Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Murcia Cobras at Santurtzi Coyotes

Sunday, 25 January, 2015:


Murcia Cobras (0-0)
Santurtzi Coyotes (0-1)

Before we go any farther, a special GRACIAS to Catalina Gracia Saaverda who rode the bus with us from Murcia and took most of the great game photos that are used in today's blog.

I would also like to thank Pedro Luis Ajuriaguerra Saiz, the photographer of the Coyotes, who posted several artsy shots from the game that I borrowed for this blogpost.

Handing out game jerseys
in the hotel lobby

ALL helmets MUST display an
official league decal on the back

View of the game field as we
walked down the hill from our hotel

It was a bit wet

We did catch a break as the Sun would shine all game long making it comfortable and thus not allowing any more rain to fall.

Our son Michael is not a big fan of Field Turf stadiums, thus he would have loved today's contest on AstroMud.

Warm-Up Jog

Team Offense Warm-up

Pre-Game Talk

Document Check

Before all games in EuroBall, the referees line up each team to check faces against both a picture ID card and an official list from the league of players who have paid for their licensing fees to play.

No ringers allowed!

Although we did have to face a licensed import player on the Coyotes roster.

Santurtzi's QB was a EuroBall veteran, Timothy Robinson, who played his college ball at Alabama A&M.

To review, the Cobras roster has no imports other than their coach who never could play.


Captains Out

From Left to Right:#7 QB Angel Clemente, #57 OG Roberto Dúran,#86 DE Alejandro Sotomayor and #37 LB Jorge Ortin

The White Hat ref looked familiar, turns out he was a referee at our defensive struggle in Palermo in 2008 when our Catania Elephants beat the Palermo Corsari 74-57.

Small world.

Jesus Clemente kickoff return

Mini-Q with a thumbs up

His real name is Miguel Perona but who knew? I wish that we had more players with his passion for the game.

The Clemente brothers trying to connect


Murcia Ball: It would have been a three and out but a third down roughing the passer call gave the Cobras a new series of downs. We could not move the ball and on fourth down our punt snap got stuck in the mud about five yards behind the line of scrimmage where our back fell on the ball.

Santurtzi Ball: The bad snap gave the Coyotes great field position but, thanks to a big tackle for loss on third down by Ruso (Samuel Garcia), the Coyotes would turn the ball over on downs but the pigskin was still deep in Cobra territory.

Murcia Ball: Our first two plays gained little so our QB/OC Angel Clemente called his own number for a third down quick kick. Good punt, GREAT call.

Santurtzi Ball: The Coyotes drove a bit but fumbled and a Cobra LB known simply as Casta (Jose Castanedo) recovered it!

Murcia Ball: Three and Out again as we struggled mightily but a great punt by Jorge Ortin greatly improved our field position.

Santurtzi Ball: The Coyotes were driving again as the First Quarter came to a close.

After 12 minutes of play it was Cobras 0 - Coyotes 0.

Kiki (Antonio Urrutia) on the tackle


I think that it is our QB Angel Clemente with the ball but who knows?

WR Jesus Clemente gaining yardage

Mini-Q in Pursuit



Coyotes Ball: Santurtzi continued their drive that started at the end of the First Quarter, but again they fumbled and this time Cobra DT Ruso came up with the ball.

Cobras Ball: Another Three and Out and another great punt by Jorge Ortin.

Coyotes Ball: A Three and Out for our defense followed by a  good Jesus Clemente punt return aided by a crushing block/Hammer Hit by Jose Antonio Rufete.

Cobras Ball: We had good field position so we went for it on fourth down but the Santurtzi defense rose to the occasion.

Coyotes Ball: Another There and Out Punt series for the Cobras defense but the Coyotes got off a great punt that died at the Murcia five yard line.

