United Arab Emirates Falcons down Bucharest Rebels in historic game

By Ibrahim Fletcher

The visiting United Arab Emirates Falcons did not let the cool and foggy Romanian weather bother them in downing the three-time Romanian champions, the Bucharest Rebels 22-12 in Bucharest in a historic matchup.

This was the first-ever international clash between teams from these two countries.

UAE Falcons head coach Johnny Sharp had his team ready and they  dominated the first quarter of the game on both sides of the ball. The Falcons took flight on their first offensive play of the game as quarterback Vivaldi Tulysse connected with Zavier Cobb on an 85-yard scoring pass. After some bruising running from the Rebels, their second drive was ended courtesy of an interception by Shannon Stillman. The Falcons turned to their running game and were rewarded with another touchdown by running back John Jones on a 6-yard run.

At the beginning of the second quarter, the Rebels fought their way back into the game when quarterback Alex Craciun found Radu Ene who exploited an open spot in the Falcon’s secondary and went in for a 30-yard touchdown. Led by the arm and legs of Cobb, the visitors responded by marching down the field on a 13-play drive capped by a 5-yard Cobb run. The second half featured great individual efforts by both teams as they entertained the vocal crowd.

The Falcons had several drives thwarted by untimely turnovers. The Rebels, on the strength of their running game, were also able to impress the hometown crowd.

The Rebels gave their fans something to cheer about when they scored the game’s final touchdown on an expertly executed reverse by Rebels’ receiver Gabriel Predescu. Over all, the Falcons played well on both sides of the ball and should remain a force to be reckoned with in international play.

Falcons head coach Johnny Sharp

Rebels general manager Daniel Marcu was asked afterwards about the game.

How did your guys play today and what did you think of the Falcons?

Marcu: It was a good game for us, mainly because the Rebels are going through a change o generation. We have a new coach, Florin Cojanu, that managed to integrate into the team 4 rookies and they lived up to his expectations. Falcons was the best team, but we managed to run and pass the ball well and put points on the scoreboard. We want to thank the Falcons and their general manager Dustin Cherniawski for coming to Romania and for the great communication. We hope to return their visit and play them in the Emirates.

What went well for you today? What went wrong?

Marcu: We took this game as a learning process for our young players and for our entire team. We think this was the perfect opportunity for a Romanian Team to play against players that were raised playing American football. Offensively we had a couple of drives not successful. We were trying to understand the defensive scheme of the Falcons. After that, we were able to move the ball when we needed it. We ran the ball very well in the second part of the game, this opened the passing game once the defense tried to stuff the run. We weren’t able to take advantage of our good moments in the offense and made some mental errors and gave the ball away to the opposing team. We missed a lot of tackles and that is exactly what makes the difference at the end of the day between a good defensive game and a bad one. Let’s just say it wasn’t our best day in the defense. If we take something from this game is that we need to take advantages of our opportunities and don’t give the ball away. Other than that I think it was a good game for both teams.

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