Sunday, August 13, 2017

GAME DAY in Mexico City for the UNAM Pumas and the Europe Warriors

Saturday, August 12, 2017:

After a quick five days of practice, it was . . .


Your Europe Warriors were excited!

With ace photographer
Sue Valdivia
before boarding the team bus

We actually had a police escort from our hotel to the Olympic Stadium.

We were greeted by the Riot Squad
when we arrived at
the Olympic Stadium

Hmmm . . .

The field was PRISTINE!

Sue would be assisted by her
daughter Susana today

The rumor on the streets is that they took over 2,000 pictures between them!

I'm sure that I will be posting many more photos from the game in the next few days.

With RB Coach Mauricio Jaworski

A bust at the stadium of famed
UNAM Pumas
Coach Roberto"Tapatio" Méndez

With DB Coach Dale Widolff

One of the really good guys in coaching.

 The taping room

Talking to a few players
before the game

 The tunnel to the field

Warriors warm-up

The Riot Squad had our backs
during warm-ups
 It would be a late arriving crowd

Pre-game plays

Strike up the band!

 Warmed-up and now padding up

Here come the Warriors!

The Coin Flip

The stands across the way would be full by halftime.

The game is on

 It was a good back and forth game

Luca Zigliani nails a Field Goal
from about 35 yards out to put the
Warriors up 3-0 in the First Quarter

The team that attempts the first field goal in a game loses 75% of the time according to the Las Vegas gambling oddsmakers.


A quick re-cap of the First Half . . .

After Luca's Field Goal, the Pumas roared down the field scoring on a 30 TD pass. We blocked the PAT but the Pumas still led 6-3.

DE James Hamilton scooped up a Pumas fumble and rumbled about 25 yards to pay dirt, our PAT was blocked but we recaptured the lead, Warriors 9 - Pumas 6 as the First Quarter ended.

The Pumas connected on a three yard, Fourth and Goal TD pass play. Their PAT kick was good and they now led 13-9.

Jonathan Dally hit Ja Vontae Hence on a 50 yard bomb and Erik Perez Marquez found Preston Bailey for a two-point PAT. It was now Warriors 17 - Pumas 13 as the First Half came to a close. 

 The Band at half-time I believe,
maybe it was during pre-game

The Third Quarter was a rough one for the Warriors.

The Pumas took the Second Half kickoff and drove down the field scoring on a three QB keeper. The PAT was good as the Pumas reclaimed the lead 20-17.

We fumbled away the ensuing Pumas kickoff setting up a short field for the Pumas next score, a seven yard slant pass. The PAT was good again and the Pumas now led 27-17.

Erik Perez Marquez connected with Preston Bailey again, this time on a fake punt to keep a drive alive but the Pumas still led 27-17 as the Third Quarter ended.

The Fourth Quarter started with Peter Smith's great punt the the Warriors downed at the six yard line.

Unfortunately, The Pumas drove 94 yards and converted on a two point faked PAT kick to extend their lead to 35-17.

The Warriors were not done yet as Conner Reilly threw a beautiful pass to Charles De La Roque that was good for 70 yards. John Dally then hit Darnell Smith on a two yard TD pass. Luca Zigliani's PAT was good to cut the Pumas lead to 35-24.

The next time the Warriors got the ball, Connor Reilly hit Darnell Smith on a 50 yard TD bomb. Connor then found Ja Vontae Hence open in the back corner of the end zone for two points. The Pumas lead was now a slim 35-32.

The Warriors ensuing on-side kick by Luca Zigliani was recovered by an unknown Warrior with little time left in the game.

Unfortunately, an interception ended the Warriors last chance to tie or win the contest as the clock hit 0:00 with the Pumas winning a hard fought game 35-32.

The UNAM Pumas were the real deal. They were well coached and played with passion to be sure.

Post game picture with the two clubs

The Pumas loud crowd was amazing both during the game and in then showing their appreciation to the Warriors after the game!

 Luis Rodarte and Irving Alamilla
both former Pumas after the game
with an unknown amigo

Lots of nations were represented
on the Warriors

Enrique Prado Alonso
with a young fan after
the game

 Luis Rodarte was a
fan favorite too

 Post game meal in the Pumas'
Dining Hall

 Lots of good local cuisine
at this meal

Now for a few more photos from earlier this week . . .

Head Coach Jesús Sánchez

Luca Zigliani kicking during
Friday's walk-through practice

 Corey Stollmeyer with a pick

 Erik Perez Marquez
was great on Special Teams today

He was tw0 for two passing on fakes, one for a two-point conversion and the other for a First Down on a fake Punt.

GREAT young man!

Near the Latin American Tower
on Wednesday's Zocalo visit

Great Lineman

Luis was the missing lineman from the other day's post with similar pictures of our other six lineman. He had missed the original photo shoot but Sue Valdivia caught up to him the next day.

As far as the Europe Warriors are concerned, Jesús Sánchez and Bart Iaccarino did an amazing job putting this project together in only five months.

Everything, and I mean everything, that happened this week was absolutely First Class! The Radisson Paraiso Hotel was indeed a 5-Star facility and their three buffet meals a day were incredible. Our transportation and the UNAM practice facilities were also top notch.

I thoroughly enjoyed working with and respected all of the coaches that Jesús and Bart assembled.

Finally, our players were amazing! We were here together for the past eight days and never had even the smallest hint of any kind of a discipline problem. They were 44 high character young men to be sure.

Despite the loss, it was a phenomenal experience!


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