VIDEO REPLAY: UDLAP Aztecas Capture Mexico’s College Championship In Thriller

The UDLAP (Universidad de las Américas Puebla) Aztecas from the CONADEIP finished off the 2016 season in style capturing the inaugural Tazón de Campeones (Champions of Champions Bowl) defeating the ONEFA’s UANL ( Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León) Auténticos Tigres 34-27 at Estadio Gaspar Mass in Monterrey, Mexico, in a game no one thought would be this close.

The game pitted the winner of the Comisión Nacional Deportiva Estudiantil de Instituciones Privadas, A.C. (CONADEIP) (Private university league) in Mexico league against the top team from the  Organización Nacional Estudiantil de Futbol Americano (ONEFA – National Student Organization of American Football, mostly public university league)

The Aztecas were aiming to complete a perfect, undefeated season in Mexico. They entered the game with a 13-0 record (their lone loss of the year was at the hands of the San Diego Torreros (NCAA Div. I) in an exhibition game). They accomplished that.

For the Aztecas, this was their fifth national title and their first since 1997. Meanwhile, the Tigres extended their drought of national titles to 39 years since the last championship they won was in 1977.

The match was hard fought and completely different from the meeting held in the regular season which UDLAP won easily 35-7.

The Tigres opened the scoring after an interception by Christian Hernandez who carried the ball into Aztecas territory. Already in good field position, running back Marcelo González made no mistake, scoring from 10 yards out to give Auténticos a 7-0 lead.

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Humberto Noriega was one of the offensive sparks for the UDLAP Aztecas Photo: Prensa OEFA

The Aztecas did not take long to respond, as Humberto Noriega caught an 11 yard touchdown pass on the next possession and kicker Jorge Retana scored a two-point conversion to give his team an 8-7 lead.

Both teams traded field goals. First the UDLAP’s Retana kicked a 27 yarder and then Tigres kicker Ricardo Aguilar converted a 50-yard long field goal that hit the post dramatically to keep the game close at 11-10.

On the following series, Azteca quarterback Diego Ruiz found Retana for a short four yard run to extend the lead to 17-10. On a two-point conversion attempt, Retana threw a pass to Robin Gonzalez to put the Aztecas up 19-10.

Then Auténticos recovered a fumble in Aztecas territory. The Tigres offense took advantage and quarterback Jesús Mata Charles capped the short series with a one yard quarterback sneak to narrow the lead to 19-17 at halftime.

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UDLAP Aztecas head coach Eric Fisher raising the Champion of Champions Trophy Photo: Prensa OEFA

Both defenses tightened  in the third quarter But Aguilar kicked a 28-yard field goal to return the lead to the hosts 20-19.

In the fourth quarter, the Tigres threatened to extend their lead advancing to the red zone, but quarterback Charles was injured and backup quarterback Fernando Razo threw an interception at the goal line to snuff out the drive.

The game was decided in the final quarter when Retana scored again and the Aztecas also made the two-point conversion to take a 27-20 lead.

Then Diego Ibarra recovered a fumble and Noriega caught a 15 yard touchdown pass giving the Aztecas a 34-20 lead with only a few minutes left on the clock.

The Tigres responded immediately with an explosive play by Daniel Lozano who converted a short hitch pass into a 65 yard touchdown, narrowing the gap to 34-27 and giving the Tigres hope.

But UDLAP safety Manuel Hernandez picked off a Tigres pass dashing all hope of a comeback.

Thus, the UDLAP Aztecas became historic, winning the first ever Champion of Champions Cup in Mexico.

Watch the full replay.

AFI
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