Wild Card Playoffs Historic In Portugal As Sharks Dump Navigators

For the first time in seven years, a team not named the Lisbon Navigators will be crowned Portuguese champions. After having a seeming stranglehold on the championship trophy, the Navigators were ousted in the wild card playoffs by the Algarve Sharks. It has not been a year to remember for the once mighty Navigators and they have an entire offseason to ponder what went so wrong in 2015/16.

Portugal - playoff image 2016

Paredes Lumberjacks 16 – Braga Warriors 8

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Photo: PhotoSports

First, the Paredes Lumberjacks faced the Braga Warriors for a spot in the semifinals against the undefeated Lisbon Devils.

The game was plagued by lots of rain and wind, making life tough for both of the offenses. The Lumberjacks were the first ones to score on a fumble recovery by Kevin Turner. Then it was time for an offensive touchdown for Gil Duarte who scored on a run. At halftime, the score was 16-0 for the visiting Lumberjacks. In the second half the Warriors started to move the ball and scored in the third quarter. The last quarter was a pretty intense fight for both teams but no one could come with any more points.

The Lumberjacks won 16-8 and moved on to the semi final game.

Lisbon Sharks 28 – Lisbon Navigators 8

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Photo: Rita Alfonso

The Navigators and the Sharks clashed for the third time this year and this time it was with everything on the line. The Porto Mutts were waiting for the winner of this game.

The Sharks scored first on a passing touchdown from Ryan DeLoureiro to Brandon SooHoo. The Navigators tried to keep possession of the ball by keeping it on the ground and using play action to get some yards on the passing.

However Brandon SooHoo – who played both ways – was having a great game and had a pick 6. At halftime, the score was 14-0 for the Sharks.

In the second half, the game stayed very balanced with both teams having opportunities to score. However, it was the Sharks who scored again on another pick 6 and then later in the game on a rushing touchdown. The Navigators were able to score near the end of the game but it was too late to revert the final result.

The Sharks won 28-8 and moved on to the semi final game.

Semifinal matchups

So now the Paredes Lumberjacks will face the Lisbon Devils for one spot in the final and the Algarve Sharks will take on the Porto Mutts for the other spot in the final.

Who will we see playing in the Portuguese Superbowl?

Only one thing is certain – there will be a new champion in Portugal!

Andre Amorim
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 most entitled team in all Portugal that also participated in international matches on the Spanish Second Division. For the past 4 years has been the head coach of the Lisboa Devils, current title holders in Portugal. Besides coaching, Amorim also works in the human resources field with personal development, team building and training. You can follow is coaching trip in IG @coachamorim.“
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