Monday, February 9, 2015

Zaragoza Hornets Game/Road Trip

Sunday, 8 February, 2015:

Week #3 of the 2015 Spanish Serie B season was upon us as your Murcia Cobras (0-1) were taking our second long bus trip of young season, this time 700 miles round trip to play the Zaragoza Hornets (0-1) at noon today.

The Hornets had lost a road game to the Barcelona Búfals 14-8 in Week #1 and had the conference's bye in Week #2.

The Cobras had the conference's bye during Week #1 and suffered a 14-7 setback on the road against the Santurtzi Coyotes in Week #2.

Our Bus

The Cobras met in the parking lot at the University of Murcia to board this nice recliner bus, complete with two drivers who would tag team it to make the trip a bit speedier and safer.

Departure time was 3:00 a.m. Sunday morning.


We were on our way on time with 27 Cobras anxious to get on the winning track in Zaragoza.

First Stop in Barracas, Castellón

It was now 6:30 a.m. and a quick restroom break seemed to appeal to most of us along with a beverage.

Twenty-five minutes later, we were back on the road.

I must note that I have yet to see any of our players smoking during our travel breaks the last two games.

Now that is different from my other EuroBall experiences.

Snow just off of the Autovia Mudéjar

Much of northern Spain had been ravaged by a huge cold snap during the past week.

A Mudéjar Symbol

They were hanging from several of the bridges along the way this morning.

The Mudéjars were Moors or Muslims of Al-Andalus who remained in Spain after the Christian Reconquista in 1492 but were not converted to Christianity.

 Breakfast in Zaragoza at 9:35 a.m.

Only six hours and 35 minutes, not bad!

This hotel restaurant was only a few hundred meters from the game field.

Alberto and Amoros at breakfast

Two wonderful, good hearted Cobras who are cousins.

Alberto is our Junior team QB/WR while Amoros is our Senior team FB.

Lots of good breakfast options

A café con leche and a tortilla Española with chorizo did it for me.

Interesting Hotel Lamp

Anu and Catalina

Anu Medina is the Hornets Team Photographer and Catalina is one of two ace photographers working the Cobras sideline today.

Oscar Constante also took some great photos today for the Cobras I'm sure.

Our opponents today

We arrived at the stadium at 10:15 a.m.

The pristine Hornets' game field

 Modest Stands

Pre-Game Camraderie
Francisco Corral and Tanke Gil

Many of our players knew Hornet players due to years working out with them for various Spanish National teams.

Hornets Coach James Rogers' wife
and daughter working the Snack Bar

All coaches need good coach's wives to survive!

Captains Out

L. to R.: QB Angel Clemente, RG Roberto Durán, DE David Durán and LB Jorge Ortin 

The Coin Flip

Thanks to Ana of the Hornets for this photo.

The next three photos are thanks to the Cobras' Oscat Constante.

 Alberto Talavera . . .
My Main Man!

About the game, we will be able to post lots of game shots once Ana, Catalina and Oscar upload all of their best shots later this week.

Here is the capsule look at the game . . .


HORNET BALL: Alberto del Cerro put the opening kickoff deep into the Hornets end zone. After making a first down, the Zaragoza eleven punted.

COBRA BALL: The Murcia eleven picked up a couple of first downs before QB Angel Clemente threw a perfect 40 yard bomb to his WR brother Jesus Clemente for a TD. Albert del Cerro's PAT was blocked bit the Cobras led 6-0.

HORNET BALL: Kiki, our otherwise nameless CB, made the big play on this drive for Murcia by intercepting a Hornets' third down pass. The Cobras defense was looking salty again this game.

COBRA BALL: A fine drive was highlighted by a clutch third down pass reception by Rafa Manzano. Unfortunately, an illegal procedure penalty on fourth down followed by a QB sack ended the drive as the First Quarter ended with a score of Murcia 6 - Zaragoza 0.


ZARAGOZA BALL: A 15 yard penalty extended the Hornet drive put great pressure by the Punt Block team combined with a bad snap gave the Cobras great field position.

MURCIA BALL: A squandered opportunity, Three and Out Punt.

ZARAGOZA BALL: A Three and Out Punt.

MURCIA BALL: Another frustrating Three and Out Punt.

