Team Canada dominated both sides of the ball to defeat the U.S. National Team, 24-6 to win the gold medal at the IFAF Under-19 World Championship in Harbin, China Sunday.
With this, Canada has now won two of the four Under 19 tournaments that have been held since 2009. Team Canada beat the United States in 2012 in Austin, Texas.
Team USA had beaten Canada earlier in the tournament 32-14 and dominated in their two other games before facing a Canadian squad obviously bent on revenge.
Receiver François Rocheleau had 185 yards receiving and two touchdowns on just three receptions to lead Team Canada. Running back Félix Lussier-Roy carried the ball 20 times for 123 yards and another touchdown. Quarterback Dimitri Morand only needed to complete six passes for 235 yards passing and a pair of touchdowns while Vincent Blanchard kicked a field goal and all three extra points.
Team USA quarterback Lindell Stone completed 36 of 65 passes for 362 yards but was picked off twice. Kicker Jon Fagg kicked two field goals to account for all of Team USA’s scoring.
After the United States opened the scoring with a Fagg field goal, Rocheleau scored his first of two touchdowns as Morand connected with him for an 80 yard score. Then Lussier-Roy struck for a 47 yard touchdown to give Canada a 14-3 halftime lead.
Early in the third, Morand found Rocheleau again, this time on a 67 yard play action pass to widen the lead to 21-3.
Blanchard kicked a 40 yard field goal for Canada and Fagg kicked a 27 yarder late in the third quarter and then Canada’s defense did the rest.
The United States mounted a furious comeback but Canada intercepted Stone twice and allowed only 41 yards rushing from all three American running backs.
Team Canada head coach Warren Craney who is stepping down after being involved with the program since 2009, was understandably pleased:
“I’m very proud of these men, they overcame a lot and worked their butts off!” said Craney of this team which faced both Mexico and the U.S., the defending bronze and gold medalist, twice during tournament play. “They executed the game plan to perfection.”