U.S. exacts revenge in Orlando

Orlando (January 29, 2017) – Football Canada’s under-18 and under-19 national teams each lost their matchup against their counterparts from USA Football at the inaugural North American Championship on Saturday January 28 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex in Orlando, Florida.

Moving forward Canada will continue to build towards defending their gold medal at the 2018 IFAF U19 World Championship. They’ll look to bring a core group of players back for next year’s game(s).   

U.S. exacts revenge with U19 game win over Canada

Under the Saturday night lights, Football Canada’s under-19 national team lost 33-11 to their U.S. counterparts and host at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex in Orlando, Florida at the inaugural North American Championship. The game was the first under-19 contest between the two nations since Canada defeated the U.S. to capture gold at the 2016 IFAF U19 World Championship in China.   

In the game, Canada faced an explosive team that was out for revenge, tallying 485 total offensive yards. USA Football’s squad was comprised of top recruits headed to major NCAA programs. The team has a long list of alumni including NFL superstars like Jameis Winston, Tyrann Mathieu and Todd Gurley.

With only five days to prepare for the game, Canada’s incoming head coach was happy with the improvement and cohesiveness shown by the team as the week progressed.

“I was so impressed with our guys and they represented Canada so well,” said Steve Sumarah. “They played hard for 48 minutes and we had our chances at times.”

Canada moved the ball well throughout the game. They had two first-and-goal chances but was unable to find the end zone.

“It’s tough when you look at it because we really only had four days to put it [the systems] in. I was pretty proud of them and they fought right until the end.”

“Credit where credit is due, that’s a very good team that we played tonight.”

Despite the box score, Canada’s defense hung in well against a very skilled team.

“Besides maybe a big play here or there, I thought we got off the field at times and gave ourselves good field position. The biggest challenge was just their speed. I thought overall that our guys made plays when they had to and we rotated all the guys in and that was great.”

Kicker David Solie earned Canada’s Player of the Game honours. He accounted for all but two of his team’s 11 points and also downed a 36-yard punt inside the U.S. 5-yard line.

“It’s funny because when we got here, punting was the thing that he was most concerned about,” said Sumarah of Solie. “By the end of it, he hit that punt [that rolled out of bounds inside the 5-yard line] and it was unbelievable.”

Solie also nailed a long 47-yard field goal to give Canada some momentum in the second half.

“The kid’s a big-time player. He just waked out there, wasn’t nervous at all and put it right down the pipes.” 

Moving forward Canada will continue to build towards defending their gold medal at the 2018 IFAF U19 World Championship. They’ll look to bring a core group of players back for next year’s game(s).   

“I think that what we discovered is that we have some pretty good players in our country. This game’s an opportunity to come out and represent your country, there was a lot of pride on that field and I think that it showed. Going forward, it sets us up and these guys are going to want to be back. Our goal to have a core group back, prep them again, this time next year, and then by the time the world championships is around, we’re ready to play.”

“If we can get these guys bought in and returning, next year’s not introductions, it’s high fiving and seeing your buddy again and that’s kind of the goal of what we’re trying to accomplish.”   

Scoring Summary

Quarter

Time

Scoring Play

V-H

1st

04:38

C19 – SOLIE, D. 41 yd field goal, 5-20 2:21

3-0

 

00:13

US19 – JONES, M. 1 yd run (ZENDEJAS, C. kick), 8-75 4:25

3-6

2nd

10:07

US19 – SHENAULT, L. 75 yd pass from STONE, L. (ZENDEJAS, C. kick), 1-75 0:15

3-14

 

06:47

C19 – SOLIE, D. 22 yd field goal, 7-65 3:20

6-14

 

00:38

US19 – DOTSON, M. 36 yd pass from GRIMES, R. (ZENDEJAS, C. kick), 6-98 2:05

6-21

3rd

09:54

US19 – JONES, M. 47 yd run (ZENDEJAS, C. kick blockd), 4-67 2:06

6-27

 

01:21

C19 – SOLIE, D. 47 yd field goal, 4-8 1:32

9-27

4th

07:54

US19 – LEWIS, E. 31 yd pass from STONE, L. (ZENDEJAS, C. kick blockd), 10-66 5:16

9-33

 

07:54

C19 – LANDRY, T. PAT return

11-33

 

  

U.S. snaps Canada’s U18 national team’s 4-game winning streak

Canada’s under-18 national team fell to their U.S. counterparts 26-0 to open the inaugural North American Championship at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex on Saturday January 28 in Orlando, Florida. The loss snapped Canada’s under-18 national team’s four-game winning streak.

Canada kept the game close at halftime, holding the host nation to 15 points in the first two quarters, but was unable to move the ball consistently on offense all game.

“I think it started off bad with that trick play [resulting in the U.S.’s first touchdown] and we never really got our momentum offensively,” said head coach Marco Iadeluca.

Canada’s defense was the bright spot on the night.

“I thought the defense played hard all game,” said Iadeluca. “They were on the field for probably three-quarters of the football game and played hard until the end. Our offense turned over the ball way too often to win the football game.”

Linebacker Brody Williams and defensive back, Dillon Zimmerman led Canada’s defense on Saturday, each tallying four solo tackles.

“They’ve been consistent throughout week,” said Iadeluca of Williams and Zimmerman. “I had mentioned that those two guys are two to watch defensively and I think that they stepped up to the plate without a doubt.”

Williams totaled 10 total tackles and earned Canada’s Player of the Game honours on the night.

“It feels pretty extraordinary,” said Williams of the award. “It doesn’t usually go to a defensive player so I was a little bit surprised but I knew that I balled out today, I was also proud of the boys and that they still showed heart even though we were down.”

The young St. Paul’s linebacker from Oakbank, Manitoba thrived living his dream of playing for Canada. 

“It meant everything to me, just to say that I’ve represented my country in the sport I love.”

Scoring summary

Qtr

Time

Scoring Play

V-H

1

11:40

US18 – ENNIS, E. 57 yd pass from GREEN, Z. (JONES, L. rush failed), 1-57 0:20

0-6

 

08:46

US18 – ROME, H. 35 yd field goal, 6-21 2:34

0-9

 

00:00

US18 – MAYDEN, J. 2 yd run (MAYDEN, J. pass failed), 12-79 6:06

0-15

3

08:50

US18 – TEAM safety

0-17

 

03:09

US18 – ROME, H. 27 yd field goal, 11-31 5:41

0-20

4

00:56

US18 – ENNIS, E. 11 yd pass from GREEN, Z. (SANOGO, M. rush failed), 13-80 7:11

0-26

 

  

Photo Credit: USA Football

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