Cobras Ball: With our backs in the shadows of our own goal posts and 4:55 left in the First Half, the Cobras' offense finally woke up. A great 95 yard drive was paced by a key play-action pass from Angel Clemente to TE Brady (David Dúran). The drive ended with a seven yard TD pass from Angel Clemente to WR Pablo Serrano. The PAT by Alberto del Cerro was perfect and, despite all our offensive woes of the First Half, it was Murcia 7 - Santurtzi 0.

Coyotes Ball: Santurtzi ran three plays for little gain as the First Half came to a close with the score still Cobras 7 - Coyotes 0. Somehow, we weathered the first half storm.

Coyotes Pass Rush Pressure

The Line of Scrimmage

Alejandro Amoros trying to . . .

. . . turn the corner

Thanks to a good block by #60 RT Tomas Romero he gained a few yards.

The Pit

Mano a Mano

QB Angel  Clemente

Kiki in Hot Pursuit

Coyote FUMBLE!!!

Who has it?

Casta recovers for the Cobras!!!

Encouragement for the Defense

Walter Bryan trying to find a hole

Mini-Q tackle

Jorge Ortin and Mini-Q to the rescue

Brady is on this one

Brady made several big plays on defense as well as his key catch on offense in the First Half to earn the first Game Hammer of the season.


Ruso recovers another Coyotes fumble!!!

If you zoom in on Ruso's helmet, you'll see a big wad of white tape that he uses to anchor down his top chin strap since he does not have a button attachment to hold it down properly and the Cobras don't have any extras.

Thus is life in EuroBall. Fortunately, Laurie sent us a few new pieces of helmet hardware to get us through this situation soon I hope.

Our Defensive Ends
Alejandro Sotomayor and Brady

Olivier Rival and Family

I first met Olivier through the French American football website that he was running during the 2012-13 French season while I was coaching the Bron-Villeurbanne Falcons near Lyon.

He is a good source of knowledge on anything you want to know about American football in Europe in general and in France specifically.

He currently lives in a city near Biarritz in the southwest corner of France or, as I usually think of it, West Provence.

The day in the Spring of 2013 when he drove Laurie and I all over the back country near his ancestral hometown of Grenoble is still one of our best days ever in Europe.

In short, Olivier is good people! I really appreciate that he took the time to drive a few hours to Santurtzi to see us play. I just wish that we could have more time to visit.

Merci, Olivier!


Santurtzi Ball: Alberto del Cerro put his kickoff into the Coyotes end zone to start the Second Half. The Coyotes ran the ball well and quickly had a first and goal situation. On fourth and goal at the two yard line a Cobra defender broke through the line to make an apparent huge play for a two yard loss only to try to spin-throw the Coyote runner to the ground rather than running his feet. In attempting to spin-throw him, he let him go and the Coyote running back recovered his balance and skirted outside for the TD. Santurtzi went for two points but our tough Cobra defense stopped their play. It was now Cobras 7 - Coyotes 6.

Murcia Ball: The Santurtzi kickoff went into the end zone and again it was a Three and Out but Jorge Ortin once again responded with a solid punt.

Santurtzi Ball: The Coyotes were driving again but Mini-Q, playing Strong Safety, made a big play on a third down Santurtzi reverse to force a Coyotes field goal attempt that fell short.

Murcia Ball: The Cobras were on the move as the Third Quarter ended with the score still Murcia 7 - Santurtzi 6.

Jesus Clemente
Dangerous in the open field

Angel Clemente

Angel again

Ruso and Jorge Ortin on their QB

Angel facing heat


But Jesus clearly landed out of bounds with his spectacular catch.

So close to a much needed TD . . .

Ruso holding on for dear life


Cobras Ball: Our drive that started at the end of the Third Quarter ended with another punt.

Coyotes Ball: The Coyotes drove the ball down the field with consistency and scored on a 19 yard TD pass. Their two point pass play was successful as well and the Coyotes led for the first time, Santurtzi 14 - Murcia 7.

Cobras Ball: Time was running out so we went for it on fourth down but were stopped by the strong Coyotes defense.

Coyotes Ball: The Coyotes drove a bit but the Cobras forced a punt.

