Australia Coasts to Win Over Korea in Opening Game of IFAF World Championship

Australia may have handed Korea an early 6-0 lead on an interception in the International Federation of American Football World Championship opening game, but it was  the Australians the rest of the way as they rolled to a 47-6 victory in Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium, the first for Australia in 16 years.

Right tackle Jason Aslimoski was on that 1999 team who had last won a game in IFAF World Championship tournament.

Aslimoski said;

“To come and compete at this level requires great effort from a lot of people, from the coaching staff all the way through the team. To get the guys together and perform is actually a good feeling. It requires a lot of effort on both sides. To come back from ’99, I’m actually ecstatic to win a game here in the tournament.”

The win was full of highlights as the Australians filled the stat sheet every way possible with a dominant performance.

IFAF WCs - Aus v Korea - Stegman

Jared Stegman

Australian quarterback Jared Stegman had an outstanding day using both his arm – he was 11-of-16 for 133 yards and four touchdowns – and legs carrying the ball for 50 yards on 10 carries.

Australian running back Conor Foley finished with 132 yards on 11 carries and added a touchdown, while receiver Daniel Strickland contributed three catches for 53 yards and two touchdowns.

To say the game was lopsided would be an understatement as the Australians picked up 385 yards in offense and averaged 7.0 yards per play. The Koreans had a rough day to say the least mustering a mere 69 yards total offense including -21 yards rushing.

Australian coach John Leijten;

IFAF WCs - Aus v Korea - Foley

Conor Foley

“Every coach is proud of his team. Over the last week or so in preparation of this, the media has been asking me, ‘What was our biggest strength?’ In any sport, Australia’s biggest strength is Australians fight.

“We showed that today, too. Everybody gives everything they have. That’s how you play the game, but not every country is like that. In any sport, Australians are the ones who keep moving forward. That’s what I’m looking forward to when we get on the field.”

South Korea’s only points came on an interception return by linebacker and team MVP Bong Do Yeo midway through the first quarter. Quarterback Tae Hoon Kim was limited to 90 passing yards, completing 10 passes in 25 attempts.

IFAF WCs - Aus v Korea - Korea QB

Tae Hoon Kim

Park Bo Sung was the only player with positive yards rushing for South Korea with 2.

Damien Molloy was at the heart of that Australian defense with six tackles, three of them coming for loss, while Ryan Ottens had five tackles.

“Their sheer size definitely helped their defense,” South Korea coach Seong Il Baek said. “Basically, it came down to their defense in terms of size and speed. They had great defense.”

With info and excerpts from Brad Bournival from USA Football. Photos: USA Football/Ed Hall Jr.

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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