World Bowl '97 (or World Bowl V) was NFL Europe's 1997 championship game. The game was played at Estadi Olimpic de Montjuic in Barcelona, Spain on June 22, 1997. This World Bowl was played between the 7-3 Rhein Fire and the 5-5 Barcelona Dragons. 31,100 fans were in attendance as the Dragons won their first and only World Bowl title in franchise history by beating the Fire 38-24. Dragons QB Jon Kitna was given MVP honors, by going 23 of 31 for 401 Yards with 2 Touchdowns and only 1 Interception.
The Dragons won the first meeting 27-12 in Düsseldorf, while the Fire won the second meeting 38-23 in Barcelona.
Game summary Edit
The Rhein Fire managed to get the game's early sparks going as they had a 9-play, 46-yard drive that led to a 31-yard field goal by Manfred Burgsmüller. However, the Dragons would put up some real fire power, as Dragons QB Jon Kitna led a 4-play, 80-yard drive that was capped off with a 13-yard run by Terry Wilburn. Then, more than halfway through the first quarter, as Rhein began a drive from deep in their own territory, Fire QB T.J. Rubley threw an interception towards Dragons safety Carlos Brooks, who returned the ball 16 yards for a touchdown. In the second quarter, the fireworks managed to start flying. Rubley would lead a 7-play, 39-yard drive and cap it off with a touchdown on a 3-yard QB sneak. However, Kitna and the Dragons would respond with a 4-play, 79-yard drive that concluded with a 66-yard TD pass to WR Marcos Martos. Then, a little later in the quarter, the Dragons would further increase their lead with a 5-play, 80-yard drive that ended with a 40-yard pass to WR Alfonzo Browning. However, the Rhein Fire refused to trail 28-10 at halftime. Near the end of the half, Rubley would lead a 9-play, 56-yard drive that concluded with him running the ball in for a touchdown on a 1-yard QB sneak. In the third quarter, both sides had their defenses stiffen throughout most of the quarter. However, the Dragons would eventually get an 8-play, 90-yard drive working for them, as RB Terry Wilburn capped off the drive with a 4-yard TD run. Trailing 35-17 heading into the fourth quarter, the Rhein Fire had to get some points quick and fast. Unfortunately for them, the only score that they could get in the final quarter was a 22-yard pass from Rubley to WR Sean Foster. The Dragons then capped off their World Bowl title with a 34-yard field goal by Jesus Angoy.
Scoring summary Edit
- Rhein - FG Burgsmüller 31 yd 4:47 1st
- Barcelona - TD Wilburn 13 yd run 6:34 1st
- Barcelona - TD Brooks 16 yd INT return 11:05 1st
- Rhein - TD Rubley 3 yd run 0:58 2nd
- Barcelona - TD Martos 66 yd pass from Kitna 2:59 2nd
- Barcelona - TD Browning 40 yd pass from Kitna 9:01 2nd
- Rhein - TD Rubley 1 yd run 13:13 2nd
- Barcelona - TD Wilburn 4 yd run 12:54 3rd
- Rhein - TD Foster 22 yd pass from Rubley 1:29 4th
- Barcelona - FG Angoy 34 yd 6:11 4th