Mexico stuns United States to win World Games gold medal in women’s flag football

By Grant Gordon, Digital Content Editor

Quarterback Vanita Crouch and the United States women’s flag football team’s run to gold came to a stunning silver-medal finish.

Team Mexico got out to a scintillating start thanks to an opportunistic defense and never looked back, dominating on both sides of the ball as quarterback Diana Flores and her four touchdown passes highlighted its 39-6 win over the U.S. in The World Games 2022 final on Thursday in Birmingham, Alabama. With the victory, Mexico became the first women’s flag football gold medalists in World Games history.

A shocking start to the game spelled a quick end for the U.S., which found itself trailing, 8-0, after its first two possessions. The first ended with Mexico’s Xiomara Rios scoring off a Crouch interception and the second concluded when Rebeca Landa sacked Crouch for a safety.

Thereafter, the Mexico offense followed suit with dominance, as Flores connected with receiver Silvia Contreras for three touchdowns.

Mexico scored the game’s first 39 points before Crouch found Nadia Bibbs for a short TD reception on a shovel pass over the top.

Even blowouts have their turning points and it came early for the U.S., which looked to have taken a 6-0 lead on a Crouch TD toss to Crystal Daniels, but it was negated by a penalty. On the next play, Rios hauled in her pick-six. Sacks, interceptions and turnovers on downs followed for the U.S. offense on just about every drive.

Mexico led 27-0 at halftime and the U.S. never regrouped.

In the Bronze Medal Game earlier Thursday, Panama defeated Austria, 40-19.

The 16-team World Games tournaments marked the initial time flag football has been part of an international, multi-sport event, according to U.S.A. Football.

U.S. flag national squads are run by USA Football, the sport’s national governing body and a member of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee. All national teams are part of the International Federation of American Football (IFAF).

NFL Network will broadcast an enhanced package of the men’s and women’s flag football gold medal games on Thursday, July 21 at 8 p.m. ET.

The National Football League (NFL) is a professional American football league consisting of 32 teams, divided equally between the National Football Conference (NFC) and the American Football Conference (AFC). The NFL is one of the four major