The Dinos and Condors faced each other in the only game of the weekend in the fifth week of play in Mexico’s Liga de Fútbol Americano Profesional (LFA)
In Saltillo in northern Mexico, the home of the Dinos’, the Condors visited the Olympic Stadium on their first trip outside the center of the country.
Both teams needed the victory in order to keep their playoff hopes alive, but the Dinos succeeded in this quest downing the Condors 23-10 thus keeping their dream of fighting for the championship alive.
It was a tough game for both squads and their defenses, so each team managed to change their scheme to win the duel. Condors improved in this theme the last two weeks and allowed only 30 points, but they gave up too many opportunities to reduce those numbers in each game.
The Dinos opened the scoring with a field goal. Then, the Condors had the opportunity to change the score, but the Dinos defense rose up. One of the keys to the Dinos’ victory was the performance of Condors quarterback Salvador Castañeda, who struggled in finding his receivers and several times had to run the ball by himself in order to move the chains.
Salvador is a quarterback who knows how to run, but it is very difficult for a team to win on the performance of their quarterback alone. The Condors have great receivers, but the Dinos’ defense managed to cover them well so Castañeda had trouble connecting with them. Also, when he had to throw the ball, his receivers were well covered and the Dinos secondary picked him off several times.
The early part of the third quarter was a disaster for the Condors. First, the Dinos scored a touchdown on a 5 yard run by Juan José Gorostiaga. Then, Dinos’ quarterback Miguel Angel Chen connected with Juan Alarcón to extend the lead to 17-3 for the local team. Fortunately for the Condors, on the next series Castañeda found Néstor Mosqueda immediately with a 70 yard pass for their first touchdown.
In his attempt to tie the game, Castañeda ran the ball and Dinos’ defense provoked a fumble. This was a message for Enrique Zapata —Condors’ head coach— and he changed his quarterback to give an opportunity to Arturo Sánchez. In spite of that situation, Sánchez threw two interceptions and gave the Dinos the chance to score two more field goals to end the game 23-10.
The season closure for Condors will be very tough if they want to have a ticket to playoffs. In week 6, they will face the Mayas again, the same team that scored 64 points against them in week 2. Then, in the final game of the season the Condors will play against the Eagles, but by then the Condors could well already be eliminated from playoff contention.
The Dinos face a very different situation. This victory, combined with one from the Raptors over the Fundidores, would practically give them the postseason pass. In week 6, they will fly to Monterrey to play against Fundidores in order to pay the visit that the black and yellow team made to Saltillo in week 1.