IFAF U19 World Championships: Team Mexico stuns United States, advances to gold medal final

Team Mexico has stunned the international football community by shocking the favored United States in the 2018 IFAF U19 World Championships, soundly beating them 33-6 in Mexico City’s Olympic Stadium with a crowd of 15,000 looking on.

This is the first time the Mexicans have defeated Team USA in this competition. In two previous meetings, the Americans had won easily, 55-0 and 49-14. And the 33 points scored by Team Mexico was the most ever allowed by an American team in a U19 World Championship tournament.

Paced by a two touchdown performance by running back Julio Hurtado, and excellent defense, Mexico took the lead and never let up. The Mexicans burst out to a 23-0 halftime lead, shocking Team USA and delighting the crowd.

Quarterback Sebastián Hernández connected with wide receiver Iván Gutiérrez  on a 33 yard touchdown pass to give Mexico a 7-0 lead in the first quarter. Then the Mexican defense picked off American quarterback Alek Jacobs, snuffing out a promising drive.

Team Mexico RB Julio Hurtado scored 2 TDs Photo: Eduardo Mendoza / Agency FPC

Mexico got another huge break as Team USA gambled on a fourth down inside their own 10 yard line and turned the ball over. Hurtado punched the ball in from the five yard line and Mexico extended their lead to 14-0 midway through the second quarter.

The Mexican defense continued to play superb football with the defensive front seven shutting down the vaunted American running game. On the next series, Mexico blocked a punt returning the ball to Team USA’s six yard line. Hernández threw a touchdown pass to wide receiver  Marco Antonio Briones and Mexico had a 20-0 lead with just under three minutes left in the half.

With the Americans unable to move the ball effectively, Mexico had time to add to the lead before the half with a 48 yard field goal.

Mexico continued to attack on the first possession of the third quarter marching down to the American 25 yard line. Hurtado scored his second touchdown of the game and Team Mexico led 30-0 midway through the third quarter.

Team USA finally responded on the next series with Treshaun Ward scoring from 23 yards out to put the Americans on the board, 30-6.

However, with both defenses now playing excellent football, the only scoring came from Mexico as a 33 yard field goal made it 33-6 with seven minutes left and the defense held the rest of the way.

Mexico will now play Team Canada for the gold medal after the Canadians defeated Japan 28-22. Team USA takes on Sweden for the bronze medal. Japan and Australia will battle for fifth place.

With files from Rachid Sabag Serrato

AFI
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