Monday, April 20, 2015

Final Regular Season Game: Murcia Cobras at Barcelona Búfals

Sunday, 19 April, 2015:

Murcia Cobras

Season Results (4-3)
Lost to the Santurtzi Coyotes 7-14
Beat the Zaragoza Hornets 15-0
Lost to the Reus Imperials 14-34
Beat the Barcelona Búfals 20-13
Beat the Santurtzi Coyotes 19-16
Beat the Zaragoza Hornets 26-0
Lost to the Reus Imperials 7-20


Barcelona Búfals

Season Results (2-5)
Beat the Zaragoza Hornets 14-8
Lost to the Reus Imperials 0-42
Beat the Santurtzi Coyotes 14-0
Lost to the Murcia Cobras 13-20
Lost to the Zaragoza Hornets 0-10
Lost to the Reus Imperials 0-32
Lost to the Santurtzi Coyotes 6-38

The concern all week for me was our mental approach to this "trap" game, the last contest of the regular season.

Several off our players noted in Reus last Sunday after the news that the Santurtzi Coyotes had also lost on that day, that the Cobras were locked into the Par Conferences second playoff seed win or lose against the Búfals today.

That kind of thinking had me worried all week, plus we had spotty attendance at practices, and would again be minus several key players for the road trip to Catalonia's capital city.

We left Murcia a little after midnight Sunday morning and arrived at the stadium in Barceloneta at 7:50 a.m.

We had time to kill before our 11:00 a.m. kickoff.  

Pulling into the Barcelona City Limits

Barcelona Breakfast Stop

This was the second of the two scheduled bus stops on our journey. The food was expensive by Murcian standards.

Oscar, Alberto, Laurie and Rosa
Our Barrio del Carmen Family

Stadium Entrance

Water tower outside of the stadium

Barceloneta Beach at Daybreak

After nearly eight hours on the bus, it felt good to walk with the Cobras along the Barceloneta shore.

Part of Barcelona's extensive
Share-a-Bike Program

Barceloneta Harbor

Café con Leche por favor

Pero, no tostada de tomate

No juice either

Now we were whole

Frank Gehry's "Fish"

The Búfals home field

Last minute "GET FOCUSED" talk


Here Come the Cobras

Jesus Clemente

Our most accomplished receiver coming into the season, today marked his fifth game missed since season ending shoulder surgery.

One LARGE building overlooking the field

The refs were ready

Laurie was ready

The water tower was ready

And, unfortunately for us,
the Búfals were extremely ready

At the end of the season there is a relegation game between our Serie B Par Conference's last place team and a top notch team from Serie C. The winner of this game will play in Serie B in 2016 and the loser will spend next year's campaign in Serie C.

If Barcelona lost today, they would be playing in that game. If the Búfals won and Zaragoza lost today against undefeated Reus, then Zaragoza would face relegation.

The Búfals had lots of incentive to win and not leave Serie B.


Barcelona Ball: On the second play from scrimmage, SS Coperte forced a Búfals' fumble that FS Brady recovered. Yes, DE Brady, our second leading tackler on the season, was forced to play FS today given our roster issues.

Murcia Ball: An ugly Three & Out, Punt.

Barcelona Ball: On fourth down, the Bùfals competed a short pass that probably would have been good for a first down except their receiver broke the tackle and spinted into the end zone for a 50 yard TD play. The PAT was true and the Búfals led 7-0.

Murcia Ball: An ugly Three & Out, Punt.

Barcelona Ball: The Búfals experience a Three & Out, Punt of their own.

Murcia Ball: A Three & Out, Punt.

Barcelona Ball: The Búfals are driving as the First Quarter ends with Barcelona winning 7-0.

OLB Mariano on a loose ball

Maybe it wasn't Brady on that fumble recovery after all. I'll have to see the game tape to be sure. Why couldn't they have used the yellow soccer midfield line as our 45 yard line of the 90 yard field?

Conferring with QB Angel

Sure-Handed Rafa was back this week

Kiki and Mini-Q on the coverage

Guy in the cheap seats

Jorge punted a lot today


Búfals Ball: They continued their drive that started in the First Quarter but it was another Three & Out, Punt as the Cobras' defense was dialed in!

Cobras Ball: The offense finally got untracked as Angel connected with Rafa on two big pass plays that netted a first and goal situation. Unfortunately, an obvious offsides on third and goal at the two yard line effectively killed a golden scoring opportunity. We attempted a field goal that weakly rolled along the ground right through the middle of the line without touching anyone and dying two yards into the end zone.

And I thought that I had seen everything . . .

Búfals Ball: DE Soto recovers another Búfals fumble.

Cobras Ball: The Cobras work their way deep into Barcelona territory again but turn the ball over on downs.

Búfals Ball: The half ends with the Búfals still in possession of the ball at midfield.

The Half Time score was Barcelona 7 - Murcia 0.

Kicking and Mini-Q breaking up a pass

Reflections during the game

MLB Jorge on the tackle

Copete and Brady

Angel giving his ALL at QB again

Angel ran well too


Murcia Ball: QB Angel had a spectacular third down run but eventually Jorge would have to punt for the fourth time today.

Barcelona Ball: Three & Out, Punt.

Murcia Ball: Three & Out, Punt.

