Monday, December 11, 2017

GAME DAY: U19 Europe Warriors vs. U19 ONEFA All-Stars

Saturday, December 9, 2017:

Game Day was finally here and . . .

"It was a BEAUTIFUL day
for American football!" 

Our Kickoff was scheduled for 10:00 a.m.

Our 46 player U19 Europe Warriors team would be taking on the 84 player Mexican U19 ONEFA League club.

YIKES, that is a lot of players to rotate through in high altitude Texcoco, Mexico!

We were the opening act of an American football doubleheader. The second game at 1:00 p.m. would see the USA Eagles take on the Mexican ONEFA Senior Collegiate all-stars.

When we got to the stadium at the Universidad Autónoma Chapingo, things were popping.

Longhorns in the House

Lots of American football related gear was for sale. Much of it was NFL souvenirs, some of it NCAA clothing, some more of it was Mexican university related.

Of course they also had all sorts of souvenirs for the fans to purchase that were specifically about the four teams playing today.

"Have I got a deal just for you!

Need any Mexican University decals?

Then this is THE place!

The field looked good

José "Palomo" Ruiz Tapia Stadium

Warriors loosening up

Coach Luis Rodarte warming up our
Offensive Linemen

 Team Time in warm-ups

Head Coach Bart Iaccarino
giving us some final words of wisdom

The Mexican U19 team during the
Pre-Game Ceremomnies

Did you know that the European Union's anthem is Beethoven's "Ode to Joy?"

All of the following game pictures are courtesy of Sue Valdivia who is a true professional and better person.

One last pre-game break before
heading back to the locker room

The Bear Republic was in the House!

Here come . . .


Coaches too

"Left Side Ready?"
Kickoff at last

Screen Pass

Battle for the Ball

Mexico Ball - A long drive ends with a 25 yard run on an Option Pitch, the PAT was good.
Mexico 7 - Europe 0

Europe Ball - Three and Out, Punt

Mexico Ball - Three and Out, Punt

Europe Ball - Three and Out, but a Fake Punt Pass from Narcis Bach Jovani (Spain) to Lander Imbimbo (UK) keeps the drive alive as the First Quarter ends with the score Mexico 7 - Europe 0. 

A good play always fires you up!

 #22 Tobias Witaliz (Poland)
had a GREAT MVP type game!

Second Quarter:
Europe Ball - The drive that started near the end of the First Quarter now ended with a punt.

Mexico Ball - A perfectly executed Flea-Flicker play goes for a 55 yard TD, the PAT is good. 
Mexico 14 - Europe 0

Europe Ball - Three and Out, Punt but Oskar Wypych (Poland) booms a 55 yard punt to pin the Mexican eleven deep in their own territory.

Mexico Ball - FUMBLE! Europe recovers!

Europe Ball - Three and Out, Punt

Mexico Ball - A 40 yard TD run followed by a missed PAT extends the Mexican lead.
Mexico 20 - Europe 0

Europe Ball - Finally the Warriors put together a good drive  that ends with a 28 yard TD pass from Leo Kober (Germany) to Jørgen Sørå Gulbrandsen (Norway). Tyrone Erasmus (UK) splits the uprights on his PAT attempt as the Warriors cut into the Mexican lead.
Mexico 20 - Europe 7

Mexico Ball - Big plays lead to a 10 yard TD pass with no time left in the half. The Green and Red team goes for two but the Warriors stop them. 

At the Half Time break, the score is Mexico 26 - Europe 7.

The Defense was still battling

Jørgen Sørå Gulbrandsen
(Norway) on the TD grab!

Europe Ball - We fumbled on the first play of the drive.

Mexico Ball - The Mexican squad struck quickly with a 12 yard TD run to end the drive, the PAT was blocked.
Mexico 32 - Europe 7

Europe Ball - Three and Out, but a bad long snap puts our defense in another deep hole.

Mexico Ball - The South of the Border club score another TD, this time on a 1 yard run, their two point play fails.
Mexico 39 - Europe 7

Europe Ball - The Warriors want to battle but we fail to convert on a fourth down play.

Mexico Ball - FUMBLE! Warriors ball!

Europe Ball - We fumbled on the first play of the drive.

Mexico Ball - A 3 yard TD run ends this short drive, the PAT was blocked again. 
Mexico 44 - Europe 7

Europe Ball - Three and Out, Punt as the Third Quarter ends.
Mexico 44 - Europe 7

Great effort by the Mexican Receiver

Mexico Ball - Our Defense makes a Goal Line Stand to stop the Mexico threat.

Europe Ball - Three and Out, Fake Punt Pass is intercepted and returned for a Mexico TD, the PAT is good.
Mexico 51 - Europe 7

Europe Ball - We moved the ball a bit but had to punt in the end.

Mexico Ball - It was "Bombs Away" as the Mexican squad wanted another score. A 10 yard TD pass on the last play of the game satisfied their need, by rule there was no PAT attempt as that point was unimportant to the final outcome of the contest.

Mexico 57 - Europe 7

It was as bad as the score would indicate, the Mexican team was simply better than we were, no excuses.

Back in Camarillo, California
Laurie and Mike watched the
live stream of the game

According to the Internet, the live stream had over 110,000 views!

Coupled with a crowd of about 6,153 live spectators, it was quite an experience for our U19 players who usually play in front of 50-100 fans at Junior games in Europe. 

With the game over, it was time for one last round of photos with our Warriors.

With our Offensive Linemen
and Coach Luis Rodarte

With most of our Offensive Coaching
Staff and our Physical Therapist

 With QB Narcis Bach Jovani (Spain)

With LB Joe Christian (UK)

With Alberto Talavera (Spain)
and HC Bart Iaccarino

With HC Bart Iaccarino

With Tackles Coach
Luis Rodarte

Post game, players still had great
respect for each other

Post game pizzas took a little
sting out of the loss

This was WAY better than pizza

I would like to say a special thanks to the people that I worked with on a daily basis, the Offensive Linemen and our Tackles Coach.

They all worked extremely hard to improve their skills, were coachable and brought a solid work ethic with them each and every day.

Here they are:

 Our Tackles Coach
is still a great player and
a darn good coach too!

I love Luis Rodarte!

Reus Imperials

Amsterdam Crusaders
The Netherlands

Winterthur Warriors

Worcester Royals
United Kingdom

Warsaw Panthers

Cineplexx Blue Devils

Mödling Rangers

A special GRACIAS to Chapingo Toros Salvajes linemen Sergio Trujillo and Everardo Mendez Ocampo who helped provide us with much needed depth during the week and at the game.

Again, it was an honor to coach all of these young men!

It was amazing to see how well all 46 players bonded in such a short time, only six days. Hopefully our paths will cross again over the next few years.

I'd like to think that each player got better as both a person and American football player because of this experience.

I just wish we could have played a bit better.

At 1:00 the USA Eagles (red) took
on the ONEFA All-Stars (green)

The stands were packed on this warm Saturday afternoon.

At Half Time, the traditional Mexican Culture based show began.

Vaqueros doing great lasso tricks

Fascinating to watch

Half Time Action

The traditional Folklorico dresses
were fascinating . . .

. . . As was her smile

It was a hard fought game between
these two adult clubs
Final Score
Mexico 34 - USA 24

For our Europe Warriors, it was definitely not the result that we wanted but you had to admit . . .

"It was still a BEAUTIFUL day
for American football!"

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