American Football International

Portugal: Lisboa Devils clinch playoffs

The Lisboa Devils showed no mercy as they soundly defeated their crosstown rivals the Lisbon Navigators 42-13 at José Ramos stadium in Lisbon and clinched a semifinal spot in the Portuguese American Football league (LPFA).

With the win, the Devils improved to 8-1 while the Navigators fell to 4-4.

Devils quarterback Kyle Nolan was superb throwing six touchdown passes. Wide receiver Bruno Cardoso caught three of them while also kicking all seven extra points. Bernardo Solipa, Bruno Pereira and Pedro Flores also caught touchdown passes while running back Juzz “Tiny” Fertado added a rushing touchdown.

For the Navigators, quarterback André Monteiro tossed a pair of touchdown passes, one to Marcel Shaeffer to open the scoring, and the second to Nelson “Gronk” Fidalgo to close out the scoring late in the third quarter.

In between, the Devils ruled. After Monteiro’s touchdown pass to Shaeffer on the game’s opening possession, Nolan and the Devils took over, bent on taking revenge for the only loos they have suffered in three years in Portugal.

Nolan connected with Solipa on a 40 yard touchdown pass and then Furtado capped a 60 yard Devils drive with a 10 yard touchdown run.

Nolan opened the second quarter with another big play, finding Pereira wide open for a 40 yard touchdown. Then, with the Devils defense playing “lights out” football, Nolan connected with Cardoso twice more to extend the lead to 28-7. Finally, with little time left in the first half, Nolan threw a 21 yard touchdown pass to Pereira to give the Devils a 35-7 halftime lead.

The Devils struck right away after the break as Nolan took advantage of a “free play” and with the Navigators defense hesitating connected with Flores from 42 yards out.

The shell-shocked Navigators finally found the end zone again late in the third quarter, as Monteiro hit Fidalgo for the game’s final score.

The fourth quarter saw both teams play solid defense and the Devils came away with a crucial 42-13 win.

The Navigators (4-4) will now face the 5-3 Algarve Sharks in a key matchup this coming weekend to decide on a playoff spot. Meanwhile, the Devils will not play again until March 24 when they too will play the Sharks.