CANTON, OHIO – Germany secured the right to play for fifth place at the 2009 IFAF Junior World Championships at Fawcett Stadium with a 52:7 win over a plucky but overwhelmed New Zealand team.
The champions of Oceania were beaten for the second time in as many games as Germany cruised to a 52:7 win.
"We are a bit disappointed," New Zealand coach Michael Mau’u said. "Our preparations; we thought that the team came out on Saturday was a lot different than the team that came out today.
Opposition wise, you can’t get past that size. That is the biggest team we have ever come up against here or back home."
Germany (1-1) will now play Sweden in the fifth place playoff at 4pm on Saturday. New Zealand (0-2) will meet the loser of that game in the seventh place playoff at 1pm on Saturday.
Neither Germany nor New Zealand could hold onto the football on Wednesday. The teams combined to fumble 19 times, with New Zealand feeling the most effects.
Germany recovered five of the Ironblacks‘ 11 fumbles and converted all five into scoring drives.
"Our players were just trying too hard," added Mau’u. "It comes back to your basics. You have to get the fundamentals right… disappointing, but we have to take it back to the basics."
Germany fumbled its first two possessions of the game before getting the ball back with six minutes and 26 seconds remaining in the first quarter. They quickly turned to a balanced offense they did not show in last weekend’s 10:7 loss to Japan.
After gaining 13 yards on the ground, German quarterback Jens Kriete faked a hand off and launched a pass down the right sideline to Benjamin Mau for a 38-yard gain to the New Zealand 16.
Two plays later Kriete found Lars Samjeske in the flat for an 11-yard touchdown reception to make the score 6:0. Just a few minutes later a New Zealand fumble allowed Germany to jump out to a 14:0 lead.
"It’s a different scheme we ran, because if you play Japan they are very fast and very small. It is tough to throw against them,“ German Director of Youth Sport Peter Springwald said. "Here we tried to get the play action pass going and that works. We just fed them running inside and got the ball out and threw deep."
The scheming relied on the running backs doing their jobs, which wasn’t a problem. Christian Sundarp led the way with nine carries for 116 yards to win the MVP award. Randall Payne and Timo Muller each had a rushing touchdown as did quarterbacks Robert Demers and Kriete.
Kriete finished the game 7-16 passing for 130 yards and two touchdowns as the Germans outgained New Zealand 457-121 yards.
With 52 seconds remaining in the game quarterback Matino Meredith found Josiah O’Connell for a 77-yard touchdown pass, New Zealand’s historic first-ever score in a junior international tournament and the first through the air. Both touchdowns in a 12:7 qualifying win on January 24 in Canberra over Australia came on the ground.
"Obviously we are really, really happy we got one back," Mau’u said. "That was a historic moment for New Zealand."
New Zealand running back Jerry Key had 71 yards rushing on eight carries to lead the Ironblacks.
Follow the 2009 IFAF Junior World Championship at www.JWCFootball.com