2017 Súper Tazón Costa Rica IX – Bulldogs Top Dragons in OT Victory

Bulldogs F.A., winner of the Asociación de Equipos de Football Americano (AEFA) Western Conference, entered the final on Saturday, May 20th, 2017 with a 7-1 advantage over the AEFA Southern Conference winner Cartago Dragons F.A.. This team ended up with a 6-1 standing because one of the regular season games against the Toros F.C. were rained out twice. Well, more appropriately worded, flooded out!

The final opened under cloudy skies that soon turned to rain at Ernesto Rohrmoser Stadium in Pavas, San José. Multi-colored umbrellas repelled the rain and enthusiastic fans remained in the stands to watch the most revered game of the year in Costa Rica, Súper Tazón CR IX.

With the 2016 champions, Bulldogs F.A., having been fast-tracked to the finals after regular season, and the Cartago Dragons F.A. securing a berth in the final after eliminating their playoff challengers, the Leones Cartago F.C., the battle was on.

Middle of the 1st Quarter veteran QB Justin McKenzie #2 put his confidence in rookie player, 20-year-old WR Jason Rodriguez #23 for a 35-yard passing touchdown. Extra point scored by the Bulldogs F.A. famed K Eloy Chacon #56.

Bulldogs F.A. 7 – Cartago Dragons F.A. 0

Going from a rookie player to a star player all in one season! WR Jason Rodriguez #23

It was a very good experience! As you know, I have just started with what is American football, and to be for the first time in a final, and be the first to score and in such a short time is exciting. We must continue to work hard to be able to perfect in many aspects. But it was a great joy to be the first to score and know that the touchdown helped in a way to make the team be seen as the best in the country. I also thank God and the coaches for trusting me and letting me play.

3rd Quarter action heated up when Cartago Dragons F.A. QB Michael Maroto #10 scored a 25-yard passing touchdown to WR Jean Paul Marchena #80. Extra point scored by K Victor Coto #40 to tie the score.

Bulldogs F.A. 7 – Cartago Dragons F.A. 7

WR Jean Paul Marchena #80

Playing a final match is great for any football player in this world! My personal revenge, a dream come true, but to score and to help my teammates do the best they can and push them to break the limits is awesome. I worked hard for this moment. My coach and my teammates believed in me and I did it. Dragons is my family; we fight, we laugh, we cry together, this touchdown is only the beginning. We lost the game but Dragons will rise and will be a champion!

The score remained 7 – 7 in the 4th and the game advanced into OT.

OT excitement prevailed with another passing touchdown from QB Justin McKenzie #2, this time to TE Derrick Fadell #16, catching the pass in the middle of the end zone while taking a hit from behind by a Cartago Dragons F.A. opponent.

Final Score: Bulldogs F.A. 13 – Cartago Dragons F.A. 7

Bulldogs F.A. TE Derrick Fadell #16 OT Victory Catch – Photo Credit / Alexander Alvarado

Moment of Glory for TE Derrick Fadell #16

I´m glad to give our Bulldogs family the last touchdown of the season. It is the best feeling I have since I started to play with the team back in 2011. It was a great championship and I´m glad that the sport is growing in Costa Rica and that the level of play gets more and more competitive each year.

Bulldogs F.A. HC Carlos Avila

We did it, we’re the 2017 National Champions. All thanks to my staff and players, everyone worked so hard to make this a reality. Bulldogs is now the Team of the Decade with Six National Championship Titles. Hard work, dedication and discipline led us here. I do want to thank the whole Bulldogs Nation for supporting us and believing in our work. GO BULLDOGS!!!!!! #StayTrueToTheBlue #Champions #BulldogsDynasty

MVP Súper Tazón CR IX – Tackle Cristian Sanchez #96

Being the MVP for the final game is truly an honor! It means more than a single play in the game. I think the coaches recognized my ‘spirit’ to continue playing despite being in a lot of pain from a mid-game injury. Spirit, is a characteristic also present in many of my fellow Bulldogs. I have played many sports before but with American football I have found a passion that I had never felt before.

Tackle Cristian Sanchez – R: LB Jairo Sandoval

The Unsung Heroes On The Field

Bulldogs F.A. resident Physical Therapists Jenny Agüero Hidalgo, Gloriana Ordóñez Carboni and Victor Villalobos Madrigal concurred that Cristian Sanchez received a significant knee injury that had him experiencing extreme pain. Sanchez insisted that he wanted to continue playing so they proceeded with the best methods to keep the swelling down and reduce the pain.

Recognition To The Team Captain by Bulldogs F.A. Manager, Alejandro Castro Z. 

It was so very hard losing Tackle Gilbert Chaves #54, a 4 year team Captain to a devastating right knee injury so early on in game week 3. It was a big blow to the team. A true champion, Chaves continued to rally his teammates from the games sidelines while still recovering from corrective knee surgery.

Closing Game Remarks by Cartago Dragons F.A. HC Mark Sandoval

The truth is these past 3 years have been a great adventure! Loaded with much pressure by the responsibility that implies to be in charge of the physical and psychological health of so many people. But to see the 2 junior championships, 3 divisional championships, 1 NTFL championship and now sub-champions of the 2017 AEFA Súper Tazón CR IX, I feel that we have grown a lot. Even changed some milestones of Costa Rican American football and for that I am satisfied with what has been achieved. Especially because this match has been the best ending in the history of the national sport. Congratulations to the Bulldogs and all of their staff!

Ms Elle has a career in corporate communication and branding, spanning four continents over 25 years, with recent years pursuing sports marketing and media. She is currently living in Costa Rica and assists with the promotion of American football in