Mexico: Liga de Fútbol Americano Profesional Week 6 Recap; Raptors deny Dinos a perfect season

The second last weekend of play in the Liga de Fútbol Americano Profesional regular season wrapped up and the battles for playoff positioning were intense.

The Fundidores clinched the number two seed and a first-round bye with a convincing win over the Galgos while the Mexicas were pushed hard but finally came out on top against the Gallos Negros to keep pace. Lastly, in the biggest game of the season, the Raptors pulled out a last second win over the Dinos to snap the Dinos unbeaten streak, ending their quest for perfection but also staying even with the Mexicas in the battle for spots three and four.

Fundidores de Monterrey 28 (4-1) – Galgos de Tijuana 9 (0-5)

In the Fundidores last home game for the regular season, they knew that a win would give them a first-round bye and the 2-seed in the playoffs. So, one would assume that from the get-go, they would have this thing in the bag. Well, not at first. In the first quarter, the Galgos had them shut out and had them down 3-0. Monterrey scored on a passing touchdown to wide receiver Marcelo Gonzalez to go up 7-3, but that was the only offense from either team for the whole half.

By the third quarter, the offense would pick up for the Fundidores, with quarterback Shelton Eppler throwing two touchdown passes to wideout Torin Justice to go up by 18. The beginning of the fourth quarter gave the Galgos their first touchdown since Week 1 with a pass from quarterback Armando Ledesma to receiver Luis Roberto Araujo, but they failed to convert an extra point. When the Fundidores got the ball back, Eppler threw his third touchdown pass of the night, finding Torrin Justice,  effectively putting the game away for the Fundidores. Not only did they walk out of there with the 2-seed in the playoffs, but as a result of the Galgos loss, the Mexicas and the Raptors also clinched a playoff berth.

Mexicas CDMX 16 (3-2) – Gallos Negros de Querétaro 11 (1-3)

The Mexicas, now a playoff team, came off of their bye and did their best to prevent the Gallos Negros from clinching a spot in the big dance. For the first half, that was definitely the case. Despite not scoring much, the Mexicas were able to get a field goal from kicker Francisco Rodriguez and then a 52 yard touchdown run from quarterback Brandon Lopez, making it 9-0 by the end of the half.

For the entire third quarter, the Gallos Negros silenced the Mexicas offense and quarterback Marco Antonio Garciato threw a touchdown pass to receiver Max Hernández. With a successful field goal from Beto Guzman, Querétaro early in the fourth, the game was tied. With the rain pouring down on the field, the Mexicas’ MVP, running back Rubén Zendejas ran in for a touchdown to make it a seven point lead. The Gallos Negros tried to tie it up late but Mexicas defensive back Jeronimo Arzate sealed the win with a late interception. After taking a safety to run out the clock, the Mexicas have secured home field in the quarterfinals. 

Raptors Naucalpan 28 (3-2) – Dinos de Saltillo 27 (5-1)

Coming into the game, the Dinos were one win away from having the LFA’s first ever perfect regular season, but the soaring Raptors wanted to make this an upset for the ages in this year’s rendition of the famed “Duelo Jurásico”. The Raptors in the entire first half claimed the game as theirs to win. A successful field goal from kicker Jorge Edardo Retana, a short touchdown run from running back Raúl Maldonado and a touchdown pass from quarterback Bruno Marquéz to wide receiver Enrique Barraza gave the Raptors a 17-0 head start.

In the second half, specifically the entire third quarter, the Dinos completely erased their opponents’ lead. Quarterback Alejandro Esquer scored two touchdowns on the ground, and Saltillo got another one as a result of a fumble from Raptors receiver Brian Burnett Jr. giving Saltillo a 21-17 lead. Entering the fourth quarter, Saltillo looked to basically have this one in the bag. The Raptors only managed another field goal and with less than a minute remaining the Dinos held a 27-20 thanks to a touchdown run by Joan Medina Tabitas. However, the game would come down to the final four seconds when Raptors quarterback Bruno Marquéz scrambled and threw under pressure for a touchdown to Diego Yañez. Down by one, the Raptors opted for the two-point conversion for the win instead of sending the game to overtime with a point after. Marquéz continued his MVP performance with a dive into the end zone, winning it for his team and denying the Dinos chance at perfection in a classic duel.

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