2018 International Bowl: Canada capitalizes on turnovers to win Under-18 game against United States
Canada’s Under-18 National squad took advantage of turnovers and mistakes to defeat the United States 44-26 at the 2018 International Bowl on Wednesday night at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
With this victory, Canada Under-18 squad has won the past five out of six meetings against the United States in International Bowl play.
Down by an 8-0 deficit, Antoine Couture was successful on a pair of field goals (40 and 30 yards) to pull Canada within two points of the United States.
The United States added a field goal to go up 11-6 with 1:17 left before the first half.
However, the tide started changing and Canada began gaining momentum just before they headed into the dressing room at halftime.
Jacob Biggs caught a timely interception on the 29-yard line with seconds left in the second quarter. This play created a golden scoring opportunity for Canada.
With three seconds left to halftime, quarterback Lukas Boulanger passed the ball to Tyson Rowe, who snuck into the end zone for a 1 yard major.
At halftime, Canada led the United States 13-11.
Canada continued to roll in the third quarter as pivot Michael Calvert handed the ball to Jalen Philpot who sprinted into the end zone for a four-yard touchdown.
With seven minutes remaining in the third quarter, Canada’s defence once again made a timely play as Riley Gabriel came up with a huge interception at the 48-yard line. Over two minutes after that interception, Dare Simmonds dashed into the end zone for a touchdown score to increase Canada’s lead over the United States.
Toward the end of the third quarter, the United States replied with a touchdown. However, on their two-point conversion attempt, it was intercepted by Lamar Goods.
With over nine minutes left in the game, Boulanger handed the ball to Tyson Philpot, who rushed into the end zone for a 46 yard score.
The United States tried to mount a late comeback by scoring a touchdown with four minutes remaining but again the team made a costly mistake on the two-point conversion attempt as it was a low snap.
Couture added his third field goal of the game (28 yards) with 28 second left to increase Canada’s lead.
Canada would round out the scoring when their defence came up big towards the end of the game. Nicolas Lessard caught an interception and converted it into a touchdown with seven seconds left in the game.
Jalen Philpot was named MVP of the game for Canada with 115 yards and a touchdown while AJ Brown picked up the same honours for the United States.
“Their guys came to play,” commented Canada’s Under-18 Head Coach Steve Sumarah after the game. “They were so amped up for this whole game all week long.”
“We had a great week of practice; the interaction between the players and coaches was phenomenal and then it shows come game day. Even if there was a bit of adversity, the guys just fought right through it. To be honest with you, I thought we out physical them.”
Sumarah said that the turning point was the timely interception from Biggs and the subsequent touchdown score by Rowe.
“It was an unbelievable break on the ball,” said Sumarah. “We got it down inside their five-yard line and we just had enough time.”
“With Tyson Rowe punching it in, it was a big play for us and what I thought it did for us was relax us at halftime. The guys had so much confidence at halftime and it was just a matter of time before we got the engine rolling.”
Ultimately, this win brought on a special feeling for Sumarah, who was proud of the team’s performance on Wednesday night.
“For me, to be able to have this on my chest (maple leaf), it’s a very proud moment for me,” he expressed. “I have coached in a lot of football in the last 20 years, but there’s something to be said about winning, wearing your Canadian colours proudly.”
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