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July 2, 2009

USA Junior National team to play for the Gold

MORE: Report: Accused coach acted appropriately in players death

The United States' dominance in the 2009 IFAF Junior World Championship continued Wednesday as Team USA followed up their 78-0 victory over France by defeating Mexico 55-0 in the second round of the inaugural tournament before a crowd of 11,218 fans at Fawcett Stadium.

"I think when the whistle blew we played with good intensity," USA coach Chuck Kyle said. "I think we accomplished our mission."

Tailback David Wilson, a Virginia Tech recruit, led USA's offense by scoring three rushing touchdowns and gaining 146 yards on 11 carries.

"It may appear easy, but I put in a lot of hard work on and off the field," Wilson said. "There are a lot of things that I go through that people don't see, the sweat and the struggle. Each time I step on the field, I want to be that much better."

Robert Bell, a linebacker/fullback headed to the University of Toledo, scored a touchdown for USA on offense and defense, and also recorded a sack.

USA (2-0) will play Canada (2-0) at 1pm on Sunday in the Gold Medal Game at Fawcett Stadium after Canada defeated Japan 38-35. Mexico (1-1) will take on Japan (1-1) in the Bronze Medal Game at 7pm on Saturday at Fawcett Stadium

"I would like to apologize to the people who believe in this team," Mexico coach Ernesto Alfaro del Villar said. "This team fought a lot. We tried to improve our performance, but we faced a very solid team. USA is a big, strong team. I am proud of my players. We never quit. We tried to run the ball and we tried to throw the ball, but we were facing a lot of pressure."

USA held an advantage over Mexico in total yards gained (433-35) and first downs (17-4).

"I think defensively we played a very good ballgame," Kyle said "They spread it out offensively. I think we disrupted (Mexico quarterback Jose Miguel Garcia's) timing and that was important because he can run and he can throw. We were mixing coverages and mixing blitzes, and obviously that helped."

Wilson's display of speed, quickness, strength and power proved to be too much for Mexico's defense. Wilson has rushed for seven touchdowns and 327 yards on 23 carries through two games in the tournament, USA victories over France (78-0 Saturday) and Mexico.

"I really was concerned coming into the ballgame because our kids are not used to playing a ballgame three days later," Kyle said. "We're used to seven days between games."

Kyle said he was "delighted and thrilled" with his team's performance and added: "This is not an all-star team, we're a team. We're the United States of America."

Wilson took the first play from scrimmage 50 yards off left tackle for a rushing touchdown with 11:44 remaining in the first quarter. Mike Loftus, a Southern Methodist University recruit, converted the extra point and USA led 7-0.

"He's awesome," del Villar said of Wilson. "I remember a touchdown where half our team touched him (and he didn't go down). He's a great player."

Wilson added a second touchdown on a 36-yard run with 6:42 remaining in the first quarter. Loftus made the extra point and the Americans led 14-0.

"Clearly he's got great skills, agility and great vision," Mexico linebacker Jose Miguel Garcia said of Wilson.

The Americans extended the lead to 20-0 with 4:25 left in the first quarter following a 53-yard pass play from quarterback Bryce Petty to Bell. After running just six plays offensively, USA had scored three touchdowns and accumulated 157 yards.

With 3:34 left in the first quarter, USA cornerback Shamarko Thomas (Syracuse) intercepted a pass and returned it 32-yards for a touchdown. A Loftus extra point gave USA a 27-0 advantage. Wilson extended the Americans lead with an impressive 25-yard touchdown run with 10:29 remaining in the second quarter. Wilson broke five tackle attempts en route to the end zone. Loftus made the extra point and USA led 34-0.

"It's funny because I came off the field and I go 'I can't explain it,'" Petty, a Baylor recruit, said. "I have been around football awhile, but I have never seen anyone like him. It's like freakish."

The Americans scored 16 seconds later following a Mexican turnover. USA free safety Chris Payne (South Carolina) forced a fumble after a sack, and Bell recovered the ball and ran 10-yards for a touchdown. Loftus made the extra points to give USA a 41-0 lead.

USA led 41-0 at halftime and held an advantage in total yards gained (262-2). Wilson had seven first-half carries for 131 yards and three touchdowns.

Left Tackle Jack Mewhort led USA onto the field waving the American flag. Mewhort, an Ohio State recruit, was joined in the starting lineup along the offensive line by John Plasencia (Northwestern), Brian Winters (Kent State), Evan Swindall (Ole Miss), Aaron Price (Indiana) and Oday Aboushi (Virginia).

USA cornerback Jordan Poyer (Oregon State) intercepted a pass and ran 27-yards for a touchdown with 6:59 left in the third quarter. Loftus' extra point made the score 48-0. The American's lead grew to 55-0 with 11:54 to go in the fourth quarter following a 27-yard touchdown pass from Petty to receiver Aaron Dobson (Marshall), and a Loftus extra point. Petty completed 6-of-8 passes for 136 yards.

Vega led Mexico onto the field prior to the game with the Mexican flag. He finished 4-for-13 passing for 57 yards. Garcia, end Fidel Guillermo Lopez and linemen Hector Ricardo Yanez and Cesar Esteban Canabal each had a sack for Mexico. Garcia finished with eight solo tackles and three assisted tackles.

"We are proud to play football," Mexico's Edgar Arroyo, who gained 128 yards on six kickoff returns, said. "The thing we have in mind is to fight every play and fight for every yard."

"Still there things we have to work on," Kyle said. "The penalties (15 for 160 yards) broke our concentration and were a distraction."

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