Mexico: Liga de Fútbol Americano Profesional Wild Card Recap – A surprise upset and an emphatic statement

The Wild Card round in Mexico’s Liga de Fútbol Americano Profesional offered up a major upset as well as a statement from one of the favorites for the title.

The Gallos Negros de Querétaro demonstrated an unexpected resilience after losing their last five games of the season in a row to rebound and down the third place Mexicas. Meanwhile, the Raptors de Naucalpan showed that they are definite contenders for the championship after trouncing the Reyes de Jalisco.

(6) Gallos Negros de Querétaro 14 – (3) Mexicas CDMX 7

At face value this should’ve been a runaway win for the Mexicas. They won their last three games of the regular season and looked primed for the semifinals. The Gallos Negros, on the other hand, lost their last five games heading into the playoffs and looked to be taking a quick exit. The game definitely did not play out that way.

Querétaro controlled this game from the outset, holding down and shutting out the Mexicas offense for the entire half. This was in large part thanks to the stalwart effort from the Gallos Negros defensive line, who constantly pressured the Mexicas with numerous sacks, fumbles, and crucial tackles. Their offense also played decently in the first half, with quarterback Marco Antonio Garcia throwing a pair of touchdown passes to wide receivers Maximiliano Hernandez and Keondre Pope to give Gallos a 14-0 halftime lead.

Gallos QB Marco Garcia #18 tossing one of his two TD passes

Although the visitors did not score for the rest of the game, their defense remained stout and limited little if any opportunities from the Mexicas, with their only points coming from a touchdown pass to Edgar Rincon in the fourth quarter. Following their victory, the Gallos Negros will travel to Saltillo to take on the number one seeded Dinos this Saturday.

(4) Raptors de Naucalpan 26 – (5) Reyes de Jalisco 6

Following their week one meeting, a 13-10 victory for the Raptors, the two teams have looked vastly different. The Raptors have improved to become the best offense in the league and are arguably the hottest team at the moment. The Reyes, meanwhile, despite winning big in their last two games, have been inconsistent throughout the whole season. This playoff game proved that those inconsistencies had caught up with them.

From start to finish, this game was dominated by the Raptors, with the Reyes not scoring until the winding seconds of the fourth quarter on a touchdown by running back Rodnell Cruel. Raptors quarterback Bruno Marquéz threw two touchdown passes in the game, to wide receivers Luis Alberto Villegas and Brian Burnett. The running game also got action for the night too, with short touchdown runs by Dan Avila and Bryan Correo.

With the victory, the Raptors will be traveling to Monterrey to take on the Fundidores, a team that matched up well with Naucalpan in the regular season and who beat them 23-20 on a last second field goal.

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