Huge 4th Quarter Propels Cuiabá to the Brazil’s Superliga Semi-finals

Cuiabá Arsenal pulls away from the Portuguesa Lusa Lions late winning 32-3

CUIABA, BRAZIL – It was the same plot line, but this time, it just took the story a little longer to develop. As they have all season, Brandon Watkins and Ken Joshen came up big in all three phases of the game for the Cuiabá Arsenal. However, it was only after the explosive tandem and the rest of the team were held scoreless by a Portuguesa Lusa Lions defense for the first three quarters of the game.

In a contest that was covered in rain showers from kick off until the final whistle, a first half Renan Barbosa field goal had the Lions clinging to a 3-0 lead early in the 4th quarter.

That’s when Watkins and Joshen took over.

It started with a Watkins 40 yard touchdown pass to his Head Coach, Joshen.

above: Brandon Watkins (#1) and Ken Joshen (#24) teamed up for another win, this time against the previously undefeated Tubarões do Cerrado. Photo available on the Facebook pages for Salão Oval and Cuiabá Arsenal.

Touchdowns on touchdowns on touchdowns: Brandon Watkins (#1) and Ken Joshen (#24) teamed up to account for four of the five Arsenal fourth quarter touchdowns in a 32-3 victory of Portuguesa in the Superliga quarter finals. Photo available on the Facebook pages for Salão Oval and Cuiabá Arsenal.

‘’I just told him to put it up there and I would go get it,’’ said Joshen of his spectacular catch that was that catalyst for the shift in momentum.

The ensuing Portuguesa possessions saw a Lions punt, and the Arsenal march the ball down to the one yard line, before power back, Thiagão Barbosa plunged the ball across the goaline, giving Cuiaba touchdowns on back-to-back possessions.

Another stalled Lions drive yielded another punt, and Cuiaba only 40 yards away from another score, a distance of which Watkins covered quickly with a 30 yard touchdown run.

Facing a flurry of unanswered points, Portuguesa went for a 4th down conversion and was stopped. This gave Watkins the opportunity to launch another lob another touchdown pass to Joshen, this time for 50 yards. Then Arsenal cornerback, Andre Santos picked off the Lions final pass attempt. Shortly after the Cuiaba Arsenal offense took the field, Watkins added another exclamation point to a 4th quarter for the record books with a final touchdown run, putting the final score at 32-3 in Cuiaba’s favor. His squad scored five touchdowns on its final five possessions.

The loss ends a successful season for Paulo Henrique Martins’ Portuguesa squad, the only team in the Superliga quarterfinals to advance that far without the use of import players. With a myriad of teams in São Paulo, the off season often sees a variety of players switching teams, but Martins and Portuguesa Team President, Rentao Afonso, seem to be building something of note in Brazil’s largest city and the organization looks to be moving in the right direction.

CBFA Superliga Semi-finals

Cuiabá will host Conferencia Sul #1 seed and 2015 TTD National Champion, the Timbo T-Rex, on Saturday, November 25, at Arena Pantanal, at 6 PM local time, in a game where the climate of Cuiabá in December (either scorchingly hot with choking humidity, or torrential rains) will likely play a factor.

Clayton Lovett
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, which provides educational and competitive opportunities abroad for student-athletes.
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