Last week saw plenty of action in the Egyptian National Football League playoffs. The MSA Tigers, who had rebounded from two straight losses to open the season, faced off against the powerful Cairo Wolves who had a 3-1 record during the regular season. The winner would go on to face two-time defending champions, the GUC Eagles.
The Tigers offense really stepped up their game with three passing and one rushing touchdown by quarterback Taylor Budd. Receiver Omar Hashem scored two of those touchdowns and averaged 35.5 yards per reception, while one was scored by Hussam Tarek, who had 57 yards per reception. It is important to point out that the famously run-heavy Tigers offence attempted 7 passes, completed 4, 3 of which resulted in touchdowns. Hashem’s two receptions and Tarek’s one both resulted in touchdowns.
The Wolves offence was forced to make an adjustment and play running back Kendall Owens at the quarterback position after starting quarterback Moaz Sabah went down with an injury. Owens held his own with 116 passing yards averaging 12.9 yard per pass while adding 50 rushing yards, five first downs and one passing touchdown. Owens also had 29 return yards. Prior to his injury, Sabah had one 15-yard pass for a touchdown.
Receivers Adel Emam, Mohamed Mohsen and Moataz Marie had notable performances with 14, 23 and 15 yards per reception respectively, with Emam and Marie both scoring a touchdown each, but unfortunately, that was not enough to beat the Tigers.
The Wolves defence performed well against the Tigers’ running game, totaling 10 tackles for loss. However, despite having one deflection and one 40-yard interception, they were not able to stop the Tigers’ passing game.
The Tigers’ defence had six tackles for loss, 2 sacks, one forced fumble and three deflections, thereby limiting the Wolves scoring.
The Tigers’ great passing game, coupled with Kendall Owens playing quarterback and loss of yards at critical points by the Wolves due to penalties resulted in a final score of 26-12 for the Tigers.
MVP for the playoff game went to MSA Tigers quarterback Taylor Budd. Budd was a great contributor to his team’s outstanding win against the Wolves, putting up points on the scoreboard to secure his team’s position in the Egyptian Bowl with 136 yards and four TDs.
The Tigers will now advance to the national championship game, Egyptian Bowl III, for the first time to face two-time defending champions, the GUC Eagles. Will the Tigers finish their underdog story with a first national title or will the Eagles continue to dominate the football scene in Egypt? We will find out April 7th.