attack. We wish him all the best. Patrick Wennin, our RB Coach, takes the Offensive Coordinator charge for the remainder of the season. He will perform two functions within the coaching staff. Raúl Saavedra joins the coaching staff. The new coach will be in charge of carrying out the duties of Linebacker Coach until the end of the season.”

Week 7: Michael Wood is the new Defensive Coordinator - Doug Semones is out for personal reasons. The Dragons published their statement on Tuesday. Special Team Co: PJ Gremaud (worked a few years ago for the Wroclaw Panthers). OL-Coach Guiliano Cattaneo was signed shortly before the game against Frankfurt in Week 5 - the number of sacks against Berlin was lowered to 1 (Frankfurt had 8 against Barcelona in Week 5).

Cologne Centurions

Players to watch: #12 QB Jan Weinreich: Week 7: 102 yards, C-A-I: 13-23-0, no passing TD, was sacked 4 times. Had two important plays in combination with his receivers in a drive in the 4th quarter (score: 20:25): Pounds had a one-handed catch (3rd & 8) and Paul Lenhardt received the ball and had kept it in his hands after a huge hit (4th & 20). Week 6: 307 yards (longest 62 yards), 4 TDs, 75% completion rate. Had his best performance of the season against Stuttgart - right after Danny Farley joined the coaching staff as QB coach. Jan said in an interview before the season that the decision for the starting QB will be head or tail. Jan played unchained. He and other players are still helping the survivors of the flood disaster in their home region with different campaigns. Season: 6 games, 11 TDs, 1031 passing yards, 2 INTs.

#28 RB Madre London - MVP Week 7: 320 net rushing yards (had one play for 86 yards), 4 TDs, 8.2 yards per rush, 39 carries. Season: 1495 net rushing yards, 16 rushing TDs, 8,4 yards per rush. Weight: 97kg, Height: 1,85cm. Bounced back in Week 6 after having only 85 net rushing yards and 3.1 yards per rush against Frankfurt in Week 4. Week 6: 121 net rushing yards, 1 TD, 4,7 yards per rush.  

#1 WR Quinten Pounds: Week 7: 6 receptions, 40 yards - had an incredible one-handed catch (3rd & 8 in the 4th quarter). Was one of the MVP candidates in Week 6 - Scored 8 Touchdowns so far in the season (7 receiving, 1 return). Week 6: 11 receptions, 242 yards, 3 TDs (Long: 62 yards). Scored a 98 yds kickoff return TD against Frankfurt in Week 4. Height: 1,83m, Weight: 82kg; Additional information: Former DIV I player (Washington Huskies, 3x cruciate ligament tear while in college) - Pounds has a special celebration - it´s a dance created by his sister.

#55 DE Mike Taylor III: Week 7: 1 solo tackle/sack for 2 yards. Taylor is the newest import player on the Centurion's roster. The defense improved and played with higher pressure against the Panthers and the Surge - Defense stats - Week 7: 3 sacks (25 yards), 7 TFL (34 yards), 1 forced fumble close to the endzone of Stuttgart and 1 INT (return for 24 yards). /// Defense stats - Week 8: 2 sacks, 2 fumble recoveries, 1 Pick Six, 7 deflected passes. The offense scored 20 points off turnovers produced by their defense.

Additional player stats: #24 DB Dartez Jacobs: Great goal line stop in Week 1, very good tackler, plays physical. Week 7: 6 solo tackles, 1 fumble recovery, 1 deflected pass. Height: 1,88, Weight: 90kg.

#8 DB Paul Steffen - Week 7: 2 solo tackles, 1 fumble recovery and 1 Pick Six (20 yards interception return).

Unofficial team stats: Games: 6 / Average Net Yards Rushing per Game: 267,33 / Average Per Rush: 6,9 / Rushing Touchdowns: 19 / Average Net Yards Passing per Game: 176,33 / Average per Completion: 13,55 / Passing Touchdowns: 11 / Punt Return TDs: 0 / Kickoff Return TDs: 1 / Interceptions by Defense: 6 / Scored a pick six (INT return TD): 1 / Average Possession Time: 30:28 / 3rd Down Conversions: 28 of 69 / 4th Down Conversions: 7 of 14 / PAT: 17 of 27 / FG: 0 of 1 / Allowed 3rd Down Conversions by Defense: 31 of 69 / Allowed 4th Down Conversions by Defense: 2 of 7

Head Coach: Kirk Heidelberg - Coached high school football in the States, but also coached a lot of teams in Europe; 1995 HC Hamburg Blue Devils; 1998-2000 coached for Cologne Crocodiles with his DC Javan Lenhardt. Heidelberg worked together with Nick Saban in Toledo for one year (HC University of Alabama - Crimson Tide - 6x National Champion with the Crimson Tide as HC) - Saban is a coach Heidelberg looks up to. Another inspiration is Don James (died in 2013, had a perfect 12-0 season in 1991 with the Washington Huskies - won the Rose Bowl against Michigan. James was inducted in the College Football Hall of Fame in 1997) - Favorite NFL Team: Detroit Lions (since he was a boy) and Seattle Seahawks (they like to run the ball).