Canada advances to U-19 World Championship final against USA on Wednesday
Football Canada’s Junior National Team has advanced to the International Federation of American Football (IFAF) U-19 World Championship gold medal game where they will face Team USA after defeating Austria 36-7 on Sunday evening in Kuwait.
Canada took a 14-0 lead into halftime following a pair of touchdown passes. Starting quarterback Frédéric Paquette-Perrault connected with Félix Laflamme on an 8-yard touchdown pass at the 3 minute mark of the opening quarter to put Canada on the board. With 7 minutes to play in the half, Canada struck again, as second string quarterback Brett Hunchak completed a 41-yard touchdown pass to receiver Louis-Mathieu Normandin.
Early in the second half Austria’s offense came alive, cutting Canada’s lead in half following a 16-yard touchdown run.
Canada regained their 14 point advantage following a fumble recovery by defensive lineman Mathieu Betts which set-up a 1st and goal at the Austria 10-yard line. Canada capitalized on third down as quarterback Frédéric Paquette-Perrault connected with receiver Trivel Pinto on a 10-yard touchdown pass, making the score 21-7.
The fumble recovery served as a turning point in the game as Canada began to pull away following the swing in momentum.
“The fumble recovery after the Austrian score was the turning point in the game as we really started to pull away from that point on,” said Canada head coach and defensive coordinator, Warren Craney.
Seizing the swing in momentum Canada’s offense continued to click. First Paquette-Perrault found Marc-Antoine Pivin, this time from 12-yards out. A successful 2-point conversion by quarterback Liam Putt widened Canada’s lead to 29-7.
Not to be outdone, quarterback Brett Hunchak also marked his second touchdown on the day, this time calling his own number for an 8-yard rushing touchdown which pushed Canada’s lead to 36-7.
“It was a very physical game and we had to battle through numerous injuries,” said Craney. “The offense moved the ball consistently and the defense played great throughout with the exception of their one [touchdown] drive.”
With its third win in tournament play, Canada now moves on to the gold medal game and a chance to defend its world championship title. Canada and Team USA have met in the first two IFAF U-19 World Championship gold medal games with Canada avenging a 2009 loss in 2012 to capture gold. On Wednesday July 16 the 2014 final will serve as a tiebreaker and continue to build on the history of this strong North American football rivalry.
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