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Football Canada Staff
KUWAIT — In their opening game of the 2014 IFAF U-19 World Championship on Monday evening in Kuwait, Football Canada’s Junior National Team defeated the host nation by a final score of 91-0.
Tournament newcomer Kuwait was in tough from the get-go as Canada entered the tournament as the defending U-19 World Champion after defeating the inaugural 2009 winner Team USA 23-17 in Austin, Texas.
Canada dominated early, scoring on their opening six possessions before Kuwait forced a punt on Canada’s seventh possession.
“The kids played really well, they came out of the gate really hard,” said Canada head coach, Warren Craney.
Windsor, Ontario running back, Khaliel James got Canada on the board early with a 4-yard touchdown run. James was one of three running backs to total two touchdowns as Kayden Johnson (LCBI / Kerrobert, SK) and Édouard Montemiglio (CEGEP Vieux-Montréal / Montréal, QC) also accomplished the feat while Philippe Lessard-Vézina (Académie Saint-Louis / Québec, QC) found the end zone once.
Receiver Colton Hunchak (Notre Dame HS / Calgary, AB) scored Canada’s second touchdown on a 42-yard touchdown strike from quarterback Frédéric Paquette-Perrault. The younger of the two Hunchak brothers on the squad caught only three passes on the day but made each count, racking up a team high 78 receiving yards and two touchdowns.
“We spent the whole day talking about what we are doing here and that’s to win a gold medal but at the same time we knew that this was the first game ever that Kuwait was playing. We really spoke to them about respecting the game and respecting their opponent without playing slow or compromising our end goal.”
Kuwait was over-matched throughout the contest as they accumulated -62 total yards including -66 rushing yards.
“We had some great individual performances – Colton Hunchak was the MVP of the game – he did really well, he scored two touchdowns,” added Craney.
“Defensively we held them to negative yardage so I’m pretty impressed about how the defense played.”
Canada will now face France on Thursday July 10 at 8 PM local time (1 PM ET) followed by Austria on Sunday July 13 at 8 PM local time.