Saturday, June 30, 2012

Team USA Advances to Semifinals

by Jeff Fisher
High School Football America

The question in Austin over the next week in Austin is - has the world made any headway on the United States when it comes to the American game of football?

While the answer remains to be seen, American Samoa, the eighth seed in the 2012 IFAF Under-19 World Champion, gave Team USA a go on Saturday in a 27-6 loss to the Red, White and Blue.

American Samoa never backed-down, even after Jesus Wilson (Christopher Columbus HS, Florida) returned the game's opening kickoff 75-yards for a touchdown.  USA built the lead to 20-0 on a one-yard touchdown run by quarterback Brayden Scott (Tahlequa-Sequoyah HS, Oklahoma) and a 43-yard touchdown pass from Scott to DeMarcus Ayers (Lancaster HS, Texas).

"It felt really good to be out there," said Scott. "It's kind of funny playing a game in the summer but representing my country is something I'd if it was 100,000 degrees. I love representing my country and wearing USA across my chest. Give the credit to our offensive line and our defense. They did a really good job today."

American Samoa cut the halftime lead to 20-6, but wasn't able to get any closer.

"They were quick, they played awful hard, they had a great scheme, they played up-tempo," said USA head coach Steve Specht (St. Xavier HS, Ohio) of his team's opponent. "That's a good football team. I told Pooch (Taase, American Samoa coach) afterwards, 'you ought to be proud of your kids. They played their hearts out."

"We had way too many stupid penalties but it was the first time we've played together so we've got things to clean up but we'll get better," said Specht.  "I was proud of our kids' effort. They played hard. We've just got to get better."

Ayers was Team USA's MVP with seven catches for 115 yards and a touchdown.

Team USA will now face Austria in the semifinals on Tuesday.  Austria beat Panama 40-0 in its quarterfinal match-up.

In the other first round games, Canada beat Sweden 43-0 and Japan beat France 27-6.

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