Egyptian National Football League Opened 2017 Season With Upsets
The Egyptian Federation of American Football launched its men’s football league – the ENFL – last week with high attendance, reaching almost 1,000 at the peak of the day. The opening day saw two games as the MSA Tigers faced the Cairo Wolves while the defending champions, the GUC Eagles battled the Cairo Bears.
Cairo Wolves 36 – MSA Tigers 30
The Cairo Wolves managed to pull off the biggest upset of the opening weekend, beating the MSA Tigers. Wolves import RB/Returner/Safety Kendall Owens opened the games with a kickoff return touchdown, shocking the Tigers. The Wolves continued to dominate the game, leading increasing their lead to 16-0. The Tigers made notable comebacks in the game with import QB Taylor Budd putting in 199 passing yards with with 1 TD and 20 rushing yards with 2 TDs. However, that was not enough to stop the Wolves who won the game 36-30, leaving everyone in a state of surprise.
The Wolves defence was outstanding recording a total of 9 tackles for loss, 6 sacks, 2 interceptions and 1 safety. What was most notable was the performance of the Wolves defensive line against the gigantic Tigers offensive line, as Mohamed Ashraf, Eslam El Nady and Ibrahim Naguib registered a combined 7 tackles for loss, 5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles and a safety.
Game MVP went to Kendall Owens of the Wolves who had 381 all-purpose yards including 96 interception yards, 140 return yards (1 TD), 25 receiving yards (1 TD) and 120 rushing yards (2 TDs).
GUC Eagles 21 – 8 Cairo Bears
The GUC Eagles followed suit in their games against the Bears as import RB/Returner Triston McCathern scored a kick-return TD to open the game. The Cairo Bears, under the leadership of head coach Antonio Banks, put up quite a fight against the defending champions, applying a heavy-blitzing defence against the Eagles offense, resulting in a 5 sacks, 3 forced fumbles and 2 interceptions, 1 of which resulting in the Bears’ only TD by Joe Said, who ran the ball an impressive 70 yards and into the Eagles end zone. Other notable players include linebacker Ehab Gamal with 5 tackles for loss and 3 sacks. The Eagles’ offense accepted the challenge and went on to score 2 more TDs, 1 by receiver Hazem Shawkat and another by running back Youssef Salman, ending the game 21-8.
The Eagles defence also performed admirably, only allowing the Bears offense a 100 yard gain for the entire game, with a combined 5 tackles for loss, 1 critical interception by defensive back John Gabra and 1 sack resulting in a safety by linebacker Ahmed Mansy.
Game MVP went to Eagles safety Muhammad Anbar, with 5 tackles and 1 deflection that altered the course of the game and were able to incapacitate the Bears offense.
This week proves that all teams have stepped things up this season and that no predictions are guaranteed. Week 2 will see the season debut of the Cairo Hellhounds against the Cairo Wolves and the GUC Eagles against the MSA Tigers.
Watch the highlights of Week 1 of the ENFL