Canada defeats Team Mexico, wins gold medal at 2018 IFAF U19 World Championships

Team Canada defeated Mexico 13-7 to capture the gold medal in the 2018 IFAF U19 World Championships in front of a crowd of 33,000 at Mexico City’s 68 Olympic Stadium.

This was Canada’s second straight U19 World Championship title and third overall but it went right down to the wire.

The Canadians grabbed a 10-0 halftime lead and then Team Canada’s defense withstood a furious second half surge by the Mexicans to win.

Canadian quarterback Andreas Dueck completed 16 of 24 passes for 149 yards and one touchdown with running back  Freud Jean Ernst César scoring the lone touchdown for Canada. César rushed 22 times for 50 yards and caught one pass for 20 yards and a touchdown. Tyson Philpot caught six passes for 54 yards. Antoine Couture kicked two field goals and a PAT.

For Team Mexico, Sebastian Hernandez threw for 206 yards with Alfredo Martinez catching three for 92 yards and Ricardo Avina hauling in six for 70 yards. Running back Alan Reyes scored the Mexican touchdown on a four yard plunge.

Team Canada QB Andreas Dueck Photo: Pablo Macedo

Canada opened the scoring on their opening possession as Dueck mounted a 71 yard drive and Couture kicked a 31 yard field goal to give the Canadians a 3-0 lead.

Team Canada’s defense stymied the Mexican offense that had scored 33 points against the United States. The enormous crowd seemed to rattle the Mexicans more than Canada early on as they took a couple of careless penalties that cost them valuable yardage.

Two possessions later, Canada forced a Mexican fumble at the Team Mexico 38 yard line but Dueck and the offense could not capitalize and a field goal attempt by Couture went for naught.

Then with less than five minutes left in the first half, Dueck marched Canada down to the Mexican 20 yard line and then hit César on a screen pass. The running back made no mistake, finding his way into the end zone. Couture added the extra point and Canada took a 10-0 lead into the half.

Neither team could gain any momentum in the third quarter until Team Mexico took over with four minutes left in the third quarter and in two plays advanced to the three yard line. Martinez hauled in two passes on the drive, a 25 yard pass and then a 41 yard strike to take the ball down to the three. Reyes carried the ball in bringing the crowd to its feet narrowing the lead to 10-7.

Team Canada’s Tyson Philpot Photo: Pablo Macedo

Canada came right back as Dueck engineered  a drive from deep inside Canadian territory reaching the  Mexican 15 yard line. Couture kicked a 32 yard field goal to widen the lead to 13-7 early in the fourth quarter.

With just under a minute to play, the Mexican offense drove into Team Canada territory but simply ran out of time.

Canada’s win marks the first time a team has won back-to-back titles in the IFAF U19 World Championships and with their third championship, Canada surpassed the United States who have two golds,as the most successful team in tournament history.

 

Roger Kelly
Roger Kelly is an editor and a writer for AFI. A former PR Director the B.C. Lions of the Canadian Football League for 7 years, he now lives in Sweden writing about and scouting American Football throughout the world.
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