Foxes beat Barracudas
The perennial basement dwellers from the Garden City bared their claws against vaunted opponents who went unbeaten last season, racing into an early 14-0 lead through touchdowns from wide receiver – and ex-Cuda – Machmood Malik and standout running back Davion Miller.
They then exhibited the new-found resolve shown in November’s narrow opening 7-0 loss to Dubai Stallions, with the Desert Bowl victors not being allowed to build on wide receiver Daniel Viranyi’s score just before the end of the first half. A shut out followed after the restart on Friday to gain their first triumph since 2012/13’s opening season and make it two losses from two for the holders.
“Last year we even struggled to score points,” said overjoyed Foxes coach Johnny Sharp. “Winning wasn’t even an option and the year before that was even worse.
“It feels good to beat the champions and we are in second place; we’ve only been fourth before.”
The result left Cudas – who were previously thrashed 28-12 by Abu Dhabi Wildcats – with much to ponder ahead of January 13’s Dubai derby against the Stallions.
For coach Kyle Jordan, he insisted a champion’s response would be delivered.
He said: “We’ve got some time and have four ball games left before the playoffs. We are going to be a better team before the end of the season, I guarantee that.”
The day’s other game at The Sevens saw the pacesetting Wildcats edge a tense match 20-15 against Desert Bowl losers the Stallions to continue their 100-per-cent start.
Quarterback Shane Szymczak rushed into the end zone twice and Nader Almahri got the other for the winners, with fellow running back Mohamed El Atawi scoring both touchdowns in a losing effort.
“I don’t think starting 2-0 sends any type of message to the league, but the message it does send is that we are a scrappy team that is willing to work hard and plays together,” said winning coach Tony Robinson.
The reversal ensured the capital side are the only unbeaten team after a pair of fixtures, but Stallions supremo Brett Turek insisted the field was still wide open.
He said: “The Wildcats are 2-0 right now, so you can say they are frontrunners. But I think it will be a very tight race to be No1.”
by Matt Monaghan
10th December 2016