Written by: Daniel Cortés Martínez

Omar Cojolum (RB) breaking tackles | Credit: Ángel Santiago – FootballProMX

FINAL: Eagles 18-40 Mayas

This game was a story of two tales. In the first half it was a very close match as it was expected, neither team had a clear advantage in top of the other. But the second half was completely in the side of the Mayas whom put the pedal to the metal and never turn back again, displaying a powerful offense that destroyed the aspirations of an Eagles comeback.

The Eagles started their attack rotating their three quarterbacks in the first series but without success, they abandoned quickly the strategy to stick with Raúl Mateos (No. 18) for the entire first half. Their first flirting with the end-zone came short after a 9-play series that ended with a missed Field Goal. As I stated in the preview for this game, the Eagles needed to take advantage of every opportunity that the Mayas gave them and score points, if not, they were going to dig into something difficult to overcome.

The Mayas offense did not start better. Their first try was a three-and-out; and the second one started with an amazing 60-yard run by Omar Cojolum through the middle of the defense, but stagnated 3 plays after, setting for a Field Goal. However, they tried a trick play that went bad and ended with an interception by Octavio Martínez (No. 98). So, the Mayas offense also left the field without points. The “Blue Empire” defense got to work and recovered the ball two plays later. Then on, they finally found the end-zone in 4th down. Mayas QB Marco García (No. 12) connected with WR Josué Martínez (No. 81) for the first time in a highly productive evening.

The “Red Birds” did not want to fall back and responded immediately with a 75-yard pass from Mateos (No. 18) to Marco Pacheco (No. 8) to leave the offense in the 2-yard line. The score came after a great connection Mateos-Guillermo Villalobos (No. 84) trying to replicate the production of the García-Martínez combo from the Mayas. Nevertheless, the Mayas responded in just one play, again with the legs of Omar Cojolum (No. 1) for a 65-yard Touchdown after breaking at least 6 tackles. An amazing play for a spectacular player as Cojolum.

The Eagles offense marched down the field with a combination of passes and runs by Mateos, but with a big mistake, he was intercepted in the end-zone. Again, on the very next play, García (No. 12) found Martínez (No. 81) with a beautiful toss and catch for a 43-yard touchdown. Two consecutive offensive plays, and two consecutive touchdowns for a rolling machine that the Mayas were displaying. The Eagles responded again with the Mateos-Villalobos connection to the right corner of the end-zone, and closed the gap to 8 points. The score: Eagles 12-20 Mayas. At the end of the first half, the scoreboard should have been larger in favor of the Mayas if it has not been for a couple of bad drops and an interception to Garcia to close the first half.

To open the second half, the Mayas unleashed a potent offensive unit that engineered a 14-play series that chunked 10 minutes of the third quarter. It was very impressive to watch. It culminated with an Omar Cojolum run for the touchdown. From this point, the Mayas became unstoppable. The next play, the Eagles muffed the punt and gave away the ball to the Mayas. They did not hesitate to score again and took away the game entirely off the hands of the Eagles. The score: Eagles 12-33 Mayas. In the 3rd quarter, the Eagles offense practically never touched the ball and the Mayas were completely overwhelming.

In the final quarter the Mayas scored again with another run by Rodrigo Ríos (No. 9) and the Eagles made the score less ample with a touchdown of their own with Billy Owens (No. 14). However, the game was practically decided in the third quarter. That is how the overpowering Mayas got their seventh consecutive win of the season and earned their spot in the final and most important game of the campaign. They roll into the Tazón México II as the clear favorites to repeat as champions, but in front they will have their last assignment in the Saltillo Dinos. There is no easy opponent and the Mayas know it, but this is a greatly disciplined and focused team that surely will get the things right to face their final mission and take home the prized trophy. Their professionalism and experience has no comparison yet in the young LFA.