Mexico: Liga de Fútbol Americano Profesional (LFA) wraps up Week 4, Fundidores win duel with Raptors

Week 4 is now completed for the Liga de Fútbol Americano Profesional and from this point on, teams will begin gunning for a berth in the playoffs. This week, some teams helped and hurt their playoff chances.

The Fundidores fought until the very end to get their second win of the season against the Raptors. The Reyes stayed even with the Mexicas until late when the Mexico City squad added another gear for a blow out win. Finally, the Dinos remained undefeated after cruising to a comfortable win over the Galgos.

Fundidores de Monterrey 23 (2-1) – Raptors Naucalpan 20 (1-2)

Fundidores defense wrapping up a Raptors ball carrier Photo: LFA

In a similar mold to the 2019 North Division Championship, the game between the Fundidores and the Raptors was another nail biter until the end.  Raptors running back Humberto Noriega opened the scoring giving his team a 6-0 lead. The Fundidores responded with a 12-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Tavarius Battiste from quarterback Shelton Eppler, and after converting the extra point, Monterrey took the lead by one. On the Raptors next procession, Raptors quarterback Bruno Marquez fumbled the ball, and it was recovered by a Fundidores defensive back.

In the second half, on the Raptors first opportunity to score since their first possession, but their field goal attempt was blocked and was caught by Ricardo Saez who ran to the Raptors’ 25-yard line. This set up another touchdown pass to Tavarius Battiste and the Fundidores went up by 11. On the very next snap, the Raptors showed signs of fighting back.  Jorge Retana returned the ensuing kickoff 98 yards into the end zone and to cut the lead to five. The Fundidores responded though with a successful field goal try by Ricardo Aguilar, but then the Raptors answered yet again, this time with a touchdown pass to wide receiver Diego Yañez from quarterback Norman Contla, and a successful two-point conversion from running back Humberto Noriega. But as in the Raptors last game, they found themselves as the loser at the end of the game, as Ricardo Aguilar hit the game winning field goal for the Fundidores.

Mexicas CDMX 46 (2-2) – Reyes de Jalisco 12 (1-2)

Mexicas #7 Jose Santana Photo: LFA

What’s most notable about this game other than the result was that it was played at Estadio MCA Jaime Labastida, the home of the Redskins. The reason was because the Mexicas’ usual home venue, Estadio Jesús Martínez “Palillo” was not eligible to be played on due to the poor field conditions from Vive Latino 2022. The first two scores of the game belonged to the Mexicas thanks to a couple of Alejandro Marquez touchdown passes. The first went to wide receiver Cristian Gomez and the second to Guillermo Villalobos. However, both extra point attempts were no good, and so the Mexicas only led 12-0 early in the second quarter. Gabriel Amavizca kicked two field goals for the Reyes, cutting the lead down to half at the half.

At the start of the third quarter, momentum for the Reyes was still on their side, with quarterback Jon Mullin throwing a deep 75-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Rodnell Cruell, tying the game. However, on their next possession, Mullin threw an interception to Mexicas defensive back Jerónimo Arzate, and from there, the momentum changed. 

Running back Ruben Zendejas ran in the end zone from 25-yards out and Zendejas followed that up with another touchdown run for his team. The passing game went off too, with Ricardo Quintana throwing a 45-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Ditter Smith. Special teams stepped up as well with Ruben Zendejas earning his third touchdown of the day. The Mexicas offense finally put a cap on their incredible showing for the day with a Brandon Lopez touchdown pass from 50 yards out to wideout Edgar Alejandro Rincón. With a total of 34 unanswered points by the Mexicas to close out the game, they probably would have no problem playing at Estadio MCA Jaime Labastida again.

Dinos de Saltillo 14 (4-0) – Galgos de Tijuana 6 (0-3)

Dinos RB using block from OL Julio Diaz #55 Photo: LFA

On paper, this game looked like a blowout ready to happen. With a matchup between the league’s only undefeated team against their only winless team, how could you expect anything different? Well, this was a competitive game until the very end. For most of the first half, the Galgos were the better team on the field. They scored a couple of field goals and they even got two interceptions. But near the end of the second quarter, Dinos quarterback Ivan Sanchez threw a touchdown pass to wide receiver Fernando Gomez to give Saltillo a one point lead.

Usually the superior team would steamroll over their weaker opponent, but on this day that was not the case. The Galgos defense shut down the vaunted Dinos passing attack allowing only a single touchdown reception by Dinos wide receiver Sergio Cisneros. Unfortunately for the Galgos, despite their great defensive efforts, the offense failed to score at least 10 points for the third consecutive game, and the Dinos left Tijuana still undefeated and the first team to clinch a playoff spot this season.

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