A first-half inability to finish drives was rectified at halftime as No. 2 seed Canada scored five second half touchdowns on its way to dominating 43-0 win over Sweden in Game 3 of the 2012 IFAF U19 World Championship.
Canada went into the locker room with a 243-6 advantage in total offense led only 10-0. Four penalties, including a holding call that nullified a 96-yard touchdown return on the opening kickoff, a lost fumble and a Sweden defensive stop on fourth down inside the five-yard line have kept the No. 3 team in Europe in the game.
Canada finished with 538 yards in total offense, the second highest single-game total in IFAF U19 Championship history and will now face Japan in the semi final on July 4 for a place in the Gold medal Game. Sweden will take on France on July 3.
"I think we started out slow but we regrouped," said Canada head coach Noel Thorpe. "That’s not how we wanted to start the game. The players realized this is team football and that it takes 11 on the field and 45 on the team to make this thing happen. We regrouped at halftime and I think you saw the results when we came out.
"We’ve got three guys back there who all bring a little something different to the table. We’re going to use them every couple of series to keep the defense off-balance. Once they settled down in the second half and the run game got established everything opened up from there.
"We didn’t get a chance to watch (Japan) play so we’re going to go watch the film tonight. We’ll make some evaluations and go back to the drawing board."
International Bowl star Will Finch completed four of five passes for 59 yards in Canada’s opening two series. But despite a total offense advantage of 140-7 at the end of the opening quarter, Canada found themselves in a scoreless tie entering period two.
Quarterback Hugo Richard, who relieved Finch, led an 80-yard scoring drive that he ended with a three-yard plunge into the end zone to give Canada a 7-0 lead with 11:03 to go in the second quarter.
After his second series in the game, Richard gave way for Canada’s third quarterback of the day, Dallon Kuprowski. The Vanier College quarterback’s two series ended with a lost fumble and a missed 49-yard field goal.
Sweden looked to have held Canada to a single touchdown heading into halftime but Canada made use of all three of its timeouts on Sweden’s final drive to force a punt. A low snap forced Sweden punter Linus Carlbom to a knee as he fielded the ball, ending the play and giving Canada a first down at Sweden’s 11-yard line with seven seconds left in the half.
Canada immediately brought on kicker Louis-Philippe Simoneau who connected on a 27-yard field goal to give the Canadians a 10-0 halftime cushion. Canada wasted no time finding the end zone on their first series of the second half. Mercer Timmis broke loose on a 63-yard touchdown run to extend the lead to 17-0.
Sweden put together its first sustained drive of the game as Kevin Dillman led the team on a 12-play drive that reached Canada’s 14-yard line but a sack and a penalty forced Sweden into a 34-yard field goal attempt that was pushed wide.
"It was a great game despite the fact we lost," said Dillman. "We’ve just got to have confidence in our playbook and make plays. I think we’ll be ready for the next game on Tuesday."
Canada took over at their own 20 following the miss and three plays later Finch found Doug Corby for a 78-yard scoring strike that stretched the lead to 23-0 after the extra point was blocked. The touchdown pass is the longest in IFAF U19 Championship history.
After another short Sweden drive Richard returned to the game and led Canada on an 80-scoring drive that again ended with the quarterback finding the end zone on a one-yard run to give Canada a 30-0 lead with 8:33 to go in the game.
Canada added another score with 7:02 to go when A’dre Frazer blocked a Carlbom punt and Kevin McGee returned it four yards for a touchdown and a 37-0 lead.
Corby earned MVP honors for Canada, finishing with four catches for 131 yards and a touchdown. Defensive back Anton Bengtsson earned MVP honors for Sweden as he posted eight tackles, including five solo stops.
U-19 IFAF World Chamionship Canada vs. Sweden 43:0 (0:0/10:0/13:0/20:0) »Game Stats« June 30th 2012 5pm, Burger Stadium Austin,TX