Head coach Ken Joshen leads Cuiabá Arsenal to victory on the field

Cuiabá Arsenal – 30
Tubaroes do Cerrado (TdC) – 13

Estadio Rogerio – Nossa Senhora do Livramento, Mato Grosso

Head Coach Ken Joshen had a huge impact on and off the field for the Cuiabá Arsenal in a battle of unbeaten in Mato Grosso. Joshen, who returned the games opening kickoff for a score, had two picks and a receiving touchdown, made a variety of in-game adjustments to allow his squad to a stellar second half that saw them pull away from a hungry team from Brasilia, in a game that saw the TdC with a 10-7 second quarter lead.

‘’Offensively we came out with a slow start, and couldn’t get going in the first half. The second we were able to execute and take care of the ball, giving up only one turnover. The OL did a tremendous job holding off the fierce Tubaroes defensive line,’’ he said.

In addition to his touchdown pass to Joshen, Arsenal quarterback, Marcelo Roversi, hit Brandon Watkins for two more scoring strikes, totally 120 yards. Igor Mota and Thiagão Barbosa ran the ball effectively for the Arsenal.

Mota also included three tackles for a loss in leading an Arsenal defense that swarmed the TdC’s vaunted running game all day. D-linemen, Gabriel ‘’Pepa’’ Montagner and Marcus each had a sack, and Denevaldo Barbosa Junior got into the action by forcing a safety. Joshen cited Thiago Prado, Higino Gomes, Eugenio Carlos Queiroz Junior and Watkins as being difference makers defensively.

‘’The Tubaroes ran the ball well as expected from their 3 backs, but couldn’t convert well in the red zone. Our defense had serval penalties which indeed assist them with field position. Thankfully we held them to 13 points,’’ said Joshen.

With the win, the Arsenal lock up home field advantage for at least two playoff rounds, guaranteeing a long trip to an uncomfortably hot and hostile crowd environment to whoever draws the trip to the Pantanal to try and knock off the two time national champs.

‘’ The was hard fought by both teams. Thank God we were able to come out with the win and guarantee home field advantage throughout the first two rounds of the playoffs,’’ said Joshen.

AFI’s take: A tough test passed for the Arsenal offensive line. There were questions about long Brandon Watkins leg injury (suffered against the São Paulo Storm) would hinder him. He answered those emphatically this weekend.

Check out the entire ArsenalTdC game here:

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,