ZARAGOZA BALL: Yet another Three and Out Punt but the Hornets long snap sailed over the punter's head and out of the end zone for a safety. The score was now Cobras 8 - Hornets 0.

MURCIA BALL: Angel Clemente hit Pablo Serrano on a big pass play but the First Half came to a close with the Cobras in control leading 8-0.

 Talking to the Cobras at halftime


COBRA BALL: Some more clutch catches by Rafa Manzano but the drive ended with a great coffin corner punt by Jorge Ortin that the Cobras downed at the seven yard line.

HORNET BALL: Great pressure on the Zaragoza QB by Alberto del Cerro led to an interception by LB Mariano Galvez.

COBRA BALL: Angel Clemente connected on his second TD pass of the day, a 35 harder to WR Pablo Serrano. Alberto del Cerro's PAT kick was true and it was now Murcia 15 - Zaragoza 0.

HORNET BALL: The Cobra defense continued to play hard but after giving up a first down, the Hornets' punter got off a great punt that rolled dead at the Murcia ten yard line.

COBRA BALL: The Third Quarter ended with the Cobras driving and ahead 15-0.

Oscar Constante's photo of a
great attempt by Pablo Serrano


MURCIA BALL: The drive that ended the Third Quarter continued with yet another clutch catch by Rafa Manzno on another third down conversion but eventually the Cobras punted.

ZARAGOZA BALL: FS El Largo picked off an errant Hornet pass and returned it 25 yards, the defense was playing inspired ball today.

MURCIA BALL: A Three and Out Punt but Jorge Ortin's punt died at the Hornets six yard line!

ZARAGOZA BALL: They converted a fourth down fake punt play but the clock ran out a play later with the final score being Cobras (1-1) 15 - Hornets (0-2) 0.

Winning is good!!!

The traditional post-game team photo

Justin Schnurstein and Michael Simon 
University of La Verne Leopards and
Zaragoza Hornets

The small world of EuroBall . . .

I have talked to Seniors at southern California's University of La Verne for years about extending their playing careers overseas.

These two listened apparently and played against us today. We had a nice visit after the game.

Winning is FUN!!!

On the road home,
we left the stadium at 3:05 p.m.

The trip home would be a happy one after the solid win by the Cobras.

 But first . . .

A stop at the McDonald's in Zaragoza.

The sacrifices one makes in the name of team bonding.

 Alberto and his SEVEN hamburgers

He ate five of them in McDonalds and saved the other two for later in the evening's drive.

We shoved off from McDonalds at 4:20 p.m.

Last stop, 7:55 p.m.

It only lasted 30 minutes and we then embarked on tyne last leg of the trip home.

At 10:30 p.m., just 19 1/2 hours after we started our journey, we were back at the University of Murcia's parking lot.

A group of tired but happy and victorious Cobras were home.

Here is how the league shapes up after three weeks of play . . .

Note: I was calling these two Conferences Western and Eastern instead of their real names Par and Impar.

Par means even while Impar denotes odd.

Apparently, rather than organizing the two Conferences based on geography to cut down on travel costs in the middle of Spain's well documented financial crisis, the powers that be opted to rank all ten Serie B teams based on past performances and then put all the even numbered ranked teams in the Par Conference and all of the odd numbered ranked clubs in the Impar Conference.

Thus the two teams in Zaragoza, the Hornets and the Hurricanes do not play each other.

Wonders never cease . . .

Week #3 Results:
Murcia 15 - Zaragoza Hornets 0
Barcelona 14 - Santurtzi 0
BYE: Reus

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

Week #4 Schedule:
Sunday, February 15, 2015
Reus (2-0) at Murcia (1-1)
Zaragoza (0-2) at Santurtzi (1-2)
BYE: Barcelona (2-1)

Week #3 Results:
Zaragoza Hurricanes 21 - Las Rozas 12
Barberá 24 - Granada 20
BYE: Coslada

Impar Conference Standings:
Barberá Rookies 2-0
Coslada Camioneros 2-0
Granada Lions 1-1
Zaragoza Hurricanes 1-2
Las Rozas Black Demons 0-3

Week #4 Schedule:
Sunday, February 15, 2015
Coslada (2-0) at Granada (1-1)
Barberá (2-0) at Zaragoza Hurricanes (1-2)
BYE: Las Rozas (0-3)

The countdown continues . . .

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