Score: RAPTORS 46-26 Condors

“Jesús ‘Palillo’ Martínez” Stadium, México City

By: Daniel Cortés Martínez

WhatsApp Image 2018-02-26 at 21.10.11
Raptors stay undefeated | Photo Credit: Ángel Santiago – FootballProMX

The Raptors woke up from an early lethargy and managed to overcome an 18-point deficit, scoring 43 unanswered points to finish off a disappointing Condors team.

The Condors stormed out of the gates commanded by QB José Miguel Chávez (No. 19) and quickly scored the first points of the game after marching down the field. A huge run by the quarterback himself in a 41-yard gain and, a couple of plays later, the rookie running back Luis Humberto López Tinoco (No. 4) crossing the line, gave the home team the early lead in a promising start. The Raptors, on the other hand, began the match in a negative tone being pressured by the Condors’ defense and fumbling the ball in their second offensive try. The mistake was quickly capitalized by the Condors in the very next play. A deep pass to the left landed in the hands of WR Andrés Salgado (No. 81) who took it all the way 47 yards for the second Touchdown of the game.

Things were looking very good for the Condors and their defense continued to pay dividends as they kept the Raptors’ offense away from the end zone in the entirety of the first quarter. The productive connection between Chávez (No. 19) and WR Preston Bailey (No. 11) took the offense deep into Raptors’ territory and Chávez found Salgado (No. 81) again for their third score, giving the home team an 18-point lead at the beginning of the second quarter. From that moment on, it was all on the side of the Raptors as they began a furious comeback that left the Condors knocked down on the field.

Connections from QB Bruno Márquez (No. 12) with his outstanding receiver squad including Erick Arzate (No. 11), José Manuel Barrios (No. 19) and Iván García (No. 16), powered by a running game carried by Dan Ávila (No. 3), Salvador Sierra (No. 1) and Alberto Ruiz (No. 34) saw the Raptors rolling all over the field blasting the Condors’ defense. The first score, that marked the comeback for the lizards came by the legs of Márquez in a 1-yard Touchdown, followed by a pretty toss on the left corner of the end zone caught by Iván García (No. 16) closing the gap on the board.

The Condors’ seemed overwhelmed by the rapid adjustments made by the Raptors and consistently committed mistakes, penalty after penalty, and giving the ball away via interceptions. The first one came on a batted pass on the line by the amazing Diego Ruiz (No. 69) landing on the hands of Enrique Guerrero (No. 4), but the Raptors were not mistake-free, allowing a sack to Enrique Bautista (No. 52) and fumbling the ball on a brilliant defensive play by Condors’ Emiliano Santino (No. 7). Nevertheless, the Condors never got back on track and also granted a safety to Raul Arnaiz (No. 43) assisted by Ruiz (No. 69).

The next score (of many) for the Raptors came by a 10-yard Touchdown pass connection from Márquez to Barrios (No. 19) to close the first half. The score was within reach of the Condors as they were just 5 points behind the Raptors. Condors’ LB Ángel Bertín (No. 52) gave hope to his team with a sack in the first series of the half, making the Raptors to punt, but the offense could not live to the expectations and forced the defense back to the game too early and they began to show signs of fatigue. Two plays later Dan Ávila (No. 3) of the Raptors was finding the end zone to put the visiting team up 11 points.

QB Diego Pérez (No. 1) entered the match to try to turn the things around for his team, but he threw a costly interception in the end-zone to Fernando Ramírez (No. 21) and another one to the same defensive player on the next series, but this time returned for a defensive Touchdown, basically sealing the game in favor of the Raptors. The mistakes were not over for the Condors’ as José Miguel Chávez (No. 19) re-entered to threw another interception to dual-team participant Erick Arzate (No. 11). The Condors’ defense was completely erased from the field and they let Dan Ávila (No. 3) walk off with a 49 yard Touchdown, making the rest of the game painfully to watch. The Condors managed to get some points to make the score less outrageous with a handoff to RB Irving Alamilla (No. 27) and a 2-point conversion with Tinoco (No. 4).

The Raptors now sport an unbeaten record at the end of the Week 2 of the LFA and consolidate as a scary team to face down the stretch. They must get better in the mental errors and avoid committing too many penalties, also getting in their game early to prevent getting behind in the scoreboard. Now they will travel to Monterrey to face the Fundidores who are looking to get back on the winning column. For their part, the Condors franchise is starting with a winless record  for the second time in two years, getting in a very difficult slump that seem very intricate to overcome. Now they must avoid getting a 3-game losing streak when they face the reigning champions Mayas on a Week 3 match on Sunday.