Barcelona Ball: The Cobras came up with big fourth down stop to end the Búfals drive.

Murcia Ball: Three & Out, Punt.

Barcelona Ball: The Búfals take advantage of poor Cobras tackling and return the Murcia punt 75 yards for a TD. The PAT was perfect as the Búfals upped their lead to 14-0.

Murcia Ball: The Cobras were driving as the Third Quarter ended with the Búfals owning a commanding 14-0 lead.

RB Omar with some running room

QB Angel sparking the team

Huddling during a Búfals injury

Jorge punting again

Mini-Q rodeo riding a Búfals receiver

Mini-Q in a hurry

Trust me, every man who has ever coached an American football team in any country in the known universe would love having Mini-Q on their side as he gives you 100%, 24/7!!!

Mini-Q on the spot again

Copete, Mini-Q and Brady


Cobras Ball: Continuing their Third Quarter drive, Rafa made another of his patented third down conversion catches, but eventually an interception stymied the drive.

Búfals Ball: Three & Out, Punt as the defense is playing their hearts out!

Angel scrambling

Rafa, Mr. Clutch

Cobras Ball: Angel hits Rafa with a 15 yard TD pass, Alberto's PAT kick is true. The Búfals' lead is cut to 14-7.



Búfals Ball: No we don't, Barcelona returns the kickoff 85 yards for a TD. The PAT hits the left upright and bounces back onto the field of play but Barcelona has recaptured the momentum and leads 20-7.

This was doubly disappointing as after dominating the Kicking game in the first six games of the season, for the second straight game we have lost this crucial phase of the game.


Cobras Ball: Three & Out, Punt, but Jorge got off a boomer to pin the Búfals deep in their territory. Who downed it? Why Mini-Q of course!

Defense grinding away

Búfals Ball: Three & Out, Punt. Good pressure by the Cobras forced a 15 yard punt.

Cobras Ball: The Cobras drove the ball deep into the Red Zone but we were stopped on fourth down at the two yard line.

Búfals Ball: After getting a first down, the Búfals punted.

Cobras Ball: The Cobra drives when a Barcelona DB picks off a desperation pass.

Búfals Ball: Barcelona takes a knee to end a disappointing game for the Cobras.

The Final Score was Barcelona (3-5) 20 - Murcia (4-4) 7.

What do you say?

Not the result we wanted
but the one we earned


This one REALLY hurt

Losing our last two games to finish 4-4 and in second place in the Par Conference was certainly not what we all wanted.

We therefore back into the playoffs but still will have a Wild Card Round home game against the Impar Conference's third place squad, the 3-5 Las Rozas Black Demons.

Las Rozas Black Devils

Season Results (3-5)
Lost to the Barberà Rookies 7-21
Lost to the Coslada Canioneros 7-13
Lost to the Zaragoza Hurricanes 12-21
Beat the Granada Lions 27-20
Lost to the Barberà Rookies 0-30
Beat the Coslada Canioneros 19-2
Beat the Zaragoza Hurricanes 41-0
Lost to the Granada Lions 29-17

Final Regular Season Thoughts

Our Par Conference was drawn up with no logical thinking on the part of the Spanish Federation in my opinion.

Instead of trying to make the two Conferences more of a North-South affair, they came up with two far flung geographic and financially challenging Conferences.

As a result, for the Cobras and their opponents, game day travel has been a determining factor as round trip bus rides of from a mere 610 miles (Reus) to a whopping 1,000 miles (Santurtzi) were required. For the record, the Zaragoza trip covered 680 miles round trip and today's Barcelona trek was 730 miles round trip.

The result of all of this driving? The Cobras were 3-1 at home losing only to 8-0 Reus. The Cobras were 1-3 on the road beating only the 2-6 Zaragoza Hornets.

Time to move on to the 2015 Serie B Playoffs and a chance for redemption.


This was the final week of the regular season in Serie B. The playoffs start in two weeks with the two Conference #2 teams hosting the opposite Conference's #3 squad. The two Conference Champions earned First Round Byes. The First Round games are listed at the bottom of this post. 

Week #10 Results:
Barcelona 20 - Murcia 7
Reus 26 - Zaragoza Hornets 6
BYE: Santurtzi

Final Par Conference Standings:
Reus Imperials 8-0
Murcia Cobras 4-4
Santurtzi Coyotes 3-5
Barcelona Búfals 3-5
Zaragoza Hornets 2-6

Week #10 Results:
Granada 17 - Las Rozas 9
Barberà 30 - Coslada 7
BYE: Zaragoza Hurricanes

Final Impar Conference Standings:
Barberá Rookies 8-0
Granada Lions 5-3
Las Rozas Black Demons 3-5
Coslada Camieneros 3-5
Zaragoza Hurricanes 1-7

2015 Serie B Playoffs

Saturday/Sunday, May 2/3, 2015
Impar #3 Las Rozas Black (3-5) at Par #2 Murcia (4-4)
Par #3 Santurtzi (3-5) at Impar #2 Granada (5-3) 
BYES: Par #1 Reus (8-0) and Impar #1 Barberà (8-0)

Saturday/Sunday, May 16/17, 2015
Las Rozas-Murcia winner at Barberà (8-0)
Santurtzi-Granada winner at Reus (8-0)

Sunday, May 31, 2015

No comments: