Brazil’s Superliga Opening Weekends Marked By Upsets

[tps_title]Brazil’s Superliga Opens Strong[/tps_title]

Brazil’s Superliga, the top American football league in Brazil, kicked off their 2016 season over the past two weekends.

All across the country clubs began their quest toward the very first unified title for the Confederação Brasileira de Futebol Americano (CBFA) Superliga.

The weekends were marked by upsets of defending champs, and familiar faces in new places. Let’s review this exciting Brazilian American Superliga football action.

Cuiaba Arsenal 26, Corinthians Steamrollers 7

A crowd of over 10,000 filled the seats of Cuiaba’s Arena Pantanal to see what the home fans have become accustomed to over the years, a dominant Arsenal performance.

After trading punts to start the game, Cuiaba’s multi-faceted speedster, Brandon ‘’The Rocket’’ Watkins found his groove. Watkins exploded for multiple big plays throughout the contest. The Arsenal defense swarmed all night and contained the Steamrollers devastating runner, Joc Crawford. The defense made it difficult for Steamrollers to get the ball to all-everything wideout, Victor Hugo. Cuiaba defensive back and head coach, Ken Joshen, contributed a pick six.

After this impressive win, expect to see Cuiaba as an early season favorite for the Superliga title.

Juventude 13, Curitiba Brown Spiders 7

Above: Juventude WR, Vinicius Pacheco, escapes his defender against the Curitiba Brown Spiders. Photo credit: Paulo Machado

Above: Juventude WR, Vinicius Pacheco, escapes his defender against the Curitiba Brown Spiders.
Photo credit: Paulo Machado

Running back Bruno Castro rumbled 21 yards for a score, and quarterback Eduardo Cauzzi linked up with talented receiver, Vinicius Pacheco on a 77 yard strike to lead the way for a Juventude victory.

‘’It was a tough game and both offenses struggled in the rain and cold,’’ said Juventude head coach, Wesley Mota. ‘’We were able to adapt to their scheme and take advantage of their mistakes to hold on for a very important win,’’ he added.

Vasco da Gama Patriotas 62, Rio Branco Cabritos 0

The 2015 Torneio Touchdown national finalists continued their dominant ways by beating up the scoreboard and dominating defensively. Vasco’s Romulo Ramos made the most of his three carries, only stopping when he reached the end zone, scoring three touchdowns and racking up 112 yards. Patriota’s quarterback Daniel Gazelle led the air attack, with 256 yards and 4 TDs on 14 of 22 passing.

Defensively, the Patriotas smothered the Cabritos. Vasco’s Juan Senra had two picks and returned one of them for a touchdown, and it was ‘’new jersey, same result’’ for newly acquired cornerback Bruno Rosa (formerly of Flamengo and the Jaragua Breakers), who also added an interception.

Vasco head coach (and Brazilian National Team head coach), Gabriel Mendes says the biggest difference he sees in his team this year, from their Torneio Touchdown national finals team of a year ago, is aggressiveness on defense.

‘’The most impressive thing (about the game) was the defense imposed by our new defensive coordinator, Steve Gifford. The defense was much more aggressive and trying to steal the football as much as possible,’’ said Mendes.

Vasco is bringing its winning tradition from the TTD to CBFA’s Superliga. They will be a team to be in the newly formed league.

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Clayton Lovett has served football in Brasil in a variety of roles, including as the member of the coaching staff of two CBFA national champions (Cuiaba Arsenal 2010, 2012). Football is his hobby. Professionally, he is the founder of CS Educacional,