Panama’s Raptors F.C. Win Back to Back Championships

Gran Copa Champions Panama Raptors F.C. vs. Champions Chiriqui Cowboys F.A.

On Saturday, August 15th the Liga de Football Americano de Chiriqui (LFAC) hosted the Gran Copa, a champions vs. champions game at the San Cristóbal Stadium in the city of David, located in the province of Chiriqui, Panama.

The 2015 Panama Major Football League (PMFL) Champions, Panama Raptors F.C. proved their domination once again by subduing the reigning champion team of Chiriqui, the Chiriqui Cowboys by a shutout score of 18-0.

Gran Copa Trophies copy

Gran Copa Trophies. Photo credits LFAC.

He did it again! Wide receiver #13 Jairo ‘Janks’ Quintero secured the first touchdown pass of the game for 30 yards setting the Raptors F.C. win in motion. Janks repeated championship history as he also scored the first touchdown during the 2015 PMFL Championship.

The second touchdown pass for 15 yards was by running back #21 Sergio Moreno. Wide receiver #2 James Williams scored the final touch down pass for 20 yards chalking up the victory!

Raptors F.C. MVP: QB Dennis Allen

“I think it’s all about teamwork. I may have won the game MVP, but my line did a great job and the defense did they’re job. So it’s all about the team.”

WR James Williams #2

WR James Williams #2. Photo credits LFAC.

Raptors F.C., linemen coach, Sergio Sandoval offered encouraging words to the Chiriqui league.

“The Cowboys are a well organized team. Their offense was pretty solid for the first half of the game. We scored before halftime, but it wasn’t a true reflection on the field as the Cowboys were the dominant team. At the halftime we made some adjustments of the secondary; defensive backs, coverage and the blocking schemes. As a result, we scored twice. Day by day the LFAC is becoming a more competitive league and we anticipate good things are coming for Chiriqui”.

LFAC secretary and co-organizer of the Gran Copa, Norma Acosta, shared her thoughts.

“The Gran Copa was a wonderful event celebrating the second anniversary of the LFAC with a good turnout of fans for both of the teams. The Chiriqui Cowboys dominated the field, especially in the first quarter but they made two fatal mistakes that cost them two touchdowns. Subsequently the Raptors F.C. offensive made the proper adjustments at half time and that gained them touch downs and the defense was infallible. There was no way for the Chiricanos to make a comeback to dominate the field. The score of 18-0 in favor of the Raptors F.C. becoming the undisputed champions.”

Allen

The Raptors F.C. team was founded in 1996 and has a favorable history of winning national championships in 1997, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2009 and most recently 2015.

The Chiriqui Cowboys team is celebrating its fifth year and is one of the oldest teams in the Chiriqui province only surpassed in years by the Volcan Highlanders team. Even though the LFAC is relatively a new league it has four contact teams; Bulls Club, Chiriqui Cowboys, Volcan Highlanders and the newest addition to the league, the Bocas del Toro Piratas plus five flag teams under its banner. The LFAC championship calendar runs from May through October.

LFAC Gran Copa Flyer

Chiriqui Cowboys prep for the Gran Copa

At the end of July I caught up with the Cowboys during one of their intensive practices in preparation for the game. The players enthusiasm and anticipation to defend their home turf against the PMFL champions could be felt in their presence.

Offensive Coach, Carlos Cubilla stated:

 “The power of the Cowboys is the offense with the focus to maintain the ball and not let the other team take possession. The better defense is the offense.”

Defensive Coach, Michael Almengor admitted he had previously studied the playing strategy of the rival Raptors F.C. team to make adjustments with the Cowboys before the Gran Copa.

Panama

Ms Elle
Ms Elle has a career in corporate communication and branding, spanning four continents over 25 years, with recent years pursuing sports marketing and media. She is currently living in Costa Rica and assists with the promotion of American football in Central America. She is a die hard fan of the sport! http://www.AmericanFootballCA.com
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