Canada defeats U.S. for second year in U-18 International Bowl game
Photo credit: Ron Jenkins / USA Football
On January 30, under the Arlington, Texas Friday night lights of AT&T (Cowboy) Stadium, Canada defeated Team USA 25-9 in the Under-18 game at the International Bowl series. The win marks the second consecutive year that Canada’s National Team has defeated the U.S. in the U-18 game at the International Bowl.
“Our kids played outstanding – very physical, just relentless, no let up, played every down and that’s what we wanted and all that we could ask from the kids,” said head coach GLEN MILLS. “What a fantastic group of young men, it was such a great opportunity for them.”
Team USA opened the scoring with a 31-yard MANNY BENZ field goal. Early on Canada was unable to find its stride offensively until a thundering sack by KEAN HARELIMANA (Laval, QC) lead to a U.S. three and out, beginning to swing the momentum in Canada’s favour.
On the following possession, Canada’s offense suddenly came alive as JEVANTE STANLEY (Brampton, ON) broke free from the U.S. defense, rushing 43-yards before being dragged down at the 1-yard line. After Stanley was unable to punch the ball in on first down, quarterback SAWYER BUETTNER (Moose Jaw, SK) called his own number to give Canada its first lead, 7-3.
Canada’s defense continued to create problems for their counterparts as a third down interception by BENJAMIN WHITING (Saskatoon, SK) gave Canada the ball right back at midfield.
Following the interception, Canada’s drive appeared to have stalled, facing third down and 8. Quarterback SAWYER BUETTNER connected with a pass over the middle to former Team Saskatchewan teammate KADE BELYK (Regina, SK) to give Canada a fresh set of downs inside their opponent’s 30-yard line. A 7-yard JEVANTE STANLEY touchdown run widened Canada’s advantage heading into halftime.
Late in the third quarter, Team USA looked to have backed up Canada’s defense to their own end zone at the 9-yard line. Canada benefitted from a series of U.S. penalties, forcing Team USA into 3 down and 19. Canada’s defense stood strong forcing a MASON BENNETT (Winnipeg, MB) sack. Team USA was unable to connect on the long 36-yard fourth down field goal attempt, keeping the score 14-3.
Energized by the stop, Canada would strike again early in the final quarter. Buettner connected with Belyk on another 3rd down passing conversion to set-up JEVANTE STANLEY’s second rushing touchdown on the night.
Stanley would go on to earn Canada’s Player of the Game honours, finishing with 14 rushes for 166 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
“The young man never ceases to amaze people, he’s a 160 pounds and plays like he’s 250 pounds,” said Mills. “He’s just a football player, he was outstanding again today and made things happen when he needed to make things happen. I couldn’t be happier for the young man.”
Canada running back JEVANTE STANLEY was happy of his performance but was quick to downplay his individual effort in the team’s victory.
“I’m happy with my performance but I’m also happy for the team and that we got the win together,” said Stanley. “I just want to thank coach Mills and the rest of the staff as well as my o-line for blocking for me.”
A 75-yard passing completion to receiver TREVON DIGGS gave Team USA, first down and goal to go at the 1-yard line. Canada’s defense stood strong until a third down rush by Team USA’s ROBERT WASHINGTON narrowed Canada’s lead 20-9.
Canada would add 2 points on the following extra point attempt which was blocked by BOBBY SUGAI (Raymond, AB) and returned all the way to the end zone by ENOCK MAKONZO (Montreal, QC).
With under a minute to play, Bedford, Nova Scotia’s GREGORY HUTCHINS added a 24-yard field goal to make the final 25-9.
Mills and the rest of the team enjoyed the opportunity of a lifetime to play in iconic Cowboy Stadium.
“What a venue, the kids were in awe and it was great,” Mills said. “It’s something they’ll remember for the rest of their lives.”
“It’s an amazing experience,” added JEVANTE STANLEY. “I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world, I love to be here.”
Saturday’s games at Cowboy Stadium will feature four games including three involving Alberta and Ontario’s provincial teams and their U.S. counterparts at the U-15, U-16 and U-17 level. Team USA will get a shot at redemption on Saturday February 7 as Canada’s U-19 National Team takes on Team USA at the University of Texas-Arlington’s Maverick Stadium.
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