Dinos 0-17 FUNDIDORES
“Nuevo León Unido” Stadium, Monterrey, México
By: Daniel Cortés Martínez
On a very sloppy and penalty-plagued Friday night, the Fundidores took the reins of the first game of the season and dispatched an overly inoperative Dinos squad, to grant them just the second shutout in three years of league history.
The Dinos started the first offense of the campaign with Luis Gómez Brull (No. 13) under center being heavily pressured by a formidable Fundidores defense, and welcomed with a couple of sacks in consecutive plays. However, the first of many penalties came by a facemask and kept alive the reptiles’ hopes. A couple of passes to Fernando Richarte (No. 6) and Javier Carrete (No. 29) steamed the Dinos’ offense but next up, a couple of consecutive penalties brought the attack to an abrupt halt and they had to punt the ball.
The turn of the Fundidores offense saw them finding enough space to make plays on the ground using a variety of read option strategies and power runs with Dezerick Reed (No. 28), Adrián Flores (No. 22) and Manuel Alanís (No. 20) churning big chunks of yards, and taking the offense into Dinos’ territory. However, a couple of penalties for both teams slowed the series again, but QB Roberto Vega (No. 12) managed to hit a pass to Aaron Mendoza and leave the ball on the 1 yard-line. On the next play, Vega opted for a personal play and found the end zone for the first Touchdown of the season. The Fundidores decided to try to score the 2-pt. conversion and succeeded, leaving the score to 8 against nothing in the first quarter.
The Dinos had to get things going on their own attack, but on first down Brull (No. 13) threw a short and floated pass that gave time to Fundidores’ Sergio Cantú (No. 24) to track down the ball and got away with an interception. The Fundidores took over the offense on the 26 yard line from Dinos territory and first, a run from Adrián Flores (No. 22) and then a handoff to Reed (No. 28) got another Touchdown for the home team showing a clear domination of the rival in the trenches. Kudos to a fantastic offensive line work in these two plays. The next 2 point conversion attempt failed but the Fundidores were already 14 points up in the board.
Then on, the Dinos tried to combine and give stability to their attack with both run and pass plays finding some success with short passes, but again, three back-breaking penalty against the offense vanished any opportunity to find rhythm and get points. From then, the game started to feel really untidy because of the mental errors and the many penalties for both teams that stalled the game for a big part of the first half, giving a series of ill-fated plays and a festival of punts in an underwhelming performance.
A muffed punt by the Fundidores recovered by the Dinos gave them a great position to get on the board, trusting QB Francisco Mata Charles (No. 18) an opportunity to do so, but he missed it and threw an easy interception to David Oranday (No. 29). The next Fundidores attack swiped the Dinos defense with their running back trinity of Reed, Alanís and Flores, aided again and again by Dinos’ penalties and the formidable blocking work of the Fundidores O-line. These offense went on to get a 37 yard Field Goal to extend the Fundidores lead to 17 points.
The second half went on without any notice, opening with a penalty. The Fundidores continued to use the running game to milk the clock and got creative with many read option plays, putting Luis Roberto Araujo (No. 4) under center to execute those kinds of strategies. Both defenses took the stage for the second half but the mistakes were on the very spotlight as both teams added to their resume one fumble each, courtesy of a bad center and a formidable defensive play by Pedro Guerrero (No. 99) of the Dinos with a forced fumble and recovery.
Next up, the Fundidores released their own defense and got a sack and the third interception of the night, and second for Sergio Cantú (No. 24), as QB Gómez Brull (No. 13) was under constant pressure. More penalties and a killing-clock strategy with their solid running game for the part of the Fundidores finally saw them taking their first victory of the season. Overall, and as it was being said, it was a typically opening game in which both teams were trying to adapt to the high-level requirements of professional football. Meanwhile, the Dinos are heading home with many things to fix, specially on the discipline and mental mistakes that saw them taking a 10-plus mark in the penalty area.