Tigres, Pumas Advance To Mexico’s ONEFA Final For Seventh Straight Year

The UNAL Authentico Tigres and the CU Pumas both won their semifinal match-ups and advanced to the ONEFA championship final in Mexico this Friday. where they will meet for the seventh straight year. But they took two different routes to arrive there. Where the undefeated Tigres had to come from behind to beat the UACH Águilas, the Pumas roared out to a 41-7 halftime lead in their game against the UAdeC Lobos.

Cayetano Garza Bowl

UANL Tigres 26 – UACH Águilas 9

Foto de accion durante el Partido de Futbol Americano, Autenticos Tigres UANL vs Aguilas UACH en el Estadio Gaspar Mass, ONEFA 2015, en la foto: Vista General 06/11/2015/ MEXSPORT/ Jorge Martinez

The UANL Tigres have moved on to their eighth consecutive ONEFA final  in Mexico but the Águilas did not make it easy. In fact, the Águilas held a 9-7 lead at halftime.

The Tigres opened the scoring in the first quarter with a quarterback Jesús Mata Charles pass to Aaron Mendoza with Jonathan Llanes adding the extra point. But the Águilas responded with nine unanswered points in the second period. Randall Mendoza (12) combined with Sergio Gutierrez (81) for a seven-yard touchdown pass but the Águilas missed the extra point. Nevertheless, kicker Samuel Ovalle kicked a field goal to give them a 9-7 lead heading into the break.

However, on the opening drive of the third quarter, Llanes responded with a 22 yard field goal of his own to regain the lead for the Tigres. Then Joan Medina scampered 18 yards to the end zone to put the Tigres up 17-9.

In the fourth quarter, the Tigres defense forced the visiting Águilas back to their own three yard line and on the next play Águilas quarterback Mendoza took a safety making it a two-score game, 19-9. UACH’s offense could not gain any momentum and on the Tigres next series Napoleon scored on a three yard run making the final score 26-9.

The bad news for the Tigres is an elbow injury to Charles although he is not ruled out for the championship game.

Jacinto Licea Bowl

CU Pumas 48 – UAdeC Lobos 14

Mexico - ONEFA - Pumas beat Lobos-1

For the seventh straight year, the Pumas have advanced to the final to face the UANL Tigres, by taking a 41-7 lead into halftime over the Lobos and cruising to the win at the University UAdeC Olympic stadium.

Pumas quarterback Rafael Arenas was unstoppable in the first half tossing three touchdown passes.

Veteran running back Allan Rosado opened with scoring with a four yard carry into the end zone but the Lobos responded with a touchdown drive of their own capping it with a fake field goal attempt for the score. Marcos Santana hit Ricardo Gonzalez from 25 yards out for the major.

Rosado scored his second touchdown of the game, this time  breaking off tackle  and racing 75 yards to give the Pumas a 14-7 lead. Then the Pumas picked off Santana and capitalized as Germán Arenas Malanche took the ball in from 17 yards out and the score was suddenly 21-7 . Then Arenas and Malanche combined for a 28 yard touchdown and the Pumas were on a roll.

They added two more scores before halftime as Irving Alamilla carried the ball in from the 15 yard line and Arenas threw his third touchdown pass, this time to Armando Garduño.

The lopsided lead allowed the Pumas to begin resting players in the second half and los Lobos took advantage as Joaquin Sanchez scored on a six yard run the close the gap to 41-14. But Pumas backup quarterback José Miguel Chavez added the final touchdown with a 76 yard pass to Mario Hernandez.

The Tigres and Pumas met in the sixth week of the regular season with the Tigres coming out on top 27-14. The Pumas are defending champions having won the past two titles beating the Tigres both times. They also won it in 2010. The Tigres last captured the title in 2012 after having won it in 2009 and 2011.

 This game promises to be a classic. The Pumas are seeking revenge for their earlier regular season loss while the Tigres plan on regaining the title they last won in 2012. This game could provide the drama and excitement a championship game should deliver.

Roger Kelly is an editor and a writer for AFI. A former PR Director the B.C. Lions of the Canadian Football League for 7 years, he now lives in Sweden writing about and scouting American Football throughout the world.