Mexico: Liga de Fútbol Americano Profesional (LFA) Week 5 recap, Fundidores clinch playoff berth

Week 5 has come and gone for the Liga de Fútbol Americano Profesional. We are inching closer and closer to the finish line for the regular season and the finalized playoff seeds are right around the corner.

The Dinos clinched a first-round bye over a blowout win over the Reyes while the Raptors handed still winless Galgos their second shutout of the season. Finally, the Fundidores came from behind against the Gallos Negros to clinch a playoff spot.

Dinos de Saltillo 34 (5-0) – Reyes de Jalisco 6 (1-3)

After getting blown out by the Mexicas, the Reyes main game plan against the unbeaten Dinos was to avoid getting blown out yet again. However, the Dinos had other plans as they were gunning for a first-round bye. 

Saltillo proved that from the jump, getting an early touchdown on a pass from quarterback Erick Niño to wide receiver James Okike. The Dinos struck again in the second quarter with a touchdown run from running back Omar Colojum. The Reyes cut the lead down to 11 with a field goal by Sergio Barbosa, but then their special teams failed them as Dinos kick returner Rashad Goode scored on the ensuing kickoff. The Reyes had another chance to cut Saltillo’s lead down, but Dinos defensive back Rashad Goode caught a blocked field goal and returned it all the way for a touchdown boosting the lead to 28-3 by halftime.

In the second half, the Reyes limited the Dinos to two field goals from Enrique Yenny, but their own offense only managed another field goal for their entire output for the game. The Dinos walked out of their home stadium victorious earning them a first round bye, and the knowledge that they are one win away from perfection.

Raptors Naucalpan 40 (2-2) – Galgos de Tijuana 0 (0-4)

Going into this game, both teams were coming off one score losses and knew they had to do more to make the playoffs. Well, at least one of the teams showed up, as the Raptors put on a clinic from start to finish.

In the first quarter, the Raptors came out on fire starting with a seven-yard touchdown pass from former two-time MVP quarterback Bruno Marquéz to wideout Iván García. Marquéz would follow that up with two more touchdown strikes, both to wide receiver Bryan Burnnett. The special teams’ unit for the Raptors was also excellent in this quarter producing a punt return touchdown by wideout Luis Villegas. The Raptors last drive of the half produced a season-high fourth passing touchdown by Marquéz to Humberto Noriega and extended the lead to 34-0.

In the second half, while the Raptors slowed down their offensive production, the Galgos still failed to score any points and even got intercepted twice. The Raptors closed out the game with a touchdown run by Edgar Arroyo to put the cap on the largest shutout in LFA history.

Fundidores de Monterrey 13 (3-1) – Gallos Negros de Querétaro 10 (1-2)

The Gallos Negros played the first of four consecutive regular season games to close out the season. However, despite them only playing two games thus far, the Fundidores proved to be a worthy opponent for them in the end.

The Fundidores had the first scoring chance but their attempt at a field goal was blocked by Gallos Negros lineback Emer Cortés. Fortunately for Monterey, they would have another chance on their next possession thanks to a 35-yard pass from quarterback Shelton Eppler to wide receiver Tavarius Battiste. Eppler threw a short touchdown pass to wide receiver Torrin Justice to give the Fundidores a 6-0 lead. In the second quarter, Querétaro took the lead thanks to a Sebastian Olvera touchdown pass to wideout Marco Antonio García and a successful extra point try by Beto Guzmán. 

The third quarter was a stalemate, but in the fourth the Gallos Negros extended their lead with a field goal by Beto Guzmán. In the end, despite being trailing for most of the half, the Fundidores grabbed the lead on Eppler‘s second touchdown of the game to Justice giving them a three point edge. The Gallos Negros tried to take back the lead, but Fundidores linebacker Ashari Goins picked off an errant pass from Olvera to secure the win. With the victory (and the Galgos previous loss), the Fundidores became the second team to clinch a playoff berth.

A recent graduate of Hofstra University in New York. He is currently a sports freelance journalist and podcaster