Cobras Ball: We only had 0:57 left in the game and a lot of muddy field in front of us. The Santurtzi defense held as the clock ran out.

Final Score
Santurtzi (1-1) 14 - Murcia (0-1) 7

After much needed showers, we were back aboard the bus for the ride home. The first stop before leaving was a quick team meal at McDonalds in Santurtzi. I normally refuse to eat in any American restaurant when I'm overseas so as to take in as much of the local culture and cuisine as possible. The only exception to this rule is a team building moment like this one.

It was as bad as I remembered it.

Maybe worse.

We were finally on our way home at 3:50 p.m.

Snow in the scenic Basque Country

Seeing the farmlands and sheep as we drove through the glorious pastoral country brought back a lot of memories of walking the Camino de Santiago through the north of Spain in 2010.

At one point we were driving near a small city with a huge and obviously old building dominating the cityscape.

Imma Belén, RG Roberto Dúran's wife, commented that it was either a castle or a monastery.

So this magnificent building either belonged to a wealthy royal family or a group of poor priests.

Hmmm . . .

At 6:30 p.m. we took our first stop in Tudanca, the stop that was closed on the way to Santurtzi. The bush I used looked healthy.

We left Tudanca at 7:00 p.m. but only after buying some good cheese and some delicacies called Tejas.

I was told by a reliable source (Roberto Dúran) that they were oh so good for me!

As I was sitting directly behind and about two feet above the driver, I peeked to see how fast he was driving to try to calculate when we would arrive in Murcia. He was cruising at a safe and comfortable 60 mph.

It was then that I noticed that his gas gauge empty and that his check engine light was flashing.

We were still about six hours from Murcia the way I figured it.

Since we never stopped for gas and the gauge always said empty, I guess that it was broken. Now as for that check engine light . . .

Back in Honrubia's Hostal Onaya

This second stop occurred at 10:10 p.m. at the same spot where I had purchased the delicious Miguelitos de La Roda on our Saturday morning stop here.

One LARGE chorizo bocadillo and
a café con leche hit the spot

They sold Bota Bags and . . .

. . . knives too!

We left Honrubia at 11:00 p.m. and finally arrived at the University of Murcia's parking lot at 1:15 a.m. By the time Roberto and Imma Belén dropped me off back at La Hacienda it was 1:35 a.m. Monday morning.

A long weekend indeed.

Here is how Serie B looks after two weeks of play:

Week #2 Results:
Santurtzi 14 - Murcia 7
Reus 42 - Barcelona 0
BYE: Zaragoza Hornets

Eastern Conference Standings:
Reus Imperials 2-0
Barcelona Búfals 1-1
Santurtzi Coyotes 1-1
Murcia Cobras 0-1
Zaragoza Hornets 0-1

Week #3 Schedule:
Sunday, February 8, 2015
Murcia (0-1) at Zaragoza Hornets (0-1)
Santurtzi (1-1) at Barcelona (1-1)
BYE: Reus (2-0)

Week #2 Results:
Coslada 13 - Las Rozas 7
Granada 62 - Zaragoza Hurricanes 33
BYE: Barberá

Western Conference Standings:
Coslada Camioneros 2-0
Barberá Rookies 1-0
Granada Lions 1-0
Las Rozas Black Demons 0-2
Zaragoza Hurricanes 0-2

Week #3 Schedule:
Sunday, February 8, 2015
Zaragoza Hurricanes (0-2) at Las Rozas (0-2)
Granada (1-0) at Barberá (1-0)
BYE: Coslada (2-0)


Olivier R said...

thanks for the kind words George!

Catalina Gracia Saavedra said...

Muchas gracias a usted,George,muy amable .
He comenzado a leer su blog,me gusta ver que le gusta Murcia y que está disfrutándola junto con Laurie ahora.
Seguro que va a llegar a conocer nuestra ciudad mucho mejor que nosotros,sin duda.
Un abrazo para ambos,y hasta el Domingo.

Catalina Gracia Saavedra said...
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