Canada blanks Sweden 43-0 in their opening game
Canadians earn semi-final rematch Wednesday against Japan
A first-half inability to finish drives was rectified at halftime as No. 2 seed Canada scored five second half touchdowns on its way to dominating 43-0 win over Sweden in Game 3 of the 2012 IFAF U19 World Championship.
Canada finished with 538 yards in total offense, the second highest single-game total in IFAF U19 Championship history and will now face a familiar foe, Japan in the semi-final on July 4 for a place in the Gold medal Game.
The 2012 semi-final is a rematch of Canada’s 2009 semi-final in which they edged Japan 35-38. Japan will no doubt be looking for revenge in 2012, as Canada has advanced to the finals after wins against Japan at both the 2009 IFAF Junior World Championship as well as the 2011 Senior World Championship.
“I think we started out slow but we regrouped,” said Canada head coach Noel Thorpe. “That’s not how we wanted to start the game. The players realized this is team football and that it takes 11 on the field and 45 on the team to make this thing happen. We regrouped at halftime and I think you saw the results when we came out.
“We’ve got three guys back there who all bring a little something different to the table. We’re going to use them every couple of series to keep the defense off-balance. Once they settled down in the second half and the run game got established everything opened up from there.
“We didn’t get a chance to watch (Japan) play so we’re going to go watch the film tonight, added Thorpe. “We’ll make some evaluations and go back to the drawing board.”
International Bowl star Will Finch completed four of five passes for 59 yards in Canada’s opening two series. Despite a total offensive advantage of 140-7 at the end of the opening quarter, Canada found themselves in a scoreless tie entering the second quarter. Four penalties, including a holding call that nullified a 96-yard touchdown return by Keegan Arnyek (Moose Jaw, SK) on the opening kickoff, a lost fumble and a Sweden defensive stop on fourth down inside the five-yard line have kept the Sweden in the game.
Taking over for Finch, Hugo Richard led an 80-yard drive, capitalized with a 3-yard end zone plunge to open the scoring 7-0 in favour of Canada with 11:03 left in the second quarter.
Sweden looked to have held Canada to a single touchdown heading into halftime but Canada made use of all three of its timeouts on Sweden’s final drive to force a punt. A low snap forced Sweden punter Linus Carlbom to a knee as he corralled the ball, ending the play and giving Canada a first down at Sweden’s 11-yard line with seven seconds left in the half.
Canada capitalized with a 27-yard field goal by F-X Garneau’s Louis-Philippe Simoneau to make the score 10-0 at the end of the first half.
Canada’s offense came alive on their opening drive of the third quarter when running back, Mercer Timmis (Burlington, ON) extended Canada’s lead 17-0 on a 63-yard touchdown run.
Sweden put together its first sustained drive of the game that reached Canada’s 14-yard line but a sack and a penalty forced Sweden into a 34-yard field goal attempt that was pushed wide.
Following the miss, Canada took over at their own 20 and three plays later Finch found ex Nelson Lords teammate Doug Corby for a 78-yard scoring strike that stretched the lead to 23-0 after the extra point was blocked. The touchdown pass is the longest in IFAF U19 Championship history.
Later in the quarter, pivot Hugo Richard (St-Bruno-de-Montarville, QC) led Canada on an impressive drive, marked with his second touchdown run of the game to make the score 30-0 with 8:33 remaining in the game.
Canada added another score with 7:02 to go when A’dre Frazer (Lawrencetown, NS) blocked a Carlbom punt which Kevin McGee (Sherbrooke, QC) returned four yards for a touchdown, widening Canada’s lead 37-0.
Receiver, Doug Corby (Burlington, ON) was named Canada’s MVP of the game after tallying 141 yards on 4 receptions including one touchdown.
All 12 games of the 2012 International Federation of American Football (IFAF) Under-19 World Championship will be streamed live online from Burger Stadium in Austin, Texas.
USA Football’s YouTube channel (www.YouTube.com/usafootballeducation) will air a live webcast of the games as will Canada Football Chat.com (http://www.canadafootballchat.com/live_games.php). The games will also be archived for future viewing at www.YouTube.com/usafootballeducation.
Follow Football Canada’s Junior National Team on Twitter, twitter.com/FootballCanada as well as on Facebook, facebook.com/FootballCanada. Get in the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #FCJNT12.
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