Incredible Weekend Of Football In Portugal

This past week was the second to last for the regular season of the Portuguese League of Americano Football and had there were plenty of games on the line with playoffs coming in fast.

In Braga

Maia Renegades 48 – Braga Warriors 14

Renegades ran away from the Warriors. Photo: PhotoSports

The Braga Warriors played host to the Maia Renegades in a game that was very important for both teams. On one side the Renegades clinched the round bye for the playoffs with a win and the Warriors needed to win in order to secure a place in the playoffs.

The Renegades came in strong and jumped into the lead right from the beginning. The always so dangerous Awal Umaru scored on a pass play from quarterback Brian Gessel. After that, the same Umaru scored on a fumble return. The Warriors were fighting to get back into the game but it was the Renegades that kept on scoring with Gessel finding Miguel Vasconcelos. After that it was time for Michael Campbell to score on a punt return and also on a run play, so two touchdowns.

At this point the Warriors were still trying to get back into the game and Ricardo Pereire scored the first touchdown for the home team. After that quarterback Tiago Ranhada was able to find is receiver João Costa. But before the game was over Hugo Lopes scored a rushing touchdown for the visitors and Gessel threw his third touchdown pass of the game Umaru. The final score was 48-14 in a game that the Renegades dominated and now are heading into the playoffs with the second place in the regular season plus a bye week for the playoffs.

In Cascais

Cacais Crusaders 38 – Algarve Sharks 18

One of the most anticipated games of the season and that also had serious playoff implications for both teams. The Crusaders were already in the playoffs but they could drop all the way down to 5th place in the worst possible scenario. The Sharks needed to win in order to clinch a spot in the playoffs or else they were depending on other results.

The Sharks came in strong and the duo of John Holloway and Augustine Ume-Ezeoke came out swinging with two rushing touchdowns. At this point the Crusaders never looked worried and they were able to move the ball with runs by Juzz Tiny and with quarterback Manuel Farano then finding their receivers. They were able to score first with a pass from Manuel Farano for João Costa and then again from Farano but now for Duarte Cruz. Important to say that the Crusaders went for two and scored both teams giving them a 4 point lead at halftime.

In the second half both teams were exchanging offensive drives but the Crusaders scored first on another pass from Farano to Vinicius Moreira at this time. Now in the last quarter the Crusaders defense came out with a turnover and the offense scored again with Juzz Tiny running for a long touchdown. The game looked like it was going to end but the Sharks got back into it with a John Holloway run.

However it was too late and the Crusaders sealed the win with another amazing run and touchdown by Juzz Tiny that keeps on leading his team and setting again himself as one of the best players in Portugal. The final result was 38-18 in a win that leaves the Crusaders either in 3rd or 4th place in the regular season with them still having a game to play. The Sharks are already in the playoffs (they have the same record then the Warriors but they have advantage in the head to head) but they still need to know if they go in 5th or 6th place because of the Black Knights game next weekend.

In Algarve

Black Knights 44 – Algarve PIrates 6

The Black Knights traveled from the north of Portugal all the way down to the South in order to face the winless Pirates. The game didn’t have much meaning for the home team except for finishing the season in a positive way with a win. But for the Black Knights the game had serious playoffs implications.

The Black Knights came out running the ball using their unique offensive system that has been getting results on many teams in the league. Actually the game had eight touchdowns and all of them were rushing ones. For the visitors the trio of Manuel Carvalho (2), Ricardo Lopes (2) and Tiago Carreira (3) scored all of them. One of them was a 99 yard rushing touchdown by Ricardo Lopes. For the home team it was Stanislav Gushekov that scored the only touchdown.

The visitors also had 3 interceptions on defense with André Vilaça, Rui Alves and Rafael Miranda each getting one. The final result ended up being 44-6 and the Black Knights are now one win away from getting into the playoffs. For the Pirates the season ended with a 0-9-0 campaign and the last place in the league.

Final Week Preview

The last week of the regular season will be full of good games and still some things to be decided. In Porto the Porto Mutts will play host to the Lisboa Navigators. Even though the game has no meaning for the Navigators(they will end up in 9th place no matter what), the Mutts need to win and to hope for a Crusaders loss in order to move up to 3rd place.

In Cascais, the Cascais Crusaders will play host to the Lisboa Devils in a game that always turns down to be a show to watch. The Crusaders secure the 3rd place with a win but if they lose and the Mutts win they drop to 4th place. For the Devils the game doesn’t have classification implication.

In Maia the Renegades will host the Black Knights. For the home team the game doesn’t have no classification implication but for the Black Knights is the game of the season. If they win they move up for 5th place and they are in the playoffs knocking the Warriors out of it. If they lose they end up in 7th place and came out short of reaching the playoffs in their second season playing.

Andre Amorim
André Amorim has been involved in American Football in Portugal for over 9 years, having played and coached in the only two teams that have won championships in that country. From 2007 to 2013 he played and coached with the Lisboa Navigators the most entitled team in all Portugal that also participated in international matches on the Spanish Second Division. For the past 4 years has been the head coach of the Lisboa Devils, current title holders in Portugal. Besides coaching, Amorim also works in the human resources field with personal development, team building and training. You can follow is coaching trip in IG @coachamorim.“
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