Conquistadors Still Conquering
The Mexico City Conquistadors are improving their path to Relocation Bowl IV every single week.
While the odds were in their favor to win over the London Black Knights, they had to sweat it out to make it happen for a full 60 minutes.
The 13-3 lead Mexico City built in the first half slowly evaporated due to London’s 14-3 run at the start of the 2nd half, but the Conquistadors had the Black Knights right where they wanted them in the final 2 minutes of the game.
Not only did the Conquistadors get in perfect field position, but they made sure the Black Knights would have almost no time to score after they attempted the field goal. With 8 seconds to go, Mexico City drilled the kick for their 9th win of the season to protect a 2-game conference lead in the AFC.
The Black Knights received the ball in wet conditions to begin the Week 11 Sunday Night Football game. Mexico City quickly took over as a result of a three-and-out but followed the same footsteps. A powerful punt put the Black Knights at the 6-yard line, and while they avoided a safety and got a 1st down, they couldn’t go any further than the 24-yard line.
Mexico City’s 2nd drive relied heavily on the ground game with Denard Locker and Manuel. Through several big gains, the Conquistadors reached the goal-line, but they failed to complete the job. Instead, they settled for a 23-yard field goal to take a 3-0 lead. Near the end of the 1st quarter, the Black Knights were in perfect position to tie the game with a 46-yard field goal, but the holder could not place the ball on the turf quick enough. The Conquistadors blocked the kick and recovered at the 40-yard line.
The offense failed to benefit from the good field position and punted from midfield. Following a punt by the Black Knights, Mexico City blasted into field goal range with a 42-yard completion by Ulbrich on 3rd & 11. This completion led to a successful 40-yard field goal with about 10 minutes left in the quarter.
London found a leg to stand on for their offense the same way the Conquistadors did: rely on the run. Cloud carried the team on his shoulders and surpassed 60 yards on the night in just 10 carries. His contributions allowed the Black Knights to kick a field goal and get within 3 points of Mexico City’s lead.
The Black Knights regained possession just in time for the 2-minute warning. Two consecutive sacks put an end to their possession, which gave the Conquistadors over 1 minute and 30 seconds to score from the 22-yard line. Chum Lee led Mexico City on a textbook drive and threw to Cole Schillenger for a 16-yard drive with very little time before halftime, getting the Conquistadors ahead 13-3 at intermission.
It took both offenses awhile to get back in the groove at the start of the 3rd quarter. The heavy rush attack could only get each team to a certain point down the field, but when Holden Wolfe began his assault against the Conquistadors’ defense, the Black Knights were able to reach the end zone on a 6-yard pass to Nance with 4 minutes to go in the quarter.
Following a punt by both teams, the Conquistadors were at midfield when disaster came extremely close to striking. Lee’s pass was thrown directly at Burch, who would have likely changed the entire game if he intercepted the pass. However, he could not hang on, and the Conquistadors remained on the field.
Facing 3rd & 6 from the 12-yard line, Mexico City was in position to take a 10-point lead at the start of the final quarter, whereas the Black Knights needed to hold them to just a field goal to stay within a possession. Patrick broke through the offensive line and sacked Lee from the edge, forcing a 36-yard field goal.
The Black Knights avoided rushing the ball and stuck almost solely to passing on their next series. They would only reach the 49-yard line before the strategy led to a dead end, but they were fortunate enough to get the ball back after the Conquistadors had to punt as well.
After a 21-yard completion for a 3rd Down conversion to put the Black Knights in field goal range, London had a prime opportunity to take the lead. They would do exactly that only 1 play later, as a result of a touch pass thrown to Fayson while running a vertical route straight to the end zone. The Black Knights took their first lead of the night with the successful extra point.
Both teams punted on their next drives, which gave the Conquistadors 5 minutes to retake the lead. Dealing with an energetic opposing crowd, rainy conditions, and a complete lack of momentum, Mexico City was left answerless and had to punt back to London.
To kill the clock, the Black Knights reverted to Cloud, who accumulated well over 100 yards on the night, to get the needed yardage for 1st downs. While it took away 2 whole minutes, they stalled at midfield and punted to the Conquistadors’ 18-yard line.
Needing only a field goal to win, Mexico City attempted to move quickly, but not too quick to give the Black Knights enough time to respond. They converted 2 consecutive 3rd downs to start the drive and found themselves at the 44-yard line with 42 seconds remaining.
Even though the Conquistadors were comfortably inside field goal range in the final 30 seconds, they still ran fairly aggressive play calls and passed on 3rd & 5. After a receiver made the catch, he fumbled the ball, and despite the swarm of Black Knights who scrambled for the recovery, the Conquistadors somehow maintained possession. On the next snap, they kicked a 37-yard field goal with 8 seconds left, ultimately clinching the victory for Mexico City over the Black Knights by a score of 19-17.
Written By: Luke Rainey