The Duo Sports Thundercats Win 4th Baja Bowl in Mexico

The Duo Sports Thundercats captured their fourth Baja Bowl victory in Mexico (Super 8 League championship) with a 43-36 come from behind win over arch rivals the Ensenada Diablos. Veteran quarterback Justin McKenzie threw for two touchdowns and scored two on his own to pace the Thundercats.

The Thundercats had entered the game as the defending winter champions but had lost to the Diablos 56-32 in the regular season. The Thundercats, with the league’s top scoring offense, were facing a Diablos team with the top scoring defense.

The lead changed hands three times in a game which saw Ensenada up by as much as 10 points early in the fourth quarter.

Ensenada jumped out to a 12-0 lead in the first quarter as the defense pounced on a Thundercats fumble in the end zone and then quarterback  Julin Malagamba found receiver Marco Antonio Mejía Tagle for a touchdown to take a 12-0 lead into the second quarter.

As the Diablos controlled the first quarter the Thundercats took over the second when McKenzie connected with Phillip Williams on a 32 yard touchdown pass to cut the Diablos lead to 12-6. Later in the second, Thundercats safety Christian Osorio intercepted a Malagamba pass and took it 36 yards  for the score tying the game at 12-12 at halftime.

Mexico - Super 8 League 2015 championship-2.2

Diablos QB Julin Malagamba

On the Diablos opening drive of the third quarter, Malagamba scored on the ground from 13 yards out to put them up 18-12. Duo Sports answered when McKenzie ran one in from 23 yards out and connected with Osorio on the two-point conversion to give the Thundercats their first lead at 20-18.

The Diablos were not done however as Malagamba found receiver Sayuro Lombera on a touchdown strike to give Ensenada a 24-20 lead. After a defensive stop, the Diablos struck again rushing for a touchdown to go up 30-20 early in the fourth quarter.

On the ensuing kickoff, Thundercats receiver Phillip Williams returned the kick 52 yards for a touchdown to pull the Thundercats to within 30-26. The Thundercats gambled , however, opting for a rarely used four-point conversion from midfield (Super 8 League rule) tying the score at 30-30. The Diablos answered as Malagamba found Tagle for the second time to put the Diablos up 36-30 with just under four minutes left in the game.

On the following drive, McKenzie threw to Mark Andrews in the end zone to tie the game at 36-36 with the 1 point conversion run by Jamelle Pires to put the Thundercats back in the lead 37-36.  On 3rd and 1 with just under 1:30 in the game McKenzie scored on a 26 yard touchdown run to give the Thundercats the victory 43-36.

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