Lisbon Devils Capture Portuguese Crown In A Thriller

Last weekend the Lisbon Devils and Algarve Sharks clashed in the most intense and competitive final that the Portuguese League of American Football has ever seen.

Both defenses entered the game playing very well and showing that they were prepared for what the other team’s offense were going to do. The first team to score was the Devils when Joey Bradley found wide receiver Pedro Almeida for a 20 yard touchdown. The Sharks however didn’t let down and scored on a run by Ryan De Loureiro later in the first quarter.

The Sharks scored again in the second quarter on a pass from De Loureiro to Matthew Craens who was all alone in the end zone and that score gave the lead to the Sharks. On the ensuing drive, the Sharks were able to hold the high scoring Devils offense on a great goal-line stand with linebacker Augustine Ume-Ezeoke being a force to be reckoned with. However, the Devils defense also showed work lead by David Martins and were able to force a safety on the ensuing possession. With the ball back on their hands the Devils now moved the ball near to the end zone and this time Bradley took the ball himself giving Lisbon a 14-12 halftime lead.

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Early in the third quarter the Devils offense got the ball again and moved it well using mostly run plays and rotating the running back trio of Willian La’Prado, Malcolm Gasque and Ricardo Jaquité. Lisbon scored again on a touchdown pass from Bradley to Collin Franklin. However, Franklin was hurt on the play and left the game.  Then Gasque scored on a two point conversion.

The rest of the third quarter saw a seesaw battle until Pedro Fernandes getting an interception on a De Loureiro pass that most people thought would seal the momentum. That was a mistake.

In the last quarter the Sharks fought their way back into the game, with great runs by De Loureiro they moved the ball and a pass from De Loureiro to Brandon SooHoo made the game up for grabs again for the team from Faro.

With less than five minutes to go the Devils Pedro Almeida scored on a reverse putting them up by two scores. However, on the two point conversion attempt, Sharks defensive back SooHoo picked up a tipped pass and took it 100 yards to give the Sharks life again.

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The Sharks got the ball back and moved it into the red zone. Then, with less than one minute left, De Loureiro scored on a run and all that remained was a two point conversion to tie the game. But Devils linebacker David Silva prevented De Loureiro from entering the end zone again.

The Sharks tried to recover the ball on a onside kick but failed and the game ended with the Lisbon Devils winning 28-26 giving the Devils their first ever Portuguese championship.

Pedro Almeida was named game MVP after scoring two touchdowns.

Joey Bradley threw two touchdown passes and ran one in himself for the win. Almeida caught one of those passes while scoring his second touchdown on the ground. Collin Franklin added a touchdown in this historic victory.

For the Sharks, Ryan De Loureiro threw two touchdown passes and added two more on the ground. Brandon SooHoo caught a touchdown pass and scored two points on an interception of a two point conversion attempt. Matthew Craens added another receiving touchdown.

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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