The Barcelona Dragons beat Helvetic Guards 29-17 in their debut in the European League of Football in a game where they beat their rival by air thanks to a superb performance by the new quarterback of the franchise, Conor Miller.
The game did not start in the way dreamed for the Dragons and is that after a magnificent first connection between Conor Miller and Josh Johnson for 30 yards, a bad snap from the center to the quarterback caused a recovery of the defense to put the opening 0-7 with a return from midfield. But this action only meant the beginning of a game that was going to be full of comings and goings.
It was only two plays left for Miller to exhibit his precision and throw a deep pass to Theodor Landström that planted both feet in the opponent’s end zone and put the boards on the scoreboard (7-7). The Dragons were not going to flinch from the previous mistake and showed that the new quarterback at the controls has plenty of guts to overcome a bad initial situation.
The start of the match was unbeatable for the spectator, and the locals managed to stop the Swiss for the first time. The defense had arrived. Now it was Montón, starting running back, who on the ground added a good gain of yards. Miller’s staging as orchestra director made the audience lift up with another great pass outside the numbers to Jordi Torrededia that put Barcelona again caressing the endzone. Field Goal for Cereceda that put Dragons ahead 10-7 with 5 minutes left on the scoreboard.
The new defensive identity of the coach ‘Coach Black’ was not going to take long to arrive, and is that Luke Glenna, one of the four American ‘imports’, intercepted a pass after anticipating the launch of Colin Hill, quarterback of the visiting team who lacked arm strength in the play. So far two of the new faces of the team were shining with their own name, Miller in the offensive plot and Glenna in the defense, a unit to which another ‘signing’ was added with the first sack of the match, Darius Slade.
The second fifteen minutes started just as the first ones ended, with a 10-yard catch pass to Landström on a slant route that put the Dragons back in field goal position. The Helvetic Guards’ defense was unable to stop the attacks of the local offense, and they could only watch as Jordi Torrededia added the third touchdown for the Catalans and install the 16-7 on the scoreboard.
The Spanish cornerback Lucas Masero did not take prisoners and returned to intercept a ball for the green before the inability of the opposing quarterback to win his back. With this action, the Dragons returned to steal possession for the second time in the game and gave the feeling of not giving away any extra yard to the Swiss box, which was powerless in attack and fragile in the secondary.
Despite the total dominance of Terrassa in the second quarter, the rival team managed to score a touchdown pass signed by Silas Nacita that brought the Swiss to only two points on the scoreboard. The star runner also has talented hands in passing actions and this was demonstrated. 16-14 in the bright and players to the locker room.
The Dragons scheme was working but the sensations indicated that they had not been able to translate their dominance into a more comfortable distance on the scoreboard. The standouts of the first half were Miller (232 passing yards and 2 touchdowns) and Josh David Johnston (109 yards on 5 receptions)
EVERYTHING STILL TO BE DECIDED
The twenty minutes of rest did not affect the competitive rhythm of Barcelona Dragons, who in a few moments signed a sack of Sebastian Bowen in defense perfectly rewarded by the offense thanks to the subsequent touchdown of Landström, a Swedish player who asserted his good hands and signed his second score to put the 23-14 advantage.
If the Guards were still fully involved in the battle it was thanks to Nacita, a specialist in taking extra yards and with a very powerful undercarriage that allowed his team to maintain the rhythm in attack despite the difficulties of establishing the aerial threat. After speeding through the midfield, the visitors made it 23-17 via field goal after failing to get all six points in their set of downs.
After the scare of a possible concussion of Miller that forced him to miss a few seconds on the sideline, the QB1 entered the field again as if nothing had happened connecting again with Theo Landström (who else) in the points area to place a balsamic 29-17 in the locker.
The last quarter was a simple procedure for the Dragons, and they only had to let the clock pass before the inability to advance and create danger from their rival, a team that must work hard if it wants to have a chance of arriving alive to playoff options in the Central Conference.
In the post-match press conference Norm Chaw, head coach of Helvetic Guards, praised the “great level shown by Barcelona Dragons” and also praised the public for the atmosphere lived in Terrassa.
The head coach of the Catalan franchise Gabriel ‘Black’ Sánchez was satisfied with the match and stressed the reaction capacity of his players after starting the game conceding a touchdown after a fumble.
“There are many aspects that we have to improve in attack and defense, but today we showed one more day that we are a family that plays as a team”
Theo Landström, a receiver who finished with 124 yards through the air and three touchdowns, said he feels “very comfortable playing with Jordi Torrededia and Josh Johnston” on the open ends, teammates with whom he has worked hard in the offseason to get to the first week with good chemistry.
The next commitment of the Barcelona Dragons will be to visit Milano Seamen next Saturday, June 10, a commitment that will begin at 18 hours CET.