Furious battle for playoff spots as Portuguese season races to finish

With only two weeks left in the Portuguese League of American Football season, each game takes on greater importance.

This past week the Porto Mutts traveled to Algarve and kept the Pirates winless. The Algarve Sharks then handed the Paredes Lumberjacks another disappointing loss ending their season. Finally the Maia Renegades spanked the Lisboa Navigators in Lisbon.

In Portimão/Algarve

Porto Mutts 27 – Algarve Pirates 6

The Porto Mutts travelled more than 600 kms to face the Algarve Pirates in their quest to return to the win column after losing badly to the Devils two weeks ago. The home team Pirates were also on a quest to get their first win of the season.

The visiting team was in completely control of the game however and outscored the Pirates 27-6. The touchdowns for the Mutts were scored by Diogo Magalhães (2), João Ribeiro (1) and Saulo Diniz (1). The extra points were scored by Hélio Reis that made 3 out of 4. For the home team the only scoring touchdown came on a run by Stanislav Gushekov.

In Faro/Algarve

Algarve Sharks 20 – Paredes Lumberjacks 8

The Algarve Sharks, after being upset in their last game, were hoping to turn their luck around by winning this match against the Paredes Lumberjacks. The Lumberjacks were playing their last game for the regular season and were already out of playoff contention.

The Lumberjacks scored first on a touchdown by André “Marecos” and they converted a two point conversion on a pass from Miguel Dias to Bruno Tunes. The Sharks fought to get back into the game and they proved to be deadly on the ground with John Holloway scoring not once, not twice but three times during the game. They also converted a two point conversion on a pass to Domonique Jefferson.

The final result was 20-8 for the Sharks that with this win climbed back into the playoff contention and are basically discussing two slots between them, the Warriors and Black Knights.

In Lisbon

Maia Renegades 37 – Lisboa Navigators 13

The Maia Renegades got back on the field to play the Lisboa Navigators in one of the most historic clashes in all of Portugal. The history between this two teams dates back to 2008 when both were playing in the second division in Spain when there was no league in Portugal.

The game started very balanced with both offenses exchanging possessions and no scoring in the first quarter. In the second quarter it was Navigators quarterback André Gustavo who scored on a run play. In the first play from their offense after the touchdown, quarterback Brian Gessel hit a deep pass to Michael Campbell. After taking the lead on the extra point the Renegades would score two more times before halftime. First on another pass from Gessel to Awal Umaru and then on a punt return by Campbell.

In the second half, the Renegades would keep on scoring, first on a rushing touchdown by Campbell (third touchdown of the game) and then on a pick “6” by Hugo Lopes. Near the end of the game the Navigators would score on a fumble recovery leaving the final score 37-13 for the Renegades.

The Navigators still have a game to be played but they are one of the bottom 3 teams in the league. The Renegades solidified their position for the playoffs and a win in the next weekend will give them number 2 seed for playoffs.

All on the Line

Next weekend the Black Knights will cross Portugal from Braga do Portimão to face the Algarve Pirates in a game that has serious playoff implications. The Braga Warriors will host the Maia Renegades with a win being very important for both teams. And the Algarve Sharks will travel to Cascais to face the Cascais Crusaders in a game that is also important for playoff positioning.

André Amorim has been involved in American Football in Portugal for over 9 years, having played and coached in the only two teams that have won championships in that country. From 2007 to 2013 he played and coached with the Lisboa Navigators the