Lobos win championship final rematch in Ecuador
The defending champion Lobos of Quito opened their “Mitad Del Mundo” (Middle of the World) American Football League season in Ecuador the way they finished last year’s with a victory over the Colorados of Santo Domingo 27-6 giving their home crowd in Quito reason to cheer.
The game featured the Lobos’ high-scoring offense against a powerful Colorados team, coming to Quito to avenge their loss in last year’s Ecuadorian final.
The Colorados of Santo Domingo started on offense. Thanks to some incredible play by the defensive line bolstered by William Romero and Alberto Trujillo, the Colorados were only able to run six plays before punting. The Lobos wasted little time before they scored on the second play from scrimmage. On that play, starting quarterback Jonathan Torres threw a quick slant pass to budding wide receiver Alexis Herrera who took it to the house on a 38-yard touchdown catch and scamper.
The Colorados’ made the most of their second possession, driving down the field to score on a flea-flicker pass from the 23-yard line. The extra point failed, tying the game up at 6. Their key play in the series took advantage of a weakness they noticed in the Lobos’ punt-return team during the first punt of the game. The Colorados faked the punt and ran for a first down, which kept the drive alive long enough to score.
When the Lobos got the ball back, they drove to the 18-yard line where the offense stalled, giving Jesus Ochoa the first chance to make league field-goal history from 33 yards out. Unfortunately for Ochoa and the Lobos, the attempt was short and to the left and the two teams remained tied.
The Lobos turned up the heat on the Colorados’ offense thereafter, starting with an interception by Israel “Gazzu” Hidalgo, who returned the ball to the Colorados’ 18-yard line. The Lobos never looked back from that point, scoring 21 unanswered points. The Lobos defense, bolstered by safety Hidalgo, never gave up another touchdown, holding the Colorados, playing without star running back Enrique Castillo of Spain, to only six points and ending the game with a final score of 27-6.
The Lobos’ much-anticipated running back and league MVP from 2016, Venezuelan, Ismael Mejia, ran for over 200 yards to put the Lobos into position to score multiple times throughout the game, scoring one TD himself. Beto Trujillo, a defensive tackle who played fullback for the first time in his career added one score in the game. Running back Christian Chavez, taking the place of a temporarily injured Ismael Mejia due to a dislocated right shoulder, helped the Lobos march down the field on two separate series until Mejia stepped back into the game in the second half.
After the game, defensive coordinator, Brad Scott had this to say about the game:
“This was a great way to start off the season against an excellent team that we respect. The final score does not reflect how much the Colorado’s have improved over last year. We understand that a few of their players could not play today, so if we both have the good fortune to meet each other again this year, we’re going to need to be a much better team than we were today to have a chance at winning.”
Next Game for the Lobos de Quito: Saturday May 27th @ Kraken del Sur in the South of Quito, Ecuador.
Stay tuned for more news on the Ecuadorian Football league with four more teams playing this weekend, April 8th, including: Caimanes de Guayaquil @ Porto Viejo and Kraken del Sur Quito at Berserkers del Norte Quito.