AFDL: Legion vs Bears, Raiders vs Panthers - Game Recap

3 March 2013. With the rain clouds looming above the field, the AFDL officials were discussing if the games should be played on the wet field or should the start of the regular season be pushed back by one week. After much discussion, it was decided that regardless of the weather, the games must go on. Much like an outdoor stadium in the State, the ASCOM Field is an open field that sees what Mother Nature can throw at it. American Football is a sport that should be played in the elements.

A little background on the American Football Developmental League. It was created to help teach adult Filipino men how to play the favorite game in America. They are all taught basic fundamentals and spent 5 weeks training as one team. The field dimensions are very similar to Arena (Indoor) Football in the US. The field is 66 yards long x 28.5 yards wide. The playing field itself is only 50 yards long with 8-yard end zones. It can be played on top of a basketball court or inside an Arena Complex.

The first game of the season was the Bears vs. Legion. Bears started off surprising Legion with an on-side kick. The front line of Legion’s kick return team wasn’t expecting that and tried to pick up the ball and muffed back in the end zone and out of bounds thus giving the ball to the Bears. Led by QB Mike Hoese, the Bears came out throwing. Mike hit WR Will Yeh for a 19 yd gain putting the Bears into Legion’s territory. After a few incomplete passes, the Bears were forced to kick a FG but failed.

On Legion’s first possession, QB Bo Tamayo forced a pass under pressure from the Bears Defense and SS Will Yeh intercepted the ball and returned it all the way to the Legion 3 yards line before being pushed out of bounds by Paul “Bunyan” Harris. Will the Bears be able to capitalize on this turnover? No, they won’t. Legion’s defense, led by LB Steven Smith, made a valiant effort to keeping the Bears out of the end zone by deflecting pass after pass.

Legion’s second possession ended just as bad as their first possession, with a turnover. Bears Defensive Lineman Melford Remigio forced QB Bo Tamayo to fumble the ball, which was recovered by Bears Ronaldo Ibanez at Legion’s 6-yard line. The sun was shining on the Bears as Bryan Miguel was able to run off tackle and hit payday for the game’s first score. Extra point by Mike Hoese make the score Bears 7 – Legion 0.

Legion expecting another attempt by the Bears for an on-side kick, Bears kicker Mike Hoese kicks it deep to Legion Kick Returner Terence “Mighty Mouse” Marca. Marca returned it all the way down to the Bears 14 given Legion’s offense a sense of relief. With some running between Marca and Smith, they were able to get Legion down to the Bears 1-yard line where Legion QB Bo Tamayo sneaked in on a QB keeper for the score. With a bad snap on the extra point conversion, it forced Kicker David Mouatt to kick the ball out of bound and drawing a 10-yard penalty against Legion to be marked off after the Kick Return. Bears 7 – Legion 6.

Legion Mouatt kicks off and the ball is scooped up by the up-back Mark Marigomen. Marigomen fumbles the ball at mid-field but was saved by Bear’s lineman Christopher “#1” San Juan.

Bears were unable to produce any points after having 2 incomplete passes and 2 runs for zero yards. With Legion regaining possession at it’s 14, Coach David Mouatt decided to put the ball in one of his playmaker hands with 2 minutes remaining until half. RB Terence Marca carried Legion’s offense down the field by running for 21 yards and add another 15 yards with a reception that allowed Legion to score with no time left at the half. Legion went and converted it’s 2 point conversion making the score Legion 14 – Bears 7.

With the start of the 3rd quarter, Bears continued throwing the ball as QB Mike Hoese connected with WR Cairo Games for a 23 yard TD reception. Extra point by Hoese allows the Bears to tie the game at 14 a piece.

Not to be outdone by Terence Marca, RB Steven Smith told Coach Mouatt that it was his turn to carry Legion’s offense. Smith led Legion down the field with running for 22 yards and catching 1 pass for 10 yards. Smith was able to score on an 18 yard run putting Legion back up 20-14. Legions 2pt attempt failed.

KR Cairo Games took the ensuring kickoff 40 yards for his first Kick Return for a Touchdown. Extra point by Mike Hoese was good putting the Bears up 21-20.

Legion Coach Mouatt decided to mix it up by using both of his playmakers in the backfield. Running between Marca and Smith put the Bears defense back on their heels thus allowing QB Bo Tamayo to sneak in for 6 yd TD run. 2 point conversion was good. Legion takes the lead 28-21.

Bears fumbled the ball away on their next possession giving Legion the ball at the 5 yard line. Legion took advantage and let RB Steven Smith run up the middle for his second TD of the day. Extra point failed. Legion extends it’s lead to 34-21 with less than a minute remaining in the game.

Bears made one final attempt to score by marching down to Legion’s 15 yard line but time just wasn’t on their side. Final Score Legion 34 – Bears 21.

The second game of the season was the Raiders vs. Panthers. The Raiders started the game off strong by march the ball down to the Panthers 3 yard line but after that, Murphy’s law kicked in against the Raiders. Between penalties, tackles for loss and a sack, the Raiders went from 1 and goal at the Panthers 3 yard line to 4 and long at the Panthers 15 yard line. Panthers Free Safety Jai Merchant deflected the fourth down pass attempt by QB Carl Montano. 

Panthers came out running the ball like they did in the Jamboree. With some hard running by Leand Sugitan, it allowed QB Jai Merchant to run a 23-yard bootleg for a Panther’s touchdown. Extra Point attempt by Panther K Rob Imperial was no good. Panthers 6 – Raiders 0

Raiders came out running on their second possession but a few bad snaps ended their drive at mid-field. Panthers took control running again and RB Karl Fernandez ran 13 yards for the Panthers second touchdown of the day. Extra point attempt by Rob Imperial was no good. Panther 12 – Raiders 0

With the ensuing kickoff going out of bounds at the 25, Raider’s RB Vincent Posadas scampered up the sideline for a 25 yard touchdown. With the failed two-point conversion, Raider cut the lead in half making it Panther 12 – Raiders 6.

At the start of the 3rd Quarter, Panthers were able to return the ball to the Raiders 17 yard line. After a penalty backing the Panthers to the 22-yard line, RB Leand Sugitan busted up the middle of the field for a 19 yard gain. After some sloppy play and a lucky break, QB Jai Merchant was able to sneak into the end zone for 4 yard score. Extra point attempted failed. Panthers 18 – Raiders 6.

Late into the 3rd quarter, Raiders QB Carl Montano drives the Raiders down field but a forced throw was intercepted by Panthers FS Jai Merchant who ran it back 43-yards for a touchdown increasing the Panthers lead by 18. Extra Point attempt good by Rob Imperial. Panthers 25 – Raider 6.

At the start of the 4th quarter, Raiders once again went back to the air trying to cut into the Panthers big lead. On a 3rd down play, Raiders QB Carl Montano sees WR Miguel De La Pena wide open in the end zone. After releasing the ball, Montano sees Panthers FS Jai Merchant breaking the ball and like a bandit in the woods, Merchant has robbed Montano of a touchdown by intercepting the ball and going out of bounds at the 2 yard line, giving the Panthers control of the ball once again.

With minutes left in the game, Merchant mixed up his play calling to keep the Raiders defense off balance and drove the Panthers down to their 2 yards line eating up much of the clock, thus denying the Raiders another chance of a possession. With good sportsmanship, Merchant decided to put the Panthers offense into its victory formation and to knee the ball with seconds left in the game.

Timothy Beasley