Eagles upset Mayas in opening weekend of Mexico’s LFA

The Eagles handed the defending champion Mayas their first loss in the opening game of the second season of the  Liga de Futbol Americano  Professional (LFA), Mexico’s only professional football league, in beating them 33-21.

The teams had split the season series in 2016 so expectations were high from both squads.

Eagles quarterback Raúl Mateos threw two touchdown passes and ran one in himself while receiver Billy Owens (Kansas Jayhawks, NCAA Div. I) caught one of those scoring passes and Marco Patraca caught the other. Eagles running back  Vladimir Araiza scored the fourth touchdown for the Eagles while Jorge León kicked a field goal.

Photo: Yoali Martinez

The Mayas were paced by quarterback Marco García who tossed two touchdown passes, one to Carlos Ramirez and the other to Aaron Williams while running back Omar Cojolum found the end zone for the third Mayas touchdown.

The Eagles jumped out to a 10-0 lead and went into the halftime break ahead 16-7 on scores by Mateos, Araiza and León’s field goal. But the Mayas roared back in the third as Cojolum and Williams both scored giving them a 21-16 lead.

However, Mateos went to work late in the third connecting with Owens to regain the lead for the Eagles 22-21. That seemed to deflate the Mayas and Garcia had to leave the game with 11 minutes left. The Eagles struck again as Mateos found Patraca, who used to play for the Mayas, in the end zone and then added a two-point conversion to round out the scoring.

In other action on the opening weekend of the LFA, the Raptors beat the Condors 13-10, and in a battle of the newcomers, the Dinos downed the Fundidores 33-16.

Action resumes this weekend as the Mayas will take on the Condors, the Eagles will face the Fundidores and the Dinos and Raptors will battle.

Roger Kelly is an editor and a writer for AFI. A former PR Director the B.C. Lions of the Canadian Football League for 7 years, he now lives in Sweden writing about and scouting American Football throughout the world.